An electric shock injury is not the buzz and uncomfortable heat of inadvertently sticking your finger in a light socket or briefly brushing against an exposed wire while doing home repairs. Electric shock injuries produce burns, damage internal organs, interfere with brain activity and, too often, kill.
It is not uncommon for an electric shock injury victim to lose consciousness and be thrown several feet through the air as if they were hit by a truck or caught in the shockwave of an explosion. Recovery can take months, and even the best medical treatment and therapy can leave an electric shock victim struggling with a lifetime of physical and mental problems, including
- Joint pain and stiffness
- Muscle weakness
- Numbness and tingling along the arms and legs, as well as in the hands, feet, fingers and toes
- Permanent or intermittent paralysis
- Changes in perceptions of taste, touch, hearing and sight
- Memory loss
- Difficulties speaking
- Mood swings
- Personality changes
- Anxiety and depression
- Post-traumatic stress
- Sexual dysfunction
- What Is the Difference Between an Electric Shock Injury and an Electrocution?
- Know Your Rights Regarding Electric Shock Injuries on the Job
- Expect Long-Term Physical and Mental Problems Following Electric Shock Injuries
Electric shock injuries can happen anywhere electricity flows. Cases handled by our Virginia Beach-based law firm’s personal injury attorneys have involved
- A pilot who suffered career-ending injuries while using a hotel shower with an improperly wired overhead light,
- An industrial crane operator who became almost completely paralyzed from the waist down when his crane’s boom cable made contact with transmission line that was not correctly marked or tagged out, and
- A member of the military who was forced to take early medical retirement after he nearly died while walking onto a dock whose corroded electric wiring came into contact with the water.
In each of these cases, the electric shocks happened because someone was negligent. The hotel and its contractors failed to properly install the light fixture and comply with building codes. The company employing the crane operator failed to follow basic safety protocols. The dock owner failed to repair or replace faulty wiring, or to simply kill power to the dock. Those instances of negligence made the companies and property owner responsible for causing the injuries and liable for covering the victims’ medical bills and paying other types of personal injury damages.
We have also consulted with pedestrians and drivers who went to the hospital after a power line fell during a storm. People clearing debris from their yards and neighborhoods often do not see live wires submerged in standing water or covered in brush. Drivers cannot steer away from snapped wires that seem to appear out of nowhere.
In such instances, the utility company may have liability for compensating the electric shock victims. The key to holding the utility liability would be demonstrating that it knew or should have known that the wire was more likely to snap and remain live than other wires.