Risks for Electric Shock Injuries | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health tracks four types of accidents involving electricity at worksites. These are

  • Fatal electrocutions,
  • Shocks,
  • Internal and external burns, and
  • Falls caused as a result of contact with electrical energy

Regarding the final item, a risk to life and health that is rarely mentioned is that electric current can knock a person unconscious or throw a person like a strong gust of wind or the impact of a speeding car. Clearly, anyone who works with or around electric equipment—which is everyone—must exercise caution to protect themselves from suffering serious injuries or getting killed.

The same is true for people at home. Appliances, lighting fixtures and consumer electronics such as laptops and smartphones that run on electricity pose dangers. Small components call capacitors are particularly problematic, as they can carry large charges for long periods after a device is unplugged or batteries are removed.



Our Virginia personal injury law firm’s attorneys have advised and represented many victims of electric shock injuries. One notable case involved an airline pilot who was forced into early retirement after suffering life-threatening shocks and a fall in a hotel shower. The business owner allowed exposed wiring to hang within reach of a person who was standing while showering.

In another case, a Coast Guardsman nearly lost his life when deteriorated wiring for a dockside fuel pump shocked and burned him. The pump was supposed to have been disconnected from its power source, and our client trusted that it was.

And this is the thing about electric shock injuries and electrocutions. The majority of victims do not cause their own suffering. They trust that electricians, business operators, property owners and product manufacturers have taken the necessary steps to protect them from harm.

The Persistence of Electric Shock Symptoms

An abbreviated list of short- and long-term health problems caused by an electric shock includes

  • Muscle spasms,
  • Numbness or tingling in the hands and feet,
  • Trouble breathing,
  • Headaches that either persist or come and go,
  • Vision and hearing problems,
  • Seizures, and
  • Heartbeat irregularities

When an electric shock is severe enough, a surviving victim may also bear scars from burns and can experience problems with controlling their emotions and learning new information. Last, struggles with short-term memory are not uncommon for people who suffered near-fatal shocks.

Always a Tough Case

If some else’s negligence caused you or a loved one to get badly shocked or electrocuted, you should seek advice and assistance from an attorney who has experience handling electric shock injury cases. These types of lawsuits tend to be quite complicated, as they involve both state and national laws and regulations. The case might also involve elements of product liability, premises liability and workers’ compensation all at once. Partnering with an attorney who knows how to navigate such complications will matter greatly for obtaining a favorable legal outcome.



Suffering an electric shock can be a devastating, life-altering injury. In fact, many people lose their lives if they are shocked by an exposed wire or while in the hospital or while on the job.