Most people are familiar with the dangers presented by electricity. However, we are surrounded by electrical devices and wiring in our everyday lives, and the risks of electrocution are present in a wide variety of situations. Anyone who experiences electrocution should understand the effects of this type of injury and the options for pursuing compensation from a negligent party who was responsible.
Effects of Electrocution
Since the human body conducts electricity, contact between any part of the body and an electrical energy source can result in electrocution. Depending on the part of the body affected, this can cause serious injuries or death. Some potential electrocution injuries include:
- Burns – A person may experience severe burns to the skin at the points where electricity entered and exited the body.
- Cardiac arrest – If electricity passed through the heart, this may cause irregularities in one’s heartbeat, or the heart may stop beating altogether.
- Respiratory arrest – If electrocution affects the chest muscles or brain, the functions of the lungs may be affected, and a person may have trouble breathing or stop breathing completely.
- Internal injuries – Internal tissues, nerves, and organs may be damaged by electrical current. In some cases, organs such as the kidneys may experience loss of function, or they may completely cease functioning.
- Fall injuries – Electrocution can cause someone to lose consciousness, and they may suffer injuries in a subsequent fall. Falls can be especially serious if electrocution occurs at a construction site, since workers may fall from ladders or scaffolding, which can lead to serious brain or spine injuries.
- Muscle injuries – Electricity can cause muscles to contract forcefully, which can damage or even tear muscle tissue.
- Broken bones – In some cases, the contraction of muscles can cause bones to fracture, or bones may be broken in a fall caused by electrocution.
- Brain damage – If the brain or nervous system is affected by electrocution, a victim may experience memory loss, confusion, or seizures.
Electrocution can occur in a wide variety of situations. A person may suffer an injury at home because of faulty wiring or defective appliances. Downed power lines can harm people who are on foot or in a vehicle. People may be injured in the workplace due to the negligence of an employer that did not provide the proper safety equipment or follow the correct procedures.
In cases involving workplace electrocution injuries, victims may be eligible for workers’ compensation, and they may be able to pursue a lawsuit against any third parties who were responsible. Workers’ compensation benefits are the exclusive remedy of an employee for a work-related injury against their employer, another employee working for the same employer, and the employer’s workers’ compensation insurer. The term “third party claim” describes a tort claim made by an employee against someone other than their employer or a co-worker. An injured worker, their employer, or the employer’s workers’ compensation insurer may bring a lawsuit against a third party tortfeasor who was responsible for the injuries suffered by the employee. Damages in a third party claim are for injuries above and beyond what is covered by workers’ compensation benefits. These damages may include mental anguish, pain and suffering, and derivative claims for loss of companionship and society. If you were injured while at work, you may be able to make a workers’ compensation claim, or you may be able to make a third-party claim as well. To learn about your options, you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss the facts of your case and the circumstances surrounding your injury.
Contact Our Green Bay Personal Injury Attorneys
If you have suffered an electrocution injury, Herrling Clark Law Firm, Ltd. can help you understand your legal options. We will work with you to identify the liable party or parties, determine the full extent of the damages you have suffered, and recover the compensation you deserve. To arrange a free consultation, contact our Appleton electrocution injury lawyers at 920-739-7366.