Electrocution is a rare but serious workplace accident. Modern office buildings, stores, and job sites run on electricity, but electrical currents will cause serious injuries to the human body. If you are electrocuted, you might have no idea of the extensive internal organ damage you have suffered.
Call Snow, Carpio & Weekley, PLC, if you were electrocuted on the job. You should receive medical care and possibly other benefits through workers’ comp. An Arizona workers’ compensation attorney will gladly review your case and provide legal advice.
Major Electrical Hazards
Virtually every workplace has electricity. The major hazards include:
- Defective or damaged extension cords
- Overloaded outlets
- Ungrounded wiring
- Temporary electrical systems (such as temporary lighting)
- Unintentional energizing of equipment
- Exposed wires, including overhead electrical wires
- Damp conditions in the presence of electrical equipment
Any defective product powered by batteries or electricity could lead to an electrocution injury. After an accident, it is critical to preserve evidence. That might mean not immediately fixing a hazard or taking a photograph of exposed wiring. If you were injured by a defective piece of equipment, a workers’ compensation lawyer in Arizona will want to inspect it.
Which Industries See the Most Electrocutions?
Any worker could suffer an on-the-job injury involving electrocution. However, workers’ comp injuries related to electrocution tend to happen in the following fields:
- Installation, Maintenance & Repair—installing or repairing equipment often leads to electrocution because the electricity is not turned off before beginning repair, or there is an unforeseen surge of power.
- Construction—construction job sites are powered by equipment, and many workers are doing their jobs around live wires.
- Production—production is powered by electricity, and it is easy to get a shock while working with equipment.
- Transportation—those working in transportation can suffer electrical injuries while loading a truck or when performing repairs.
Regardless of field, any worker can suffer electrocution when equipment malfunctions unexpectedly, or a worker tries to plug in an extension cord which is faulty. Injured workers deserve compensation for lost wages and medical care if hurt on the job.
Construction Accidents & Electrocution
Construction workers must be especially careful while working, since they are at increased risk of electrocution. Even worse, many construction workers are performing their jobs at great heights. Being electrocuted causes injuries, but falling after electrocution can lead to even more catastrophic disabilities.
For example, a construction worker might be on a ladder or scaffolding near a live overhead wire. If the aluminum ladder touches the line, a worker can suffer electrocution. He or she can also fall several stories to the ground, suffering concussions and back injuries, as well.
Construction workers must have adequate personal protective equipment to help minimize the risk of electrocution and/or falls. We have seen too many workers without this equipment, and they suffer serious workers’ comp injuries as a result.
Electrical injuries include:
- Electrical burns. Electrical currents can burn skin, or else an electrical flash can ignite clothing. Any burn injury carries a serious risk of infection.
- Organ damage. An electrical current which enters the body can damage internal organs, including the heart. Some symptoms include an irregular heartbeat or intense pain, but many people are not immediately aware of internal organ damage.
- Falls after electric shock. A person who falls can suffer all kinds of traumatic injuries, including back injuries, fractures, concussions, and paralysis.
- Seizures. Electrocution can lead to seizures, which themselves can lead to falls.
- Loss of consciousness. A victim might immediately lose consciousness and need to be hospitalized. If they don’t wake up, then life support might become necessary.
- Fatal electrical injuries. Some electrical injuries are so serious that a person dies.
Can You Receive Benefits for an Electrocution Injury?
Yes. The good news is that any on-the-job injury should qualify for workers compensation benefits. Most employers in Arizona have workers’ compensation insurance, which will pay for reasonable and necessary medical treatment.
Other benefits will cover lost wages. Some electrical injuries will cause at least temporary disability. Other injuries might be permanent in nature.
If a loved one died, then Arizona employers offer a death benefit for certain survivors. These benefits can help defray the loss of your loved one’s income.
In Arizona, workers’ compensation is no fault, so it should not matter if a workers’ own carelessness contributed to the electrocution accident. Still, some employers try to shift blame. If your claim is denied, you should reach out to our firm to talk with an Arizona workers’ compensation attorney about your case.
Steps to Take after a Workplace Injury
We recommend the following steps, to protect yourself and your coworkers:
- Warn others of an exposed wire or other dangerous conditions. You might not be the only one electrocuted. By speaking up, you can protect other workers.
- Obtain medical care. Urgent care is critical, even if you don’t notice any symptoms. A doctor can test whether you have suffered internal organ damage.
- Inform your employer of the accident. Prompt notification protects your rights and the safety of others. After reporting your injuries, your employer should inform their workers’ compensation insurance carrier.
- Make sure your claim is filed. You get one year to file a workers’ compensation claim from the date of your accident. It is ultimately up to an injured worker to ensure the proper filing of the claim.
- Continue to receive medical care. You should do everything possible to improve your condition so you can return to work. Remember, employers are not obligated to keep jobs open forever.
- Talk with a workers’ compensation lawyer. We can help you understand your options and how to build a strong claim.
You Can Trust Our Arizona Workers’ Compensation Attorneys
Injured employees file thousands of workers’ compensation claims each year. For many, the process will be simple. Unfortunately, too many Arizona workers see their claims unfairly denied.
At Snow, Carpio & Weekley, PLC, our workers’ compensation lawyers in Arizona can assist anyone fighting for benefits. Please reach out to our firm today to schedule a consultation.