Electric Shock/Electrocution
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A Virginia Personal Injury Attorney Discusses Electric Shock Injury Lawsuits

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

  • Headaches
  • 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
  • Cataracts
  • Memory loss
  • Difficulties speaking
  • Mood swings
  • Personality changes
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Post-traumatic stress
  • Sexual dysfunction


Electric shock injuries can happen anywhere electricity flows. Cases handled by our Virginia Beach-based law firm’s personal injury attorneys have involved

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.





When people think of an electric shock injury, their first thought is of the sting or buzz they feel immediately when they come into contact with an uninsulated live wire or switched-on light socket without a bulb. A true electric shock injury, however, often causes external and internal burns and delivers a much greater wallop -- even throwing a person several feet through the air. It can also have potentially life-altering effect for the victim.

When a person is electrocuted, the aftereffects can include cardiovascular problems, nerve damage, paralysis and brain damage. And that is only if the person is fortunate enough to survive the electrocution.

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Electric shock injuries can happen basically anywhere. This includes your workplace or at home when using electrical equipment. It is not uncommon for a pedestrian who is enjoying a stroll, or a driver, to suffer an electric shock injury due to a fallen power line. In many cases, electrocution injuries occur in construction settings or while someone is doing work on trees or cable lines.

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If you or a loved one has suffered an electric shock injury after coming in contact with a power line, consult with a Virginia electric shock injury lawyer. In these types of cases, damages can be pursued against the utility company due to its negligence.

The attorneys with our Virginia (VA) and North Carolina (NC) law firm understand the challenges associated with electric shock personal injury lawsuits. We represented an airline pilot who suffered a serious electric shock injury while staying at a hotel. The injury was caused by a malfunctioning overhead light fixture in the shower. The aftereffects of the electrocution that our client suffered included blurry vision, fatigue, loss of coordination and an inability to continue in his chosen profession as a pilot. The electrical shock injury lawsuit was filed on behalf of the pilot, and the case was eventually settled for $1.5 million.

Currently, our law firm is handling two very serious electric shock injury cases, both arising in Virginia. In one case, a crane operator moved his crane cable too close to the end of an overhead power line carrying 19,000 volts of electricity. Our client grabbed the ball -- called the headache ball -- at the bottom of the crane cable without realizing it was electrified, and the major electric shock nearly killed our client. He was lucky to survive, but he has lost much use of two of his limbs.

We are also currently working with rehabilitation doctors, lifecare specialists, electrical engineers and crane experts to develop the evidence for another client.In a second major electric shock case In this second suit, the plaintiff was an active-duty member of the military who was severely shocked because of a short in an electrical circuit.

Our client was a victim who was totally unaware that these metal cables he was near had any electricity running through them. Because of the electrocution, he suffers from major neurological problems in his shoulders and arms. In this case, we are in the beginning phases of investigating the circumstances while our client undergoes medical rehabilitation and therapy.

Having the experience of handling electrical shock cases is important and helps us do the best job possible for our clients.


Richard N. Shapiro
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Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Lawyer Serving Va Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake & all of Virginia