Electric shocks are a serious and potentially life-threatening occurrence that can lead to life-changing injuries and potentially permanent disability. In this article, we will discuss the causes and symptoms of electric shock injuries and how to file a claim to seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
What is an electrical injury?
Electric shock injuries are caused by an electric current flowing through the body. Electric shocks can occur at home, at work or in a public place and can result in long-lasting injuries. Electric shocks can range from mild to severe and can cause severe burns, tissue damage, loss of limbs, falls and even death otherwise known as electrocution. Electrical injuries are often caused by faulty wiring, defective electrical appliances, contact with high-voltage electrical equipment or contact with downed power lines.
Common occupations that are at risk of electric shock
- Construction workers
- Kitchen workers
- Theatre production workers, sound engineers, musicians
If you’ve experienced an electric shock at the workplace, you may be entitled to compensation if it can be established that your employer was negligent. Your employer has a duty of care to make sure that the workplace is safe for you to work in under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. Your employer has a duty to ensure that risk assessments are conducted so that safety equipment and training can be provided to every employee to reduce those risks. In addition, electrical equipment in the workplace must be maintained to check for any faults or defects – any faults or defects must be repaired or the electrical equipment must be removed from the working environment. If your employer has failed to uphold their duty of care, and you have been injured following an electric shock, you may be entitled to compensation.
Electric shock accidents in a public place
When you visit a public place, the business, organisation or local council owes you a duty of care to keep you safe on their premises. If this duty of care is not followed and you experience an electric shock, you may be entitled to claim compensation. Public places could include:
- Restaurants and pubs
Common causes of electric shock
- Exposed wires or other electrical components – live exposed cables/components should always be repaired as soon as possible.
- Poorly maintained equipment – all electrical equipment within the workplace and in the public should be PAT tested and maintained. If a worker or member of the public is the victim of an electric shock and the equipment has not been tested, the victim is able to make a claim for compensation.
- Liquids coming into contact with electrical equipment – hairdressers are often at risk of this occurring due to equipment they work with.
- Inadequate earthing – earthing allows electricity to be discharged and directs electrical energy into the earth. If the earthing is faulty or not in place, the electrical component can become live and can cause electric shock when the victim comes into contact.
Symptoms of electrical injury
The symptoms of an electrical injury vary depending on the severity of the shock. Common symptoms include:
- Burns – thermal and electrical
- Muscle spasms
- Difficulty breathing
- Cardiac irregularity
- Bone fractures
In severe cases, victims may experience cardiac arrest, coma, and even death. One of the scariest parts of receiving an electric shock is that there is no warning that it is going to happen. The shock comes as a complete surprise and often that is the most traumatic part about it. Unlike issues with other utilities such as gas or water; electrical problems cannot be seen, smelt or heard to inform the victim that there is in fact a problem. This can often leave the victim in overwhelming psychological distress.
Long lasting effects of electrical injuries can involve loss of sensation within the limbs, muscle weakness/twitching. Any burns can take many months to years to fully recover from. Additional neurological problems could include memory loss or brain damage often a result of secondary injuries arising because of the electric shock, for example, falling from height.
Medical treatment for electrical injuries
Treatment for electrical injuries depends on the severity of the shock. Mild shocks may only require rest and pain relief medications. Severe electric shock may require CPR, defibrillation, and hospitalisation. It is important to seek medical attention immediately if you suspect you’ve received an electric shock.
How to seek compensation for electrocution injury
If you have suffered electrical injury due to another person’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for the pain and suffering experienced due to the injuries you have sustained along with:
- Medical expenses – prescription costs, private medical treatment paid for due to the accident.
- Lost wages – if you’ve had to take time off work to rehabilitate or to attend medical appointments, you can claim back your loss of earnings.
- Travel expenses – if you’ve had to travel to medical appointments following the accident, you can claim back any expenses for travel or parking costs.
It’s important for us to understand the impact your injuries have had on you, the severity of the injuries and the duration of their impact will affect the value of your compensation. In addition to this, we also recognise that the injuries may have caused additional financial losses which are termed special damages. This could include any care and assistance you may have required by family members or paid carers. It is important for you to keep hold of any receipts or bank statements that evidence any financial losses and ensure that you can justify that these losses are associated with the accident.
Who can file an electrical injury claim?
Anyone who has suffered electrical injury due to another person’s negligence can file a personal injury claim. This includes victims of electric shocks, as well as family members of victims who have died as a result of electric shock. It is important to note that you must file a personal injury claim within 3 years of the accident, so it is important to seek legal advice as soon as possible.
The claims process
Most employers have employers liability insurance so when we make a claim on your behalf, we actually deal with the insurance company. Once we obtain those insurance details, we will upload your claim to the claims portal. When the insurance company receives the claim, they have 3 months to investigate the claim before they make a decision on liability. When a decision has been made, we will begin to collate medical evidence; this can include obtaining medical records and arranging an appointment with a medical expert who will produce a report in support of your claim. The medical evidence is what we will use to value your claim. The medical expert may also recommend additional rehabilitation or treatment such as physiotherapy or may recommend that we refer you to another specialist such as a psychologist. After we have collated the medical evidence and valued your claim, we will start to discuss offers with the other side. We will also ask you about any special damages you may be owed such as lost wages, we will ask you to provide wage slips so that we may calculate your loss of earnings. We will provide evidence of special damages to the other side for their consideration also. When an offer has been put forward, we will discuss this with you and providing you feel the offer is appropriate we will accept it on your behalf.
If you’ve experienced an electric shock in a public place, the above process will be the same however we will file the claim against the business/organisations insurer.
Why choose GSR Solicitors?
- Personal Injury experts
- No Win, No Fee, with No Hidden Costs
- Awarded Best Top-Rated Personal Injury Solicitors in Preston 2022
- Awarded Best Nationwide Personal Injury Law Firm 2022 by the Northern Enterprise Awards 2022.
- Client driven and dedicated
We will deal with your claim on a no win, no fee basis so you don’t need to worry about any costs. To get started, simply fill in our contact form and someone from our team will be in touch for a free consultation. Or can also call 01772 356201 or email email@example.com.