If you or a loved one has suffered an electrical injury in Spokane or in the Valley or beyond, contact us today for a free and confidential consultation.
Electrocutions and electrical burns
Electrocution involves an injury or death caused by an electrical current that runs through a person’s body. The term arose just before the first execution by electricity was carried out in 1890. As the English language had no word to describe deaths resulting from electrical shock, the word “electrocution” stuck. It is now used in connection with severe injuries or deaths resulting from electrical shock. Once a current gets to a certain level, our nervous system is far too sensitive to withstand it.
When we think of electrocutions and electrical burns, the scenario of a worker coming into contact a with power line, defective wiring in the workplace or even electrical accidents in the home come to mind. Electrical injuries can cause:
- Heart attacks
- Brain and nerve damage
- Penetrating burns through skin, muscles and bones
- Uncontrollable muscle contractions that can cause falls
- Death by electrocution
Electrical burns can be caused in a wide variety of ways. They fall into three different classifications. Those are:
- Mild shocks when a person feels tingling
- Moderate shocks that result in muscle contraction when it could be hard to pull away from the electrical source
- Severe shock when there can be breathing interruption or heart failure
Common causes of electrical injuries
Electrical injuries can occur in any number of settings. Some of the most common settings are:
- Manufacturing industries
- Construction sites
- Energy industries
- In the home
Poor or degraded wiring in manufacturing facilities causes electrical deaths and injuries every year, especially from machinery. Construction sites are notorious for electrical injuries as are energy industries that provide the electricity that we use in our homes and places of work.
Electrocutions involving motor vehicles
Electrocutions are directly or indirectly involved in motor vehicle crashes across the country. In 2008, a 19-year-old woman died from electrical shock after she hit a light pole, exited her vehicle and stepped onto electrified ground. In 2012, two women died from electrocution in the Los Angeles area when they came to the aid of a motorist who had hit a fire hydrant and knocked down a power pole. Six other people were shocked. As recently as 2016, a New Jersey woman died when a storm knocked down electrical wires onto her car, and she exited the vehicle from the passenger side.
What’s involved in the extent of an electrical shock
Many variables are involved in the extent of an electrocution injury. Those might include:
- The type of current
- The voltage
- How long a person’s body is in contact with the current
- The pathway that the current runs through the victim’s body
- How soon paramedics arrive
Even small currents can cause irregular heartbeats that can’t be stopped without the use of a defibrillator. Most people don’t have one of those sitting around their house, nor do they know how to use it. How long it takes paramedics arrive can be crucial.
Contact a Spokane Valley Personal Injury Lawyer
Electrocution and electrical burn injuries involve both scientific and medical data. They’re highly complicated, and they involve complex liability and damages issues. Proving a dangerous or defective condition in any electrical injury or death case is highly detailed and must be supported by reliable facts. If you have questions involving an electrical injury or death involving you or a family member, don’t hesitate to contact us for a free consultation and case evaluation. If we’re retained, no legal fees are due unless we obtain a settlement or verdict for you.