About 1,000 people in the United States die each year as a result of electrocution (death caused by electric shock), and it is the fourth leading cause of work-related traumatic death. Did you know that electricians and their apprentices sustain about twenty percent of all electrocutions? With so many fatalities and injuries occurring every year, it’s important to know your rights and protections under the law.

On average, almost half of all on-the-job deaths happen each year because of contact with overhead power lines. Many electrical workers are harmed by direct or indirect contact with live electrical equipment and wiring, including lighting fixtures, circuit breakers, control panels, junction boxes and transformers. Jobsite accidents happen in all industries, but the top industries for fatal electrical accidents are construction, transportation, utilities, mining and manufacturing.

Construction workers are especially at a high risk, with every specialization on the worksite included. Workers who use heavy equipment such as bulldozers, cranes, ladders, scaffolds and metal-based products are often exposed to overhead power lines and other factors that compromise their safety.

Many construction-related injuries involve negligence, such as unsafe working conditions, lack of safety training, or defective equipment. Nevertheless, workers themselves are often blamed for electrocution accidents when the employer or another entity should be the responsible party. This holds up the process, resulting in workers having to wait for lost wages, go through headaches with insurance companies, and possibly not being properly compensated for their injuries or losses. A seasoned work injury lawyer can help you avoid these complications.

The Serious Nature of Electrical Injuries

When electricity passes through the body, the current heats the tissue it contacts as it travels through. This means that in addition to surface burns, sometimes the tissues deep under the skin are severely affected. A jolt of electricity can also cause muscle spasms strong enough to cause the victim to fall, resulting in dislocations or broken bones.  A workplace electrical accident can leave a worker with external burns, internal burns, cardiac arrhythmia, breathing problems, amputation, seizures, nerve damage, and impaired balance, not to mention mental anguish, attention deficit, difficulties with memory and concentration.

Are electrical injuries a danger just for construction workers?

Absolutely not. An employee can be electrocuted in a number of ways, in any industry. Faulty wires, broken extension cords, or exposed live wires are all instances where this can occur. Office workers, custodians, factory workers, utility linemen and miners are all exposed to the potential for electrical injuries.

Why you need a lawyer for your work injury claim

If you are injured on the job, your initial claim will be under workers’ compensation laws. An experienced work injury lawyer will know how to increase your chances of being fairly compensated. In the case of a denial of workers’ compensation benefits, an attorney will help you file an appeal that has a greater likelihood of success. There are often after-effects from an electrical accident that may not be realized until some time has passed after the incident. A good attorney recognizes this fact and sets the wheels in motion to get your claim re-evaluated so you will get the money and medical attention you deserve.

If you are the survivor of a loved one that was killed in an electrical accident, you may be able to recover funeral expenses as well as financial compensation for your pain and suffering, and a workplace injury law firm will help you navigate the complexities of the legal system to obtain a just settlement.

Help for Workers and Their Families

Wapner Newman has seen the tragic results of unsafe working conditions, and we believe companies that are negligent about worker safety should be held accountable. If a New Jersey or Pennsylvania electrocution accident has injured someone in your family, we want to help you pursue justice. Call us today at (800) 529-6600, or contact us via our online form.