Electric Shock and Electrocution Accidents
Queens Personal Injury Lawyer
At its most powerful, an electrical current can cause burns and other injuries.
Electric shocks are responsible for approximately 1,000 deaths per year
in the United States, or about 1% of all accidental deaths. Construction
workers are often at risk for electric shock accidents at
construction sites. Other causes of electric shock can include, but are not limited to the
- Contact with exposed parts of electrical appliances or wiring;
- Young children playing with frayed electrical cords, or putting metal objects
into an electrical outlet;
- Combination of water on the floor and using an electrical outlet, as in
unsafe commercial kitchen or industrial plant environment;
- Lightning strike;
Unintentional or accidental contact with an overhead high-voltage power
line, as in a
Accidental contact between metal and electricity, as in ladder, machine
or metal rail contact with exposed electrical current at a
- Electric arcs from high-voltage power lines; and,
In December 2007, my firm released a blog about the
City of New York painting its lamp poles with a special nonconductive paint to lower the risk of stray electrical
shocks injuring people just walking by, or dogs that might be doing their
business on that particular light pole. These electric shock accidents
are usually due to the age of the wires or broken ground wires. Now it
seems to me that the solution is better maintenance by the City of New
York – replacing and upgrading old, and broken wires. If you’re
shocked while walking around, for no apparent reason, you should speak
to an experienced electrical injury lawyer.
Types of injuries in Queens County
Electrocution can cause serious burns, nerve damage, muscle damage, blindness,
and other injuries. Electric current can cause injury in three main ways:
- Cardiac arrest, also known as a heart attack – in severe cases;
Muscle, nerve, tissue, and even
bone fractures from the current passing through the body;
Burns from contact with the electrical source.
Sometimes accidental electrocution injury victims show no obvious outside
injury. A thorough physical examination by a physician is essential, a
well as the telling of the accident victims complete medical history,
and, particularly, detailed description of the electric shock event. Generally,
there will be an entrance burn and an exit burn. The severity of injury
sustained after an electric shock injury depends on:
- The path the current travels through the accident victim’s body;
- How long the body was in contact with the electricity;
- The victim’s health and speed of correct diagnosis and commencement
- The amount of voltage (Less than 500 volts is considered low-voltage and
normally does not cause significant injury; more than 500 volts is considered
high-voltage and can cause significant injury.);
- The type of current (AC, alternating current, or DC, direct current).
Diffuse Electrical Injury (DEI)
Scientists used to believe that electric current followed a set path depending
upon the point of entry into the body, but later studies show that electricity
may not travel in a straight line so that, it’s scary to reveal
to accidental electric shock victims: a low voltage shock in one location
may result in long term damage throughout the body.
An interesting and frightening phenomenon suffered by some electric shock
victims is known as a diffuse electrical injury (DEI), in which a short-duration
low voltage shock causes pain that seems both out of proportion to the
shock and such pain may be felt in parts of the body far away from the
place of contact between the body and the electric current – and
this may continue for many months after the electrocution injury. What
makes DEI cases difficult is that this type of injury is not often understood
in the medical field. Patients experiencing long-term electrical-type
pain may be ignored or misdiagnosed by doctors who don’t recognize
the symptoms of diffuse electrical injury.
The responsibility for prevention of such accidents falls on New York City’s
employers, building owners and managers,
product manufacturers, and others. Workers must also be properly trained to minimize the risk
of electrocution. When an electric shock injury on a
construction site is the result of negligence or misconduct, the construction worker may
be able to receive compensation.
For your serious personal injury, you need legal representation from a
qualified personal injury attorney.
Contact our office today for your free consultation.