Injuries due to electrocution can happen literally anywhere where people work with electricity, but they most often occur in the workplace. Workers such as utility worker, electricians, cable operators and construction workers are at a much higher risk of electrocution and even suffering severe injuries than other professions. Sometime, being electrocuted can be fatal. In cases where electrocution causes severe injuries or even death, you could be eligible for worker compensation.
Causes of electrocution in the workplace
If an employee suffers injuries because of electrocution, this can be due to several reasons:
- Maybe the circuits are overloaded or damaged
- The source of electrical energy can be exposed e.g. live wire
- There are issues with the wiring
- Frayed electrical cords
- Poorly or improperly installed electrical lines
- Damaged or downed power lines
- Defective equipment or machinery
- Wet working conditions
In order to avoid electrocution and potential injuries, it’s important that both the employee and employer take the necessary precautions and protection from these types of injuries.
Electrocution injury types
Not every electrocution will deal the same type and amount of damage. Injuries caused by electrocution depend on several things e.g. the amount of electrical energy that passes through the body as well as where the electric energy enters and exits the body.
Low voltage electrical energy will most likely only shock you, cause temporary and mild pain and won’t leave any permanent injuries. On the other hand, high-voltage electrocution can be really serious. It can damage a person’s heart, cause a heart attack or even death.
Serious and high-voltage electrocution can cause a number of dangerous injuries:
- Severe burns
- Brain damage
- Cardiac arrest
- Nerve damage
- Muscle pain
After being electrocuted, it is extremely important that you seek medical attention. You may feel fine, but there might be some underlying conditions that you don’t notice yet and can be harmful later on. So it’s best to seek a professional’s opinion.
Benefits of worker compensation claims
Depending on the injuries sustained from electrocution, you might be unable to work for a temporary or permanent basis. But even though you’re not working and earning money, you still need to pay the bills and provide for your family. If the electrocution occurred while you were on the job, you might be entitled to a compensation if you file for a claim.
After the electrocution, you must immediately report it to your employer and seek medical attention. Then you can start the claim process in order to obtain the benefits you need. These benefits could be in a form of:
- Covering reasonable and necessary medical bills and assistance if you need surgery, hospital stay, medication and medical care in general
- Compensation for lost wages since you won’t be able to work temporarily or permanently
- If the resulting injuries prevent you from continuing in the same line of work, you will need to be trained in another occupation
- In case of death, you should receive compensation for the final expenses related to the death of a loved one
Other forms of compensation
Apart from worker’s compensation, workers that suffer injuries caused by electrocution, might also be eligible for other types of compensation. These compensations can include:
Personal injury in case the injury is caused by a third person. In cases like this, you can file for a personal injury claim.
Product liability if you were injured because the equipment and machinery malfunctioned. Then you might be entitled to a compensation from the machinery/equipment manufacturer. These claims however, require you to prove that the equipment/machinery was defective.
Premises liability if you suffered an electrocution injury because the property or business owner didn’t take the necessary steps in order to protect the workers for hazard.
Wrongful death claims are only possible if the electrocution resulted in the death of a worker. Then the worker’s loved ones are entitled to recover damages by filing a wrongful death claim.
What to do in case of electrocution injuries?
If you were injured in the workplace due to electrocution, the first thing that you must do (after reporting it to your employer) is to seek medical attention, to make sure that the electrocution didn’t cause any harm to your health.
Once you have your health assessed, you need to contact a skilled attorney who will represent you and investigate your injury to see if you are entitled to worker’s or other types of compensation.