There is nothing that will ever take away the devastation and heartbreak that families suffer when they have lost a loved one to electric shock death.
But in order to hold the negligent parties accountable, to deter similarly tragic and negligent conduct in the future and to help the victim’s family persevere in his or her absence, a victim’s family will frequently turn to the courts for help in seeking justice and fairness.
In this blog post, we discuss the factors that a victim’s family must consider when evaluating whether an electrocution lawsuit should be brought on behalf of a loved one who suffered a death.
Can electric shock cause death?
Yes an electric shock can cause death. Tragically, the electrical current enters the victim’s body and it travels through the body until it exits at the nearest point of ground. Death can occur if and when the electrical current’s pathway travels through the heart resulting in fatal conditions.
The fatal conditions that can potentially occur when the electrical current travels through the heart are ventricular fibrillation, bradycardia and respiratory arrest.
Additionally, death may be caused as a result of secondary trauma, such as a fall that was caused by the shock.
What to do if electric shock causes death?
The most important thing the family of an electric shock death victim should do – from a legal perspective – is find and hire an experienced electrocution lawyer who specializes his or her legal practice on helping families who have lost a loved one to death caused by electricity.
Time is of the essence when it comes to finding a lawyer to protect a loved one’s legal rights because the lawyers and legal investigators for the utility or power company likely began preparing their defense against a possible lawsuit the moment they received notice of the tragedy.
You need an attorney with the experience, skills and determination to immediately jump in, investigate, uncover and gather the necessary evidence about how the tragedy occurred, who was said what to whom about the tragedy and the conditions of the accident scene before, during and after the tragedy.
Additionally, your attorney will need to be able to assemble a team of the best national experts from engineering, scientific and medical disciplines that can stand up to the utility or power company and explain how the utility or power company was negligent.
Do I have a case if electric shock caused death?
Generally, a wrongful death lawsuit may be filed for electric shock death. The wrongful death laws of the state in which the tragedy occurs will determine who among the victim’s surviving family members can bring the lawsuit on behalf of the victim’s estate.
Circumstances that should be discussed with a lawyer before a wrongful death lawsuit is filed include whether the victim was working at the time, pain and suffering the victim may have suffered, whether the victim was married and/or had children and dependents, the victim’s age and how long he or she may have been expected to work – as well as his or her earning capacity into the future.
Additionally, punitive or exemplary damages may also be sought when a defendant’s actions were particularly egregious, reckless and/or fraudulent.
Do I have a case if death was caused while in the workplace?
Too many lawyers who do not have specialized experience in helping people who have been affected by electric shock death or injury wrongly assume that Workers’ Comp is the only case that can be brought on behalf of a victim who suffered loss of life while at work.
Depending on the circumstances, there is the potential for wrongful death liability for a person’s death or injury through any of the following entities:
- Outside, independent contractors who may have negligently inspected, maintained or repaired the power lines at issue
- Outside, independent contractors who may have negligently inspected, maintained or repaired the utility poles and/or pole tops at issue
- Outside, independent contractors who may have negligently inspected, maintained and/or trimmed trees and branches in the vicinity of the power lines at issue
- The manufacturer, seller or distributor of the power lines at issue
What is the statute of limitations for electric shock lawsuits?
The statute of limitations for a lawsuit will be determined by the law of the state in which the shock occurred and, thus, where a resulting personal injury and/or wrongful death lawsuit will be filed.
Need help from an experienced electrocution lawyer?
If you or someone you love is a victim of serious personal injury or death caused by electricity, please call us toll free (800) 548-0043 for a free consultation.