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Electrical Injury

Catastrophic Injury and Product Liability Lawyer


 

Each year in the United States, approximately 1000 people are killed due to an electrical injury. Adult electrical injury cases often occur in an occupational setting, and according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), electrical accidents claim up to six percent of all worker deaths. Another 3-5% of emergency burn cases are related to electrical injury.

Electricity passes very easily though the human body.  Even minor burns can result in damage to organs, especially the heart or brain. Direct contact with an electrical wire results in the current flowing through the body thereby heating the surface skin and deeper tissue. This process can result in massive tissue damage and multiple organ failures. Tissue damage is the result of electrical energy to heat resulting in thermal burn injury.

Following an electrical injury if you suspect there was negligence or simply have questions about what may have happened, you should contact and experienced catastrophic injury and product liability lawyer.

Joe Lyon is an experienced electrical injury attorney who is well versed in the science and economic impact that such an injury has on the injured person’s life.


Who is at Risk of Electrical Accidents at the Workplace?

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has reported that most American workers are exposed to electrical energy during the work day, and electrical hazards can affect workers in several different industries.
Anybody working around power lines or high-voltage electric lines may be particularly at risk of potential accidents. The majority of injuries and deaths are concentrated in the following occupations:
•    Electricians
•    Construction workers
•    Cable installers
•    Tree trimmers/landscapers
•    Mechanics
•    Meter readers
•    Welders
•    Maintenance workers
•    Plant and equipment operators


Common Electrical Accidents Resulting in Injury

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) reports that contact with overhead power lines is the most common cause of electrocutions, resulting in over 40 percent of all on-the-job electrical deaths. Other causes of injuries and fatalities include the following:

  • Failure to properly de-energize electrical equipment prior to commencing work
  • Contact with electrical components mistakenly thought to be de-energized due to a mistake in wiring or re-wiring, or misidentified wiring
  • Contact with buried, underground power lines
  • Contact with the electric current of a machine, tool, appliance or light fixture
  • Contact with wiring, transformers or other electrical components

Other common causes of electrical injury often fall under the following categories:

 

 
The Lyon Firm has experience developing evidence in electrical injury cases through the use of life care planners, economists, and medical professionals to present the highest quality arguments on the plaintiff’s behalf. This work has resulted in significant settlements that enhanced and secured a dignified quality of life for the plaintiff’s future.


Common Types of Electrical Injuries

Direct contact with an electrical wire sends a heavy current flowing through the body. This can result in massive tissue damage and patients are at risk of developing multisystem organ failure. Electricity passes easily though the human body, and even minor burns can result in damage to vital organs like the heart or brain.
Typically, the extent of injury is determined by the intensity of the electrical current contacted. The long-term prognosis depends on the severity of the initial injury and the development of subsequent complications. Common injuries include the following heart injuries, tissue degeneration, and severe burns.

  • Electrical heart injury—Electrical shock can interfere with the heart’s regular current and cells. In severe cases, cardiac arrest (heart attack) can occur.
  • Contact (Internal) Electrical Burn Injuries—some electrical burns may not look severe on the outside though significant internal damage occurred. Contact electrical burns occur when the electricity arcing inside the body is converted to heat. This heat commonly follows the current flow, which typically is along blood vessels and nerves. Electrical burns are usually located at the entry and exit points of the voltage.
  • Myoglobinemia—In addition to organ tissue damage from electrical burns, a secondary injury of an electrical burn may produce excess levels of myoglobin in the blood, and may lead to acute renal failure (kidney failure).

External Arc Flashes and Explosions

When an electrical current jumps between two different points, it is called an “arc flash.” Workplace electrical accidents occur when arcing faults (caused by tears or gaps in insulation) allow an electrical current to stray from its intended path. Arc flashes can ignite flammable clothing and materials, the latter allowing an arc flash’s electrical explosion to become a chemical explosion.
About ten arc flashes occur on worksites every day in the United States. These electrical accidents pose workplace burn injury dangers to all electricians, factory workers, or construction workers near the arc. Serious injuries may result from the high levels of heat and intense pressure associated with the arc flash.


When to Contact A Legal Professional

Following an electrical injury where you suspect there was negligence or simply have questions about what may have happened, you should contact and experienced catastrophic injury and product liability lawyer.


 Legal Options

An electrical injury may have a long lasting impact and should be addressed by a lawyer qualified in complex personal injury matters. The legal recourses from an accident will depend on what caused the electrical injury.
The injury may have been caused by a defective product, mismanagement, or independent contractor negligence during industrial or construction work. A subcontractor or third party defendant may also be subject to general negligence.
In addition to Worker’s Compensation, a victim may deserve further compensation for pain and suffering, past and future medical expenses, lost past and future wages, and loss of quality of life.

The legal options will depend on what caused the electrical injury. In any case, these injuries are too serious for the injured party to negotiate a fair and comprehensive settlement without an attorney. The interplay of complex liability questions, subrogation, and possible future life care plans require the attention of an attorney experienced in spinal cord injury lawsuits.  There are personal injury cases where an attorney may not be necessary, but a electrical injury will may long lasting impact and should be addressed by a lawyer qualified in complex personal injury matters.

Product Liability: Where the injury was caused by a defective product, the litigation path is expensive and complex. The attorney will need to evaluate the viability of the defendant and cost to prove the case through expert testimony. Product liability cases can be some of the most expensive types of litigation, but where there is a viable defendant, the cases should be evaluated carefully to determine if a defective product caused the electrical injury.

Industrial/ Construction Accidents: Many electrical injuries are a result of mismanagement or independent contractor negligence during industrial or construction work.  The first step is whether the case is limited to Worker’s Compensation.  This analysis requires a thorough understanding of Employer Intentional Tort law which has become more difficult in recent years.  Often, where the employer is at fault, the case requires a removal of an equipment safety guard or a knowing violation of an OSHA regulation to move past a motion for summary judgment. A subcontractor or third party defendant, however, is subject to general negligence.


Compensation in Burn Injury Cases 

Provided the burden of proof is surmounted, Ohio provides substantial monetary compensation for electrical injuries.  Ohio has damages cap on certain personal injury awards but those damages caps generally do not apply in electrical injury cases.  Compensation may be awarded for the following elements where the evidence supports the elements:

  1. Past Physical Pain and Suffering
  2. Past Mental Pain and Suffering
  3. Past Lost of Enjoyment of Life
  4. Past Medical Expenses
  5. Past Lost Wages
  6. Future Physical Pain and Suffering
  7. Future Mental Pain and Suffering
  8. Future Medical Expenses
  9. Future Loss of Enjoyment of Life
  10. Future Lost Wages or Loss of Earning Capacity
  11. Life Care Plans (home or vehicle improvements)
  12. Spousal Loss of Consortium (if applicable)
  13. Parental Loss of Consortium (if applicable)

     Ohio Wrongful Death Compensation 

Many electrical injuries sadly result in victim suffering terminal injuries. The Ohio Wrongful Death Statute (R.C. 2125: Action for Wrongful Death) allows a lawsuit to be brought by a beneficiary on behalf of the decedent and his or her Estate.  The following separate damages may be recoverable depending on the facts in the case.

  1. Loss of support from the reasonably expected earning capacity of the decedent
  2. Loss of services of the decedent
  3. Loss of society of the decedent (loss of companionship, consortium, care, assistance, attention, protection, advice, guidance, counsel, instruction, training, and education)
  4. Loss of prospective inheritance
  5. Mental Anguish

What is a Fair Settlement Value for a Electrical Injury Lawsuit?

The settlement value will depend on a number of variables. No electrical injury lawsuit is exactly the same and each case will require an evaluation of the following variables.  As the evidence is developed, some aspects may become stronger and some weaker, and the lawyer must re-evaluate the case each step of the way. The following a list of variables that must be considered in every spinal cord injury settlement process:

  1. The venue where the trial will occur
  2. The Judge
  3. Whether any issues exist that could result in a Motion for Summary Judgment being granted and the chance of such a motion being granted
  4. The existence of pre-existing conditions that limited the quality of life
  5. The credibility of the plaintiff
  6. The credibility of the defendant
  7. Whether the independent treating physician is supportive of the case
  8. Whether other events may have caused or contributed to the injury
  9. The amount of subrogation
  10. The expenses to take the case to trial
  11. The chance of success at trial
  12. The verdict range with a successful verdict
  13. Whether a settlement will adequately care for the Plaintiff in the future
  14. Whether the Plaintiff has suffered a permanent injury
  15. Whether damages caps apply
  16. Whether settlement will fairly compensate the Plaintiff while reducing the risk and cost of additional litigation.

Legal Representation

Ohio Product Liability lawyer

The Lyon Firm has developed compelling evidence in electrical injury cases through the use of life care planners, economists, and medical professionals to present the highest quality evidence and arguments on the Plaintiff’s behalf. This work has resulted in significant settlements that enhanced and secured a dignified quality of life for the Plaintiff’s future.

If you need help determining the root cause of an electrical injury accident or have questions about remedies to access better health care or improve quality of life, call The Lyon Firm to speak directly with Mr. Lyon. 

After two hip replacement surgeries, I was informed that one of the prosthesis was the DuPuy Joint and the other was very similar but manufactured by a different company. After several attempts to contact the manufacturer directly to discuss the claim, I was met with bureaucratic red tape that appeared to be insurmountable. I then turned to Joe Lyon of the Lyon Law Firm who immediately cut through the pro I highly recommend Joe if you are faced with the need for this type of litigation.Tim Ross
I met Joe during what was easily one of the worst times of my life. My husband had been in a serious accident and was a quadriplegic following that accident and remained in one medical facility after another until his death nearly four years later. We had contacted an area attorney who told us we absolutely did not have a case. Then we called a Cleveland firm that took the case and brought in Joe. Joe did so much of the work and became just like family to us. I would highly recommend Joe to anyone and be willing to guarantee that he will do anything and everything possible to get satisfactory results. He is extremely dedicated to his clients and very hard working. Mike and I came to think of him like a son, I still do; if it wasn’t for him I don’t believe our case would have been settled the way it was and may have ended up in a courtroom where the results can go any way.Donna Urchak