The number of electrical shock injuries that happen in a year doesn’t even come close to the number of car accident injuries that happen in a year. But electric shock injuries can be some of the most damaging, life-changing, and scariest injuries that someone can experience. These injuries might occur at home, work, or in some freak accident- like being struck by lightning or having a power line fall on a car or house.
Electric shock accidents aren’t always black and white, there can be a lot of gray areas to them, especially if the nature of the accident is unclear. So how will a person know if they have a case for their electric shock injury? How will they be able to find the right lawyer to help with their case? All those questions and more will be answered below.
What is an Electric Shock?
You might think that an electric shock is the same as being electrocuted, but it’s not. The biggest distinction between the two is the outcome for the victim. Electrocution causes death to the victim, an electric shock doesn’t. Electric shocks can cause serious and life-altering injuries, but the victim is still alive.
There are many ways an electric shock injury can occur. From electric outlets to household appliances to being tasered, it seems like anything electrical can cause injury to a person. And the injuries can range from minor to life-altering.
What Symptoms Might I Experience From an Electric Shock?
The symptoms of an electric shock vary depending on a few factors- The voltage amount, length of exposure, the level and pathway traveled of the electrical current, the victim’s health, and how quickly treatment is administered. Some of the potential symptoms of electric shock injury are:
- Abdominal and chest pains
- Brain injuries
- Breathing problems
- Compartment syndrome
- Heart arrhythmia, cardiac arrest, or fibrillation of the heart
- Loss of consciousness
- Muscle contractions, pains or spasms
- Nerve damage
- Numbness or tingling
- Sensory issues (Difficulty hearing, seeing, or swallowing)
- Severe burns (External & internal)
- Spine injuries
What Should I Do If Myself or Someone Else is a Victim?
As with any injury, timing is key. So the faster you respond, the better the outcome of the injury. So if you’re the one who has been shocked, here are some things you can do:
- Let go of the electric source as soon as possible
- If you’re able to, call 911 or your local emergency services. If you’re unable to make the call, yell for someone else to make the call.
- Limit your movement. Don’t move unless you’re moving away from the electric source.
- Cover any burns you received from the shock with sterile gauze. Avoid using adhesive bandages because they might stick to the burn, causing further damage to the burned area.
If someone you’re working with, at home with, etc receives an electric shock, do the following to keep yourself safe and help them:
- Don’t touch the shocked person if they’re still holding onto or near the shock source.
- Don’t move the shocked person unless they’re still near the source of the shock.
- If possible, turn off the electricity. If you’re unable to, get the source of electricity away from the person. If possible, wear rubber gloves when moving the electrical source- rubber is an insulator, meaning it’s a poor conductor for electricity. Avoid metal and anything wet as they are strong conductors for electricity.
- Administer CPR and any other necessary first aid to the person.
- Call 911 or your local emergency services so the person can get medical attention as soon as possible.
Taking these steps can help you or someone else who has suffered from an electric shock from being injured further and from possibly making your injury worse.
Who is Liable for My Electric Shock Injury?
An electric shock injury can occur anywhere at any time, so knowing who is responsible for that injury is a key element to building a case.
Here are some examples of electric shock injuries that another party will be liable for:
- If a manufacturer releases a product that doesn’t follow the electrical safety guidelines and you are injured as a result of using that product, you are entitled to compensation through a claim against the manufacturer.
- If you are a construction worker and the worksite you’re at is unsafe and you don’t have the proper gear to stay safe and you are injured due to those factors, then the employer can be held liable for any expenses that were caused because of the injury.
- Building owners, construction crews, and utility companies all have a responsibility to take safety measures so people don’t get injured. If you were shocked as a result of an electrically charged elevator, a downed power line, or other electrical mishap that you couldn’t avoid, you may be able to file a claim against the company responsible for that piece of electrical equipment.
- If you are someone else’s property and are shocked by a faulty light switch they haven’t fixed or any electrical equipment that they have prior knowledge of not working properly, you may be able to file a premises liability claim against them.
These are just a few of the ways you can file a claim for your electric shock injury. If you want to know if your specific incident has cause for a claim, contacting an experienced electric shock lawyer is your best bet.
How Do I Build Up a Case for My Electric Shock Injury?
As with any case, you need evidence before you can file a claim. The more solid evidence you have, the stronger your case will be. So gather all photographic, video, medical documents, and any other documents that are related to your injury. You should also keep a record of your medical bills and other costs that have occurred because of your injury.
Here are just some of the many losses you pursue compensation for:
- Burns, disfigurement, & scarring, and
- Current and future medical bills
- Loss of body part function or usage
- Loss of wages & benefits
- Physical pain and suffering
- Psychological injuries & emotional suffering (anxiety, depression, PTSD, etc)
- Short-term, long-term, or permanent disability
Given the nature of your injury and all the expenses that came with it, the amount of money you could be compensated will vary. But to ensure you get the most compensation possible, you will need an experienced electrical shock injury lawyer. Scott Senft is that lawyer, so call him for your free consultation today and get the compensation you deserve for your injury!