Electricity is often taken for granted. We depend on it for most of our lives for a variety of things, but it can also cause serious injuries in certain circumstances. It is vital for anyone in the Houston, TX area to know their rights if they have suffered any type of injury from electricity, especially if it was due to another party’s irresponsible actions.
TYPES OF ELECTRICAL INJURIES
Many people do not know that the human body conducts its own electricity, and our nerve endings send electrical impulses to our brains, allowing us to interact with our world. Our bodies conduct electricity incredibly well, meaning electrical currents can pass easily through the human body. Electricity harms the human body in three ways:
- Direct contact with sources of electricity can result in burns
- Electricity can interfere with the heart, causing cardiac arrest
- Internal tissues, including organs, can be heavily damaged by electric currents
Depending on the strength of the current, electrocution can kill. Most electrical injuries are caused by lightning, high-voltage power lines, electrical outlets, electrical appliances, or work-related exposure. Any type of electrocution can have serious effects, both internal and external. The symptoms of electrocution vary depending on several factors, such as the point of contact, how long the contact lasted, the voltage of the current, and the victim’s physical characteristics.
Electrocution can cause shifts in consciousness, cardiac arrest, sensory complications, muscle pain and spasms, heartbeat problems, respiratory problems, seizures, burns, and other injuries.
DETERMINE YOUR LEGAL OPTIONS
If you suffered an electrical injury, it may take some time before you are able to formulate a legal plan of action. You will need to assess the overall effect the electrocution had on your health, what issues you will face going forward, and what parties bear responsibility for your accident, if any. If you were injured at work, you may gain some assistance from worker’s compensation benefits, but it is highly unlikely that worker’s compensation will cover the total cost of an electrocution injury.
In work-related cases, you will need to determine what caused your injury. If a defective piece of equipment, tool, or vehicle resulted in your electrocution, you may need to pursue a product liability claim against the manufacturer. If the manufacturer failed to affix proper safety indicators on anything capable of high-voltage electrical discharge or did not provide adequate warnings about the electrical hazard, it may be found guilty of failing to warn.
If your electrical injury was caused by someone else’s reckless actions or your employer was made aware of an electrical hazard but failed to address it in a timely fashion, you may be able to bring a personal injury claim against them. You will have to prove negligence, which means establishing three facts:
- The responsible party had a duty to act with reasonable care. This could mean an employee has a duty to perform their job safely, and an employer must keep the work environment free from hazards.
- The party breached this duty in some way. An employee ignoring safety protocols or an employer brushing off concerns about an electrical hazard would constitute a breach of duty to act with reasonable care.
- This breach directly resulted in your injuries. You must prove you would not have been injured had the defendant acted in a reasonably safe manner.
If you can establish these three items as fact, you have a good chance of winning your personal injury case. Retaining the services of an experienced, reliable legal professional will further increase your chances. At The Nielsen Law Firm, our team has over 30 years of experience defending the rights of our clients in the Houston, TX area in a variety of cases. Visit us online for more information about our firm. If you think you may have grounds for a lawsuit for your electrocution injury, contact us for a free case evaluation to discuss your options.