Whether you are an electrician, power line worker, or a factory worker, anyone who works around machines powered by electricity runs the risk of being electrocuted. It only takes one small mistake on the part of the employer or the manufacturer of the equipment to result in a serious or even fatal electrocution injury at work. Do to the powerful nature of electricity, these injuries run an even higher chance of taking the worker’s life or rendering them seriously injured. As these injuries can be so devastating, injured employees will need worker’s compensation more than ever to cover the recovery time from their injury.
Common Causes of Electrocution Injuries
While electrocution injuries are most common at construction sites where workers are around live wires every day, an electrocution injury can happen in any workplace under the right circumstances. Common causes of these types of injuries include:
- Noncompliance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations on the part of the employer
- Accidental contact with an unprotected or secured live wire either overhead or underground
- Electrical wiring is incorrectly installed, defective, or unprotected
- Electrical equipment is not sufficiently de-energized after use
- Workers are not properly trained how to use electrical equipment
- Electrical equipment lacks proper maintenance and thus is prone to dysfunction
The best case in any of the above is that the worker gets a little shock and has some tingling after the incident. In those cases, the worker might not even need medical treatment. However, more commonly electrocution injuries result in heart attacks, serious burns, loss of consciousness, and other injuries that can happen after a serious shock such as damage from falling. Often serious shocks leave workers with permanent numbness or other lasting damage to limb function. However, the worst case scenario is death, and it is not uncommon with electrocution as the body often cannot handle the intense shock that causes these injuries.
Compensation Available After Electrocution Injuries
While it is wholly dependent on the circumstances surrounding the workplace electrocution injury, workers who suffer this type of injury may actually have more coming to them than just the usual compensation. Workers and families of deceased workers can have several different types of compensation from this particular injury, including:
- Worker’s Compensation – If your injury happened at work, this is the bare minimum that the electrocuted worker can expect to receive. Worker’s compensation benefits include the coverage of medical treatment, lost wages, and payment for recovery time.
- Third Party Claims – This is really where electrocution injury compensation differs from other work injuries. With other work injuries, if you file for worker’s compensation, you cannot go after a company for a personal injury lawsuit. However, if your electrocution was the fault of a faulty piece of equipment that was not defective due to lack of maintenance on the part of your company, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against the manufacturer as well as receive worker’s compensation.
- Wrongful Death Suits – If the worst did indeed happen and the worker died from their workplace electrocution injuries, then the family has the right to file a wrongful death claim. This civil lawsuit allows the family to hold the company as well as the manufacturers of any faulty equipment responsible for the loss of life in return for compensation to cover grief and funerary expenses.
Have you been electrocuted at work in the Minneapolis area? Contact us today. We at the Meshbesher Law Firm know that electrocution injuries can often be some of the most devastating workplace injuries, leaving you with permanent damage and not always with the worker’s compensation settlement large enough to cover it.