An electrical injury is the damage caused to a person who he comes in direct contact with an electrical current. Depending on the severity of the electrical shock, injuries resulting from this can be deadly and can result in heart attack, burns, and internal damage, to the muscles, heart, or brain, or even death.
Effects of Electric Shock Injury
Human bodies in nature are conductors of electricity. This means to say that electrical charges pass easily all throughout the human body. When a person touches a live wire, an electrical current passes throughout the body. This electrical current that enters the body can block electrical signals between the muscles and the brain and electrical shock usually happen.
Extreme pain can be felt when one suffers an electric shock. Other than this electrical shock can also cause, burns along the path of the electric current, muscular spasms, severe weakness, short, shallow breathing, and rapid pulse rate. Others can be unconscious after the shock and in extreme cases, death can occur.
The injuries of an electric current are summarized in four ways:
- Cardiac arrest due to the electrical charges that go to the heart
- Destruction of the muscles, nerves, and tissues because of the current that passes through the body.
- Thermal burns on the part of the body that comes in contact with the electrical source.
- Falling injury or other bodily pain after coming into contact with the electricity.
The symptoms of electric shock injury may vary depending upon the extent of the injury, the length of time the victim has been exposed to the electricity, and the amount of voltage that runs through his body. Although the symptoms may vary, the most common symptoms are the following:
- Numbness, tingling sensation, or paralysis
- Irregular heartbeat
- Difficulty breathing
- A headache
- Muscle pain and Contractions
- Impairment of vision
- Speech problems.
If you or any of your loved ones suffer any of these symptoms, it is best to call 911 immediately. It is also important to remember that, right precautions must be observed by the person who will come to aid the victim of an electric shock in order to prevent a second electric shock from happening.
A person can suffer from an electrical shock for various reasons. This includes lightning strikes, frayed electrical cords, direct contact with an electric outlet or exposed electrical lines. The more common cause of electric shock is when a person gets in contact with a downed power line or exposed electrical lines in buildings.
Another prevalent cause of electric shock and injury are being in direct contact with defective consumer products and appliances, such as kitchen appliances, electrical tools, hair dryers, televisions and other electrically powered items.
Electrical shock injuries also occur more often in a workplace. When an employer fails to follow Occupational Safety and Health Administration Guidelines, they expose their employees to suffer work-related injuries. As such, electric shock often occurs at construction sites when employers fail to observe such measures.
Patients who suffered from electrical injuries are evaluated initially as a trauma patient. The patient will undergo a series of medications and physical treatments after the incident which includes any of the following:
- Shutting off current
- Sometimes cardiac monitoring for 6 to 12 h
- Wound care
Who Should Be Held Liable?
The most recent data from the Consumer Product Safety Commission have found that there are around 70 electrocution fatalities from consumer products every year.
Electrical shock injuries are also common in the workplace accounting for 9% of all fatal accidents in a workplace.
As such, the persons who have been a victim of electrical shock injuries that arise out of these common causes can set forth a legal claim. For example, electrical companies and the owners of the buildings have the responsibility to maintain electrical lines in a safe and adequate condition in order to prevent individuals from having a direct contact with these power lines.
In case they fail to observe these measures, a liability for the injuries can be filed against them.
With regard to electrical injuries resulting from defective electrical products and appliances, manufacturers can also be held liable for the injuries that these appliances caused. Manufacturers have the duty to design a product with an utmost observance of safety. If these product designs are defective, damaged, or if they fail to adequately warn their consumers of such danger it may cause, they can also be held liable.
In case of employers who fail to provide a safe workplace for their employees, or did not observe the required measures to keep their employees safety, they can also be held liable for injuries if an employee sustains electrical shock injuries while performing his job.
Can You Seek Legal Compensation?
You can recover financial compensation for the pain, emotional distress, past and future medical expenses, as well as loss of wages.
If you or your loved ones are one of those who has been a victim of an electrical shock injury, you have the right and option to seek legal help. There are lawyers that can handle claims relating to this kind of injury and help you claim the extent of damages that is adequate to your case.
Now, you and your family will not be left in peril as they can seek compensation from the party liable for such injury.