We use and work with electricity every day to complete our tasks at work and home. It’s become a daily part of our lives that many of us take for granted. Although it’s a permanent fixture in our day-to-day, most people don’t understand the dangers of electricity. We expect our electrical appliances to function safely as advertised without fear of electric shock. Employers whose employees work with electricity closely should also do everything in their power to ensure their workspace is safe and free of possibly electrocutions.
Despite these facts, electrocutions happen due to a variety of factors including improperly wired electrical system or defective products. The severity of the electric shock will depend on the type of clothing worn, the amount of time the victim was exposed, and the amount of electrical current circulating at that time. Victims may sustain burns, skin and tissue damage, brain damage, or be forced to have a limb amputated. In some cases, an electrocution or electric shock can result in wrongful death.
Most electrocution or electric shock accidents could have been prevented by following basic safety guidelines and best practices. Individuals and especially employers must take these steps and failure to do so can result in a life-altering electric shock accident.
Electrocution Accident Lawyer in Bellingham, Washington
If you or a loved one has suffered from an electrical accident due to another’s negligence or lack of action, then you may have a right to compensation. Find out more from the Washington electrical injury lawyers at PNW Trial Lawyers. Our personal injury attorneys can assess the facts of your case and help you determine the best course of action for a full recovery.
Don’t wait another moment to secure the compensation you deserve. Set up your first consultation with a catastrophic injury attorney at PNW Trial Lawyers by calling (360) 483-5201. PNW Trial Lawyers accepts clients throughout the greater Bellingham and Whatcom County area including surrounding counties such as Skagit County and Snohomish County, Washington.
What Does Electricity Do to the Body?
Surprisingly enough, the human body is a good conductor of electricity. The cells in the human body are specialized to conduct electrical currents. In fact, our nervous system could not work without electrical currents as that’s how we send signals to the body and brain. More than 99% of the body’s resistance to electric current flow is at the skin. This resistance is measured in what we call ohms. However, if an unexpected strong electric current runs through the human body, the individual may experience severe injury. Approximately 50 volts can cause a dangerous amount of current to flow through a human being.
If a person sustains an electric injury, then the shock could cause their muscles to be stimulated by the current flowing through their nervous system. Currents above 10 mA can cause people to experience a violent spasm or be unable to move for a period of time. Muscles, tendons, and ligaments may tear as a result of the shock and if the current is lasting or high it could result in serious burns.
Electric shocks can also cause cardiac arrest. Our heart is a muscle and is controlled by the electrical impulses our body produces. Currents outside of the body will naturally pass through the heart when they enter the body and could disrupt a person’s heartbeat. This irregular heartbeat could then result in a total disorganization of rhythm known as ventricular fibrillation. When this occurs, the heart will stop pumping and therefore the victim’s blood will stop circulating. If the victim doesn’t have a healthy heartbeat restored by a defibrillator in time, they could perish as a result.
Electric currents don’t just pass through the heart, the current also passes through other parts of the body including necessary organs. Currents above 10,000 mA could cause serious internal burns and some victims will even require amputation. The nervous system is also susceptible to electric shocks. Nerve damage from high electric currents can result in pain, numbness, tingling, weakness, or all-around difficulty moving a limb or multiple parts of the body.
Can You Sue for Getting Electrocuted in Washington?
Victims of electric shock or families of an electrocution victim are able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault parties responsible for the accident. If you are interested in filing a lawsuit against the person or entity that injured you or your loved one, then you’ll first have to hire an experienced electric injury attorney. The laws and regulations around personal injury law are complex and filing a suit in general is no easy task. That is why it’s essential you have skilled legal representation on your side with extensive experience in electric shock cases.
During the lawsuit, you and your attorney can present evidence as to why the defendant’s direct actions caused the injury. The defendant will also have a chance to argue against your claims. Once the trial is over, the court will decide whether a monetary award is necessary or not. If the court is in your favor, they will grant you a settlement based on your damages.
The following are damages you may recover if the court grants you a monetary award.
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Loss of future income
- Rehabilitation costs
- Handicap costs
- Loss of enjoyment for life
- Loss of consortium
- Mental anguish
- Pain and suffering
What to Do If Someone Gets Electrocuted
When someone suffers from an electric shock, it’s important to act fast. Time is of the essence and the quicker you can give the victim the help they need, the less severe their injuries will be. You should always call 911 first, and if you can have one person on the phone with 911 dispatch while the other gives the victim of electric shock medical attention.
- Separate the Person from the Electric Source – Act fast and do whatever you can to separate the victim from the electric source. That may be an appliance (if the plug is undamaged), fuse box, circuit breaker, or outside switch. Do what you can to turn it off. If high voltage lines are involved, you must have the local power company turn that off. Do not try to separate the person from the current if you feel a tingling sensation.
- Do CPR – Once the person has been removed from the power source, perform CPR as instructed by the 911 dispatcher. Do this for victims who are not breathing or don’t have a pulse after an electric shock.
- Check for Other Injuries – Gently check over the person to see if they’ve injured anything else. If you find an injury, be sure to let the 911 dispatcher know. Burns, bleeding, and fractures are common after an electric shock.
- Wait for 911 to Arrive
Electrocution Stats for Consumer Products | CPSC – Visit the official website for the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to learn more about the data surrounding electrocutions for consumer products. Access the site to read statistics dating back all the way to 19998 across the nation and the historic trends over the years.
Preventing Electrocutions for Construction Workers | CDC – Visit the official website for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to learn more about the hazards of construction work, electric shock or electrocution stats over the years, and other information.
Electric Shock and Electrocutions Lawyer in Whatcom County, WA
Have you or a loved one suffered from an electric shock or an electrocution? If so, you could be entitled to compensation for your damages up to three times worth the original loss. Find out your legal options by contacting the experienced and skilled electric injury attorneys at PNW Trial Lawyers.
Schedule your first consultation with PNW Trial Lawyers by calling our offices at (360) 483-5201. PNW Trial Lawyers accepts clients throughout the greater Whatcom County area and surrounding counties including Skagit County and Snohomish County.