New Jersey Workplace Electrocution Lawyers
Fighting for Electrocution Victims
Electrocution is the spontaneous, uncontrolled and unintentional introduction of large amounts of electricity into the body. Electrocution causes many deaths and severe injuries each year. Incidents of electrocution fatalities or electric shock injury are overwhelmingly accidental and therefore, preventable.
When a person comes into unprotected and direct contact with an electrical energy source, electrical energy flows through their body causing shock ranging from mild to fatal. According to the National Institutes of Health, about 1,000 people in the U.S. die each year from electrocution and most of these deaths occur at work. The extent of harm to the human body from electric exposure is determined by the type of current (Alternating Current or Direct Current), the amount of current and the path that the electrical current takes as it travels through the body.
Less than 500 volts of electricity typically does not cause serious injury to an adult but can gravely harm a child. Greater than 500 volts can cause significant damage to any person.
Causes of Electrocution and Electric Shock
Although over half of electrical injuries occur in the construction industry, every kind of worker can be at risk if their employer does not implement proper safety precautions to protect people from exposure to electric current on the job. Job functions with the greatest risk of exposure are those that involve direct exposure to electrical current, such as are engineers, overhead line workers and electricians. Those that have indirect exposure, such as office workers and restaurant employees are also routinely exposed to these hazards. Some of the industries with high rates of electrocution deaths and electric shock industries are:
- Professional and business services
- Real estate
- Arts, entertainment and recreation
The major causes of electrocution accidents at workplaces such as construction sites, offices, restaurants and factories are:
Overhead Power Lines–Overhead powered and energized electrical lines have high voltages which can cause major burns and electrocution to workers.
Damaged Tools and Equipment–Exposure to damaged electrical tools and equipment can be very dangerous.
Inadequate Wiring and Overloaded Circuits–Using wires with inappropriate size for the current can cause overheating and fires to occur.
Exposed Electrical Parts and Damaged Cords, Outlets and Plugs–Examples of exposed electrical parts include temporary lighting, open power distribution units, and detached insulation parts on electrical cords. These hazards can cause potential shocks and burns.
Improper Grounding–The most common OSHA electrical violation is improper grounding of equipment. Proper grounding can eliminate unwanted voltage and reduce the risk of electrocution.
Damaged Insulation–Defective or inadequate insulation is a hazard.
Wet Conditions–Water greatly increases the risk of electrocution especially if equipment has damaged insulation.
Defective Products–any type of product that runs on electricity should be marked with the Underwriters Laboratory (UL), Conformite Europeenne (CE) logo. This means that the product was tested and approved for sale in the U.S. or Europe.
Workplace Injuries and Causes of Death from Electrocution and Electric Shock
Electric shock can cause serious, disabling and fatal injuries to a person’s cardiac and neurological systems, as well as severe tissue damage. These injuries in turn can result in:
- Burn injuries
- Loss of limbs
- Heart or other internal organ damage
- Nerve damage
- Traumatic brain injuries
Keefe Law Firm Electrocution Cases
John E. Keefe, Jr., Managing Partner and Stephen T. Sullivan, Partner at Keefe Law Firm negotiated in a marathon mediation session resulting in “efforts that were unusual and exceptional” for the family of a man who was horrifically burned and then died after being electrocuted while working on the Seventh Street Bridge in Newark, NJ.
Stephen T. Sullivan, fought relentlessly for a client who sustained permanent injuries after being severely burned when he was struck by an electrical arc while performing maintenance at the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission facility in Newark, New Jersey.
A laborer that came in contact with a 34,000 volt transformer as he was salvaging scrap metal suffered severe third-degree burns to his body and ultimately, died from his injuries.
New Jersey’s Work Injury Attorneys
At Keefe Law firm, we have obtained millions of dollars in settlements and jury awards for people hurt by injuries and illness from on the job:
Workplace Electric Shock Injury FAQs
I Was Shocked Badly By Electricity At Work. Can I Sue My Employer For My Injuries?
Survivors of severe electrical shocks may sustain many serious injuries requiring medical treatment–sometimes for the rest of their lives. They may be so badly hurt they are unable to return to their jobs or resume normal, everyday activities. Typically, if a worker is injured on the job, he or she cannot sue his or her employer directly. Instead, the worker is entitled to workers’ compensation, which provides compensation for medical expenses and a portion of lost wages. Workers’ compensation can also pay the worker an amount for permanent disability if the worker is unable to return to his or her job. However, in some cases a worker can sue a third party such as a subcontractor or the manufacturer of a defective product. This is why you should contact an experienced personal injury lawyer if you were hurt on the job. He or she can delve into the causes of your accident, advise you of your rights and help you receive the compensation you deserve.
What Will it Cost Me to File a Lawsuit if I Had An Electric Shock at Work?
Nothing. This type of lawsuit is a personal injury case. Nearly 100 percent of the time, New jersey personal injury lawsuits are handled on a contingency basis. This means that your lawyer pays for all expenses relating to your matter. When your case settles, he or she is paid a percentage of the amount of your settlement or jury award when the funds are released.
How Much Can I Get from a Workplace Electric Shock Lawsuit?
The damages possible from an electric shock accident depend on the seriousness of your injuries. Compensatory damages which are meant to compensate a person for financial loss and pain and suffering take into account factors such as medical bills, lost earnings and future lost wages and benefits.
Get A Free Case Evaluation
At Keefe Law Firm, we stand for our injured clients to attain nothing less than the compensation they deserve. Talk to a lawyer today about your options.