A high voltage electrical burns are a serious, painful, debilitating and all-too-often disfiguring injury. It frequently requires skin graft and reconstructive surgeries. Amputations may be necessary in severe burn cases. Treatment involves physical therapy, pain medication and extensive rehabilitation.
An experienced electrocution and burn attorney can help you protect your legal rights to compensation and damages and help ensure you receive the benefits you may be legally entitled to.
What are high voltage electrical burns?
This is a burn caused by a person’s exposure to and/or contact with a high powered electrical current. High voltage is generally considered to be an electrical current of 1,000 volts or more.
Where does this injury most frequently occur?
Research shows that a high voltage electrical burns occur most frequently in the workplace. Research also shows that hands and feet are the most common source points.
Can I sue for high voltage electrical burns?
Yes, you can sue for this injury, but your electric shock lawsuit will depend on whether the burn was the fault or negligence of another.
There are other additional factors that may be relevant: (1) whether the laws of your state have full or limited immunity for a party that caused the burn injury to occur; (2) limitations on lawsuits if you are in the course and scope of your employment and burned while you were on the job at work; (3) whether the burn injury is the result of negligence of another company or independent contractor; and (4) the liability (ability to be sued because of fault or negligence) of non-employer potential third parties who caused or who negligently contributed to the burn injury.
If you were an employee and on the job at the time your high voltage electrical burns accident happened, then you may be limited to recovering Worker’s Compensation benefits through your employer, depending on the laws of your state. An experienced electrocution and burn injury lawyer can help you quickly determine if there will be limitations placed on your ability to sue for a burn injury because of workers compensation restrictions.
Often, a responsible party can still be found. Also, if your burn injury was not directly work-related or you were not an employee or there are non-employer third parties whose negligence or carelessness caused or contributed to your burns, then you will likely still be able to recover compensation for your pain and suffering and future economic losses including medical bills.
A victim may experience one or more of the following symptoms: (1) pain; (2) skin redness; (3) swelling; (4) blistering; (5) visible burns; (6) skin disfigurement; (7) dizziness and lightheadedness; (8) too weak to stand; (9) varying levels of consciousness; (10) faint pulse; and (11) shock.
High voltage electrical burns medical classifications
The cause of a this injury determines the burn’s medical classification:
- Arc burns – These very serious and potentially life-threatening burns are caused by the heat from the arc that occurs when electrical energy travels from a high-resistance area to a low-resistance area (no actual contact with the arc is necessary).
- Flash burns – These burn injuries are caused by the heat of an electrical arc as it passes over a person’s skin.
- Flame burns – They are caused when a person is burned by an object that has been ignited by an electric current, arc or flash.
Types of burns
A high voltage electrical burns will generally be one of the types of burns:
- First degree burn – These burns damage the outer layer of skin, leaving it red and painful. Swelling is common.
- Second degree burn – Also called a “partial thickness” burn, this type of burn damages both the outer layer of skin (epidermis) and extends deeper into the dermal layer of skin. It is very painful and may result in blistering.
- Third degree burn – Also called a “full thickness” burn, this is the most serious and destructive type of burn because it extends beyond the epidermis and dermis and affects all layers of a person’s skin, causing damage to a person’s deep tissues, including veins and arteries. Because a third-degree burn destroys a person’s nerves, it results in a less intensive pain, yet the outer layer of skin may appear black, brown, white, charred or leathery.
- Fourth degree burn – These damage all layers of skin, including muscle and bone.
Severity of high voltage electrical burns
Aside from the voltage involved, the other factors that affect the severity of a high voltage electrical burns include: (1) the amperage of the electric current involved; (2) the pathway that electricity traveled through a person’s body; and (3) the amount of time of exposure/contact with the source of electricity.
Other factors may also include the health and/or medical condition of the person before the damage occurred and whether the electrical current at issue was direct (DC) or alternating (AC).
Treatment may include: (1) skin graft surgery; (2) amputation surgery; (3) plastic/reconstructive surgery; (4) skin debridement; (5) physical therapy; (6) pain medication; (7) antibiotics; (8) special bandages; and (9) extensive rehabilitation.
Contact us for a free consultation
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 accident lawyer. 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.