Electrocution and Electrical Burns
Hiring a Burn Injury Lawyer for Electrical Shock Accidents
Severe injuries can occur due to contact with high-voltage electricity. They can cause you to suffer burns, cardiac arrest, confusion, and loss of consciousness. Your problems don't just stop after emergency medical treatment. Seek compensation for your injuries to help rebuild your life.
How Many People Suffer Electrical Injuries Every Year?
Around 1,000 people per year die from electrical injuries every year, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Of these cases, about 400 will happen due to contact with high-voltage electricity, and between 50-300 will occur due to lightning.
More than 30,000 people per year endure non-fatal electric shocks that cause them to seek medical attention. Electrical injuries cause about 5% of all U.S. burn injuries. Twenty percent of all electrical injury victims are children.
Many of these electrical injuries are caused by defective products, or occur due to the manufacturer's failure to warn. An attorney for electrical fire hazards can help you determine if a faulty product caused your injury.
Types of Electrical Injuries
The NIH categorizes electrical injuries into four basic types:
Flash Injuries - occur after an arc flash contacts the skin but doesn't penetrate deeper into the body.
Flame Injuries - happen after an arc flash ignites an electrical injury victim's clothes.
Lightning - this term applies to not just lighting strike, but also any short-term contact with high-voltage electricity. Many times, the electric current will pass through the victim's body.
True - these injuries occur when the victim becomes part of an electrical circuit.
Children often suffer mouth injuries due to biting or chewing on power cords. These rarely result in loss of consciousness or heart arrest. WebMD reports that 63% of all electrical injuries with children occur due to power cords and 15% from contact with wall sockets.
A lawyer will have experience dealing with clients who have suffered all of these types of electrical injuries. If your injury was caused by someone else, consult legal counsel as soon as possible to preserve your rights.
Symptoms of Electrical Injury
Many times, the cause of an electrical injury is obvious. There are situations, however, where it's not clear what caused the injury (such as finding someone unconscious without their body touching an electrical device). Sometimes, an electric shock victim won't show any apparent injury.
Healthline.com lists the following symptoms of electric shock:
- Loss of consciousness
- Numbness or tingling
- Vision or hearing problems
- Muscle spasms
- Irregular heartbeat
Electrical injuries can also cause "compartment syndrome." This occurs when muscle damage causes your limbs to swell. This swelling then constricts blood vessels, which in turn results in significant health issues. This injury is often not immediately visible after the shock.
Personal injury issues aren't just about defective products and negligence. Many times, injured parties will have to fight with insurance companies and other responsible parties to secure coverage of all the injuries caused by an electrical accident. If you're having such a problem, an electrical burn attorney in Los Angeles can help.
First Aid for Electric Shock Victims
Mayo Clinic's website suggests you do the following things to immediately help a person who has suffered an electrical injury:
- If possible, turn off the electrical source. If you can't do that, use a non-conducting object like wood, cardboard, or plastic to break contact between the victim and the electrical source.
- If the victim isn't breathing, coughing, or moving, perform CPR.
- Put a blanket or other covering on the victim to keep them warm.
- Use medical gauze or clean cloth to bandage any burn wounds. Don't use blankets or towels because those items frequently cause loose fibers to stick in the wound.
You should seek emergency care if the injured victim shows any of the following signs:
- Breathing problems
- Severe burns
- Erratic heartbeat
- No heartbeat
- Muscle pain or contractions
You may not recall all of the important details of the event if you wait for a long period of time before seeking legal help.
Types of Electrical Burn Injury Legal Cases
At Gutierrez Law, we have seen a large number of electrical injury cases. Our legal team can help you determine if your accident merits legal action.
The kinds of electric shock injuries that can support a lawsuit include:
- Unsafe electrical lines
- Defective household appliances
- Defective power tools
- Failure to properly ground electric power
- Negligence in maintaining electrical equipment
- Failure to warn users about proper use of electrical equipment
- Failure to secure downed power lines
- Electric power accidents
- Defective light fixtures or lamps
- Defective wiring
One alarming fact is that many older power lines built in the 60's are not insulated. Consequently, electric power workers recommend you stay at least 10 feet away from contact with any power line. This includes using a ladder that may fall into and touch a power line.
Seeking Legal Help
Obviously, getting medical help for your injuries is the first priority after suffering an electrical shock. But, don't forget about legal help. The fault of others isn't always apparent in shock cases. An attorney that is well-versed in handling fire-related cases can help you determine if another party is responsible for your injury.
Also, a personal injury attorney in Los Angeles can make sure responsible parties fulfill their obligation to cover any medical treatment along with the consequences of an electrical injury.