Electrical trauma describes the harmful and potentially deadly effects of being exposed to electricity. The results include serious, life-altering electric shock injuries and fatal electrocutions. Immediate medical attention is absolutely necessary and victims are entitled to compensation.
What is electrical trauma?
Electrical trauma encompasses both electric shock injuries and electrocution resulting from contact with a source of electricity that sends a current of electricity through a person’s body. The electric shock victim may suffer serious, life-altering injuries. Tragically, the results are fatal for an electrocution.
The most common medical conditions that are caused by electrical trauma include:
- Cardiac arrest (possibly resulting from sustained contraction of the muscles that control breathing)
- Cardiac dysrhythmia (possibly resulting from sustained contraction of the muscles that control breathing)
- Central respiratory arrest (possibly resulting from sustained contraction of the muscles that control breathing)
- Asphyxia (possibly resulting from sustained contraction of the muscles that control breathing)
- Organ damage
- Tissue damage
- Pain in the arm or limbs
- Damage to the central nervous system
- Brain injuries
- Neurological and neuropsychological injuries
- Spine injuries
- Closed head injury (resulting from a fall or from being thrown by the force of the electric current)
- Bone fractures (resulting from a fall or from being thrown by the force of the electric current)
- Blunt trauma (resulting from a fall or from being thrown by the force of the electric current)
- Loss of kidney function
- Post electric shock syndrome
The causes of electrical trauma resulting in an electric shock injury or electrocution can include:
- Contact with a powerline (such as when a metal ladder touches a low-hanging power line)
- Contact with a downed power line (and the surrounding area) that has not been repaired by the electric company
- Contact with an electrical arc flash
- Accidental contact with exposed electrical sources
- Contact with electrical current due to faulty electrical wiring
What should you do if someone has suffered electrical trauma?
It is essential that an electrical trauma victim seek immediate medical attention even if he or she has no visible injuries, such as external burns.
It is also essential that care be taken by anyone who is trying to help an electric shock victim as the victim and the surrounding area may present a safety risk both to the victim and to good Samaritans and first responders.
Follow these safety tips for rendering electric shock first aid:
- Make sure the scene of the accident is safe
- Make sure the victim is no longer in contact with the electricity source that caused the shock or electrocution and/or no longer within the rings of voltage given off by the electricity source
- Turn off the electricity source that caused the electric shock
- Watch for and beware of downed power lines
Can you file a claim for an electric shock injury or electric shock death?
When a person has suffered an electric shock injury, the person and/or his or her family may be able to file a electric shock compensation claim for Workers Compensation benefits, for pain and suffering compensation and/or for wrongful death damages under the law of the state where the electric shock incident occurred.
A workers’ comp claim would be filed against the electric shock victim’s employer and it would cover medical bills and lost wages.
A pain and suffering compensation claim and a wrongful death claim would be filed against the responsible party – so long as that party is not the victim’s employer or a co-worker. The victim and/or his or her family could recover compensation for the victim’s pain and suffering, damages for loss of society and companionship and funeral expenses.
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, you can call and speak with Jeff Feldman, perhaps the nation’s most experienced electrocution attorney. Jeff has litigated electrocution and severe shock injury cases against utility companies throughout the country. You can call toll free at (800) 548-0043 for a free consultation.