Construction Electrocution Accidents
Charlotte Electric Shock Accident Attorneys
Fighting for those injured at construction sites throughout North Carolina
With all the electrical lines, transformers, panels, boxes, and power tools that construction workers encounter in their work, there is always a serious risk of electric shock or electrocution on construction sites. That’s why qualified electricians are trained in safety measures and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires construction sites to use special safety procedures to reduce the electrocution risks that workers face. However, accidents still occur, and OSHA ranks electrocution among the “Fatal Four” most common causes of construction site deaths.
The dedicated construction accident attorneys at Warren & Kallianos, PLLC are prepared to protect your right to recover compensation for your injuries. With more than a half century of combined legal experience helping workplace accident victims secure compensation for their injuries, we have secured millions of dollars in compensation for electric shock accident victims, and the families of electrocution accident victims, including:
- $4,000,000 settlement for a client who was injured by an arc flash explosion while working on an energized electrical panel in a manufacturing facility.
- $1,550,000 settlement for a client who was electrocuted while erecting a light pole on a construction site when the light pole encountered an overhead power line.
Electric Shock vs Electrocution
A person receives an electric shock when his or her body inadvertently becomes a part of an electric circuit, and the body completes the path of the electric current. In some accidents, workers receive an electric shock but experience few or no negative health effects.
Electrocution is death from an electric shock, and it occurs when there is enough electrical current flowing through the body to shock and stop the heart. The severity of an electric shock injury depends on several factors, including:
- The duration of time the person is exposed to the electrical current
- The amount of current that flows through the body
- What path the current takes through the body
- How much moisture is in the environment and on the worker’s skin
- The voltage and amperage the current contains
- What phase of the heartbeat the heart is in when the shock reaches it
- The person’s overall health at the time of the accident
The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that there are four main types of electrical injuries: electrocution (fatal), electric shock, burns, and falls after contact with electrical energy.
How Construction Electric Shock and Electrocution Accidents Occur
Electrical workers should be trained in how to handle electrical equipment, and worksites are expected to follow state and federal safety regulations when people are working on or near sources of electricity. So how do these accidents claim hundreds of lives every year?
According to OSHA, the most common causes of electrical accidents include:
- Contact with power lines. A piece of equipment, a pole, or any other object that touches a power line may instantly carry a strong, high-voltage current that moves too quickly for workers to back away. Any worker touching the object that is in contact with the power line – or who is merely standing too close to it – may be severely injured.
- Lack of ground-fault protection or improper grounding of electrical equipment. An electrical discharge always follows the path of least resistance. Ground-fault protection is designed to create a path of minimal resistance, so stray current or shocks will go into the ground rather than toward human beings standing on or near the source. When grounding protection is inadequate, workers may pay the price.
- Hidden defects or lack of warnings. Construction workers rely on a wide range of tools and equipment that use electricity. When a hidden defect in one of these items causes an electrical short or failure, injuries may result. Injuries may also occur if the manufacturer or designer failed to include adequate instructions about safe use of the item and warnings about the risks of electrocution if safety precautions are not followed.
- Improper use of extension cords. Extension cords can make a great deal of construction work easier to complete. But they can also cause serious harm if they are overloaded or placed in a way that makes them likely to be crushed or cut. Improper extension cord use can also become a major fall risk for workers.
Types of Injuries Caused by Electric Shock
Several severe injuries can be caused by an electric shock accident. Some of the more common types of injuries include:
- Electrical burns. These injuries fall into three categories: electrical burns, arc or flash burns, and thermal contact burns. These are among the most expensive types of burns to treat. The damage caused by these burns may require the patient to spend extensive time in a specialized burn unit. Skin grafts may be needed to help large areas of damage to heal.
- Brain injuries. These can cause lingering problems with vision, speaking, and hearing. The exact nature of the symptoms and how long they last depend on which part of the brain is damaged and how badly it is damaged. In the most severe cases, brain injuries from electrical shock may prove fatal.
- Nerve damage. The brain, spinal cord, and nerves all have their own set of tiny electrical impulses which they use to relay information. The introduction of an electrical current into the body can greatly disrupt these impulses resulting in severe damage to the entire neurological system.
- Heart and organ damage. Like the brain and nervous system, the heart maintains its rhythm through a series of electrical impulses. Electricity can disrupt these impulses, sometimes permanently. A pacemaker may be required to regulate the heart after an electric shock. Damage to the heart muscle, heart attacks, and other serious harm are more common after an electric shock accident for many patients. Other organs of the body may also be damaged either by the electricity itself or by electrical burns.
Why You Need Warren & Kallianos on Your Electrocution Claim
When you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury such as an electrocution, you need an attorney who has handled this type of case. At Warren & Kallianos, our knowledgeable attorneys have represented – and won maximum compensation for – construction workers who were electrocuted or shocked on the jobsite.
There’s a common misconception that it’s expensive to hire an attorney to start working on your case. At Warren & Kallianos, our attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means we don’t ask for any money upfront and instead recover our legal fees only when we secure a financial recovery for you. Our construction accident lawyers work directly with clients to provide the personalized attention you deserve.
Work with a Team of Charlotte Electric Shock Injury Lawyers
Although every case is different, our North Carolina electrocution accident attorneys are committed to building the strongest case possible for our clients, so we can help you recover full and fair compensation for the injuries you’ve suffered. To schedule a free case evaluation, you may call 704-377-7777 or contact our Charlotte office today. To discuss your electrocution accident claim and learn how we can help you pursue compensation, schedule a free consultation today.