Staten Island Electrocution Injury Lawyer
Electricity powers the modern world. Without it, we would have no phones, kitchen appliances, or electric lights. Our lives would be poorer and less interesting.
Electrical currents run through power lines which connect homes and offices to the grid. But it isn’t supposed to travel through the body. When it does, serious injuries occur. Construction workers, for example, can be electrocuted if they touch a live line. They could also suffer additional injuries if they fell from a ladder or scaffolding—a real possibility when volts run through your body.
If you are suffering from electrocution injuries, we can help. The O’Connor Law Firm can review whether you have a legal claim and begin the process of receiving compensation.
Construction Worksite Dangers
Construction workers face hazardous conditions every day. These range from falling items to chemical exposure. Many accidents can also leave construction workers without a way to earn a living because their injuries are so severe.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), electrocution injuries are in the “Fatal Four” – the leading causes of construction fatalities.
While some electrocution injuries may give you just a shock, even that accident could cause long-term negative consequences. The more severe the electrocution, the more likely it is that the victim will suffer a lifetime of complications.
Specifically for electrocution injuries, the greatest risks include:
- Contact with power lines
- Improper use of extension cords
- Failure of electrical equipment
- Improper grounding
- Mislabeled wires
- Poor wire insulation
- Exposed wires or electrical cords
- Failure to turn off electricity
- Improper use of equipment
- Circuit overload
Whether you were electrocuted from one of the reasons listed above or one not listed, you may be able to collect compensation from the negligent party. In most cases, human error played at least some role in your accident.
That could include improper training from your employer or another contractor, poor working conditions on the job site, or failure of another construction worker to follow best practices. In each of these instances, you may be able to hold someone else responsible for your injuries.
Types of Electrocution Injuries
There are four main types of electrical injuries:
- Flash – caused by an arc flash and cause minor injuries as no electrical current travels past the skin
- Flame – clothing may ignite and electrical current may pass through the skin, causing more serious injuries
- Lightning – caused by very high voltage energy, the electrical current flows through the victim’s entire body, causing serious as well as life-threatening injuries
- True – when a victim’s body becomes part of the electrical circuit, most often fatal
To avoid these situations, construction workers require safety equipment as well as proper training. That rarely occurs.
To find out who is liable for your construction site electrocution injury, speak with a knowledgeable legal advocate. You deserve a compassionate but aggressive legal representative who will fight to protect your rights as well as work diligently to collect maximum compensation for your injuries. At The O’Connor Law Firm, the last thing we want is to see you pay out of pocket for your electrocution injury recovery bills.
Causes of Electrocution Injuries
Construction workers should be well protected from electricity. The same is true of consumers using regular appliances or consumer goods. Both New York and the federal government have detailed safety standards which manufacturers and contractors must follow.
Sadly, enforcement is sometimes lax. Common causes of electrical shock can include:
- Defective wiring
- Faulty installation
- Malfunctioning tools
- Exposed wires
- Failure of high-voltage switches
- Poorly marked wires
OSHA sets forth certain regulations. Following these regulations will prevent death as well as serious injury. But many contractors and property owners do not follow all of the regulations because it costs them money.
Unfortunately, this action can cause serious as well as life-threatening injuries to construction workers. To help you determine who is at fault for your injuries and hold them accountable, you need to partner with a trusted New York construction accident electrocution injury attorney today.
Common Electrocution Injuries
Electrocution injuries are so dangerous because they are not always visible. Some people wrongly believe they are “okay” even though they have suffered serious internal injuries. Electrocution injuries vary depending on many factors. Many involve OSHA violations as well as human error. While that does not make your injuries any easier to overcome, it does help your legal team better understand who is responsible.
Common electrocution injuries include:
- Electrical burns
- Arc burns
- Nerve damage
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Internal injuries
- Involuntary muscle contractions
There are many other types of injuries that may result from an electrical injury. The most important thing you can do is get prompt medical attention. If your electrocution was serious enough, you may have internal injuries that have damaged your organs, requiring intensive and expensive surgery as well as ongoing medical care.
Treating an Electrocution Injury
It is critically important to go to the hospital soon after being electrocuted. Most serious injuries are internal, so you will not really understand the full extent of your injury. A doctor could perform certain tests to assess the severity of your injuries and then offer appropriate treatment. Either go to the hospital or, if you are seriously hurt, call an ambulance to come get you.
If possible, also remember to turn off any product which you believe electrocuted you or warn others to stay away. You don’t want anyone else hurt.
At the hospital, explain what happened and where you are feeling pain. A doctor might order imaging tests to see internal damage.
Also pay close attention to your symptoms in the weeks that follow. Some injuries take a turn for the worse, and you might need immediate surgery or other treatment.
If you come upon someone who was electrocuted, don’t touch them until you are sure the power has been turned off. You are vulnerable to suffering an electrocution injury yourself. You can also check for breath and heartbeat once it is safe to do so if the victim is unconscious.
You can administer CPR if you know it. Otherwise, you can wait for emergency medical personnel to arrive at the scene.
The Statute of Limitations for Electrocution Injuries
If you were electrocuted, please do not wait to contact an attorney. New York has strict deadlines for when you can sue someone in court. The deadline is in the state’s statute of limitations.
For personal injuries, New York typically gives you three years from the date of the accident to sue. For claims against public entities, the deadline can be as short as ninety days. You absolutely cannot go over this deadline. If you do, you’ll lose the ability to file in court, and a defendant has no incentive to negotiate fairly.
Injured workers also need to meet deadlines to receive workers’ compensation benefits. For example, you must report the accident within 30 days to your employer.
What an Electrocution Injury Lawyer Can Do For You
Electrocution injuries often leave our clients laid up in the hospital for days and weeks. These injuries are very serious, and you need to focus on getting better. Fortunately, an experienced New York electrocution injury attorney can do the necessary legwork for receiving compensation:
- Collect evidence for you. There might be evidence at the construction site we can document using photographs or video. If you were hurt by a defective product, we can preserve it so that it is available for inspection.
- Review all accident reports and medical records to fully understand how the accident has affected you.
- Obtain witness statements. People who saw the accident can shed light on what happened and who is possibly at fault. They often are critical for establishing that our client was injured while working.
- Analyze liability for the accident. Once we know who is at fault, we can determine the correct way to seek compensation.
- Inspect products for possible defective design or construction. The manufacturer will be liable for your injury in this case.
- Communicate with all relevant parties, including your employer or the owner of the property where the accident took place.
- Fill out insurance claims on your behalf and handle communication with insurers.
- Negotiate a settlement when someone has liability for the accident.
We are also skilled at trial work. When negotiations falter, we step up to take your case to a judge and jury.
The O’Connor Law Firm Difference
Not all lawyers are created equal. You need a lawyer who has proven experience helping accident victims like you recover from their injuries. We have experience helping construction workers as well as members of the public after a serious injury. Our staff can answer any questions you have about the process for bringing a workers’ comp claim as well as a personal injury lawsuit.
Please reach out to us without delay. We are available to meet at a convenient time for a free consultation.