Underestimating Electrical Injuries Can Be Life-Threatening

Electrical injuries can result from exposure to either low-voltage or high-voltage sources under various circumstances. Below are just some of the more common ways adults and children become injured and burned from coming into contact with electricity. Some of these causes may be the result of negligence of an employer, a manufacturer, or an individual.

  • Lightning strikes. Outdoor activities that are run by clubs or other venues owe a duty of care to those attending their facilities or activities. If weather becomes threatening, these facilities should suspend outdoor activities until lightening passes out of the area. Outdoor swim clubs, golf courses, and amusement parks are just a few of the venues that should shut down operations to protect attendees from the risk of being struck by lightning. If they fail to take the proper precautions, they risk a premises liability claim.
  • Faulty electrical appliances. When companies improperly manufacture appliances, they can pose a risk of shorting out and catching fire, or shocking and burning the user. This may lead to a product liability claim.
  • Work-related exposures. Occupations such as linemen for power companies or employees and contractors working on construction projects are at higher risk for being electrocuted just by the nature of the work they perform.
  • Contact with household wiring or power lines. Auto accidents involving downed power lines to fall can turn deadly very easily. If power lines are positioned in a way that makes your car part of the circuit, you can become electrocuted by trying to exit your vehicle.
  • Contact with electrical cords or outlets. Children are particularly susceptible to being shocked or electrocuted when they bite or suck on electrical cords, or stick objects in outlets. If you have taken precautions to protect outlets and cords that have failed resulting in your child being shocked, you may have a product liability claim just as with faulty electrical appliances.

What kinds of injuries occur from electrical currents?

When electricity passes through your body, you become part of the current. This means you will not only likely receive burns on the entry and exit points, but you could also receive internal burns. The types of injuries you can receive from contact with electricity are falls, electrocution, shock, and burns by:

  • Direct contact with exposed active conductors or circuit parts leaves you vulnerable to having electrical current travel through your body. When this happens, it can cause an interference with normal electrical signals between your brain and muscles. It can result in catastrophic injuries such as your heart stopping.
  • When the electricity arcs or jumps from an exposed live conductor or circuit part such as a power line to a person who is grounded giving the current a route through which to travel, internal and external burns can be expected. These burns can come from materials touching your skin that heated up or caught fire from the electrical arc. You can experience severe internal tissue burns from these currents while showing only minor contact burns on your skin.
  • Ultraviolet and infrared light emitted from an arc flash can cause damage to your eyes.
  • An arc blast may result in a pressure wave being released from an arc flash, which has the ability to collapse your lungs, or damage hearing.
  • Muscle contractions can cause a person to lose his or her balance and fall from a ladder, scaffold or aerial bucket causing serious injuries or wrongful death.

If you have been injured or your loved one has been killed in an electrical accident, you could have grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit. The savvy Oklahoma City burn injury attorneys at Cunningham & Mears will evaluate your claim to identify all parties who may be held responsible for your injuries to ensure you receive the maximum compensation you are entitled to. To schedule your free case evaluation with a member from our team, call 405.451.4029 today or we invite you to reach out to us through our contact form.