Electrocution accidents can cause victims to suffer devastating injuries or death and is one of the “fatal four” causes of construction workers’ deaths. While workers are in danger of being electrocuted, they are not the only ones at risk. Adults and children alike can be involved in an electrocution accident when they are plugging in an appliance or electronic device into an electrical outlet or are otherwise in contact with electrical wires or exposure to electrical currents.
Have you suffered an injury in an electrocution accident? Was a loved one killed? The experienced and compassionate personal injury attorneys at Case Barnett Law are here to help you pursue your right to compensation. We provide individualized service to all of our clients, and we’re passionate about ensuring that are clients are fully compensated for their losses. To learn how we can help you during your challenging times, call our office today to schedule your free consultation.
Common Reasons That Electrocution Accidents Happen
There are a variety of causes of electrocution accidents, and who is liable for compensating the victims will depend on the why the person was electrocuted. Some common reasons these accidents occur include:
- Dangerous products. If a power tool, electrical appliance, electronic device, or any other product that uses electricity to operate is defective, it can cause an unsuspecting user of the product suddenly to be exposed to electrical currents. Often, a manufacturing or design defect in the product is to blame. Consumers who suffer an electrical injury from a defective product may have a product liability claim against the manufacturer as well as a claim against other negligent parties.
- Faulty wiring. When old wiring is not replaced or wiring is installed or repaired improperly, a person who is in contact with an electrical cord, outlet, or other object conducting electricity could be electrocuted. Many parties could be potentially liable, such as a contractor, electrician, business, or other property owner.
- Power lines. A dangerous electrical flow could harm a person who comes in contact with a downed power line, overhead line, or underground line. In this situation, an injured victim may have a claim against a utility company.
- Exposed wiring or outlets. When businesses or property owners leave wires hanging or exposed or do not secure outlets with covers, they can be responsible when an individual is injured due to exposure to an electrical current.
- Workplace accidents. Construction workers, electricians, utility workers, and others face the risk of serious injuries or death when their employers fail to provide a safe work environment, supply proper safety equipment, or engage in other negligent actions that causes an electrocution accident.
What Are Common Injuries Caused by Electrocution Accidents?
A person’s body will conduct an electrical current well if he comes in contact with electricity. Because of this, a person can suffer catastrophic injuries or death in this type of accident. Exposure to electricity can cause four types of injuries:
- Electrocution, which is sometimes fatal.
- Electrical shock.
- Electrical burns.
- Fall injuries caused by contact with electricity.
Exposure to electrical currents can cause some of the most serious and life-threatening injuries. These include the following:
- Nerve damage.
- Spinal cord damage, which can include partial or complete paralysis.
- Vision loss.
- Hearing loss.
- Brain damage.
- Heart attacks and cardiac arrest.
- Internal organ damage and bleeding.
- Broken bones and fractures.
- Electrical burns.
- Respiratory problems.
Compensation That Victims Receive in Electrocution Accidents
If you are injured in an electrocution accident, you could require hospitalization, surgery, and a lengthy recovery period—if you are able to fully recover from your injuries. You deserve—and need—to be compensated for your injuries. In order to know what to request in settlement and to have an idea whether the insurance company is offering you a fair settlement, you need to understand what types of compensation are awarded in these cases. You could be entitled to the following types of damages:
- Medical expenses. You are entitled to be compensated for your surgeries, hospitalization, doctor visits, physical therapy, and prescription medications. In addition, if you need assistive tools, like a walker or wheelchair, or modifications to your home due to your injuries, you can request these expenses be paid as well. In addition, travel expenses may be recoverable if you must travel to receive medical treatment.
- Lost wages. Your lost wages claim involves more than just the paychecks you lose while you are off work recovering from your injuries. You should ask for compensation for lost sick and vacation time, commissions, bonuses, promotions, and other perks of your job. In addition, if you are permanently disabled or must change jobs due to your injuries, you may be able to receive compensation for your lost earning capacity.
- Emotional distress. Emotional distress damages are to compensate you for the pain and suffering and emotional trauma that you suffered due to your injuries and the accident itself. These damages are harder to calculate because they are not based on out-of-pocket expenses. However, they could be a major portion of your settlement. At Case Barnett Law, we can value this portion of your claim and advise you how to best document these injuries.
- Wrongful death. If a family member died due to his accident, you may be entitled to bring a wrongful death action to seek compensation for his medical expenses, funeral bills, loss of support, companionship, comfort, and more.
- Punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded to punish the at-fault party for particularly negligent actions, not to compensate the victim. While they are less commonly awarded, you may be entitled to punitive damages if the facts surrounding your accident show malice or a disregard for the harm done to others.
Important Steps in Settling Your Claim
If you must file a claim for compensation following an electrocution accident, it is important to understand basic laws that apply to your case and how settlement of your claim could work. At Case Barnett Law, our experienced legal team will be working hard to build a strong case against the negligent party while attempting to negotiate a settlement of your claim—but only if it is for what you deserve.
Here are important steps that we can take for you:
- Investigation. A thorough investigation of the circumstances surrounding your accident is critical to building a solid claim of negligence. This could involve an inspection of the accident scene by an expert we retain, reviewing accident reports and other documents regarding the accident, interviewing witnesses, and collecting photographs and videos. We will also review your medical records, and may obtain necessary expert witnesses. In addition, we would collect your medical bills and lost wages documentation to calculate the value of these portions of your claim.
- Negotiations. We most likely would attempt to settle your claim pre-litigation before taking the next step in your case. We may need to wait until you reach your maximum recovery from your injuries or your doctor gives you a final prognosis to know what any future medical and wage loss damages will be. It is important to have this information so that we can request future damages as part of your settlement offer when we send a demand letter to the negligent parties’ insurance companies. We would then engage in settlement negotiations if this seems productive.
- Litigation. If we are not able to settle your claim for what you are owed, we will file a lawsuit on your behalf. Once the complaint is filed and the negligent parties file an answer to it, we will engage in a lengthy discovery period. We send out written questions for parties to answer, send requests for production of documents that could help us prove your case, and take depositions of negligent parties and witnesses. During this process, we will engage in settlement negotiations if we believe this is possible. However, we prepare our cases extensively for trial. Unlike many other attorneys, we have experience conducting many trials, have a track record of success, and enjoy taking cases to a jury trial.
Contact Our Costa Mesa Office Today to Schedule Your Free Consultation
If a family member or you was injured in an electrocution accident, you need the assistance of an experienced electrocution accident attorney unless you suffered very minor injuries—which is rare in these cases.
We urge you to take advantage of our free consultation to learn more about your legal options and why we are the right attorneys to assist you. We will be committed to aggressively fighting for your rights, to communicating regularly with you about the progress in your case, and involving you in important decisions about your case. Don’t delay! Call our office today to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.