Electric Shock & Electrocution
Raleigh Personal Injury Lawyers Serving North Carolina
Electric shock and electrocution commonly occur on worksites, especially those where a considerable amount of machinery and wiring create many hazards. They can also occur any place where there is an electrical power source. While these types of accidents may not happen as frequently as others, they can cause some of the most devastating injuries, if not death.
Edwards Kirby is led by nationally recognized trial attorneys who have dedicated their professional careers to fighting for victims and families who suffer preventable harm and losses. If you have experienced an electric shock injury that could and should have been prevented, or have lost a family member in a preventable electrocution accident, our personal injury team is prepared to see you through the legal process ahead, and use our decades of collective experience to pursue the financial compensation and justice you deserve.
If you wish to discuss a serious injury involving electric shock or a potential wrongful death case involving an electrocution, Edwards Kirby is standing by to take your call. Contact us to speak with a lawyer about your rights and options.
Common Causes of Electrical Injuries & Electrocution
Electrical injuries and electrocution can have many different causes, but in terms of personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits, there are some common preventable causes which involve the negligent or wrongful acts of others. These may include:
- Defective products, such as faulty machinery or appliances
- Unsafe work conditions / workplace accidents
- Improperly trained workers or contractors
- Exposed, old, and unrepaired wiring
- Failures to address potential hazards on a property or business
- Negligent driving and car accidents that result in downed power lines
Electric Shock Injuries
Electrical injuries can take many different forms – from minor electric shock to serious and debilitating injuries. At Edwards Kirby, our team focuses on representing seriously injured victims and their families, including those who suffered electric shock injuries resulting in:
- Thermal burns and severe burn injuries
- Cardiac arrest (heart attack), arrhythmia, and other heart complications
- Fractures, dislocations, and other musculoskeletal injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Eye injuries, including cataracts
- Traumatic brain injuries and brain damage
- Muscle, nerve, and tissue damage
- Internal organ damage
Electrical current passing through the body can burn and destroy tissue and cause problems with critical organs and the body’s nervous system. The severity of an injury, however, can vary depending on several factors:
- Current intensity – Standard current in American homes is 110 to 220 volts, which is less likely to result in serious injuries. High voltage, which is anything over 500 volts, has greater potential for causing severe injuries and internal damage in the body. High voltage can also cause sudden arc flashes or blasts which can jump through the air between several inches to several feet, and cause injuries when victims simply get too close.
- Type of current – Alternating current (AC) is more dangerous and more likely to cause serious injuries than direct current (DC), which is the type of current generated by batteries. While DC typically only causes a single “shock” and muscle contraction that may cause one to jump away or quickly remove their hand from the source, AC causes continuous muscle contraction, which can prevent victims from releasing themselves from the source and result in longer exposure.
- Path of current –The path electrical current takes through the body can influence which parts of the body are affected. A current which travels from the hand to the body is more likely to injure the heart, and current which runs from the head is more likely to affect the brain.
- Resistance –Resistance can also affect what injuries a person may suffer, and how severe those injuries may be. Simply put: the less resistance, the more severe the injury. A calloused hand is more resistant than softer skin. Resistance can also decrease and be more likely to cause internal damage when skin is wet or broken, such as by a cut.
- Duration – When it comes to duration, the longer the exposure, the more likely the injury will be worse.
These factors can influence how serious an electrical injuries may be, but they are not the only factor involved. That is especially true when the circumstances surrounding an electric shock leads to further injury. Some examples may include:
- Falling off a ladder and suffering fractures or a traumatic brain injury as a result of muscle contractions
- Losing muscle control or consciousness and falling onto the ground without bracing yourself
- An electric shock that causes a person operating a vehicle or machinery to cause an accident
Electrical injuries can be medical emergencies, and they often require extensive medical treatment and long recoveries. In the most severe cases, they may also result in significant disfigurement, disability, and long-term if not life-long impairments. For these reasons, it becomes critical for victims to seek compensation for their damages when electric shock injuries are caused by the negligence or wrongful acts of others.
Although the term “electrocution” is often mistakenly used to describe any type of electric shock or electrical injury, it actually means “to kill with electricity.” As such, electrocution refers to any death caused by a lethal amount of electrical energy. Electrocution is a significant risk in certain occupations, and is considered one of OSHA’s “Fatal Four” workplace hazards.
In cases involving an electrocution that could and should have been prevented, our team at Edwards Kirby is committed to using our experience and resources as we personally guide families through the wrongful death process.
Trust Proven Raleigh Personal Injury Lawyers
With the right legal team by your side, you put yourself in the best possible position to fight for and secure the compensation you deserve. At Edwards Kirby, our Raleigh personal injury attorneys have worked with countless injured victims in order to provide them with the experienced legal representation they require in their time of need. Over the years, we have secured hundreds of millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements. Call us at (919) 335-7005 to discuss your situation with a member of our firm today.