Construction sites are typically the most dangerous work environments. These areas are filled with heavy equipment, large building materials, and many other hazards, including exposed electrical wires. Electrocution is one of the “fatal four” safety hazards designated by the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), along with falling, struck by an object, or crushed by a heavy object.
Electrocution injuries are often severe, resulting in long-lasting damage or death. Recovering from an electrical accident could include expensive medical treatment, physical therapy, and months of lost income. Depending on the circumstances, you could seek financial compensation through a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury lawsuit. The Philadelphia electrocution construction site lawyers at the Reiff Law Firm are committed to fighting for injured victims and their families. Call our office at (215) 709-6940 to schedule a free appointment.
Types of Injuries From Electrocution Construction Site Accidents in Philadelphia
The severity and type of electrical injuries people suffer vary depending on the source of the injury. For example, a person might experience a minor jolt without any long-lasting physical symptoms or injuries. Nonetheless, even a minor electrical injury could require a trip to an emergency room or your own physician. In other cases, a strong electrical shock or electrocution accident could be serious, life-altering, or fatal.
In some electrical contact injuries, the harm is usually a burn that is categorized according to degrees. If you experience a first-degree burn, you will have a sensation similar to a bad sunburn, ranging from discomfort to skin that is painful to the touch. A second-degree burn will penetrate your outer layers of skin, damaging the epidermis. When an electrical contact injury causes a third-degree burn, the victim could require cosmetic surgery, skin grafts, and suffer permanent nerve damage.
When electricity surges through a person, it could severely damage their internal organs. These electrocution injuries often result in sudden heart stoppages or other potentially fatal bodily malfunctions.
Not all electrocution injuries require direct contact with the electrical source. Secondary injuries often occur when an electrical accident results in a powerful blast or power surge. A victim could be thrown from a ladder, scaffolding, or another elevated platform. These accident victims will often suffer broken bones, lacerations, head injuries, or back injuries in addition to any potential electrical burns.
If you have experienced an electrocution injury, even if you believe it is minor, you should seek medical attention. Many symptoms are not immediately apparent and an electrical shock could lead to other dangerous health conditions. Additionally, seeking immediate medical treatment will be of critical importance if you want to pursue a workers’ compensation claim or personal injury lawsuit.
Liability for Philadelphia Construction Site Electrocution Injuries
If you have been harmed in an electrical accident that was not your fault, you could be entitled to monetary compensation. However, what options are available will depend on the circumstances surrounding your injury.
If you were injured while working, Pennsylvania’s workers’ compensation laws would prohibit you from filing a personal injury lawsuit against your employer. The upside is that workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, so you are not required to prove that your employer did anything reckless or careless to qualify for benefits. The trade-off for not suing your employer is a streamlined system for injured employees to collect financial benefits for their medical expenses and a percentage of their lost wages. You should speak with an experienced Philadelphia workers’ compensation attorney so you understand your rights.
In other cases, someone who suffers an electrocution injury could file a lawsuit against a responsible third-party. For instance, a construction worker could have been using a power tool with a defective cord that resulted in a painful and debilitating electrical injury. In this case, the injured worker could have a claim against the manufacturer of the tool or another party in the chain of distribution.
Someone who suffered an electrocution injury could also have a claim against the property owner. When the job site owner is an entity other than your employer, they could be held accountable if you could prove that the construction site was negligently maintained. For example, if the owner failed to adhere to federal, state, or local safety standards or did not disclose a known hazard.
If you pursue a third-party claim, you will have to demonstrate that another person or entity’s negligence caused your injury. Additionally, you will also have to prove that your conduct did not contribute to the accident to avoid having your compensation lowered or denied. In Philadelphia, if an injured person contributed to an accident, their financial recovery could be decreased by their percentage of fault. If you were more than 50% to blame for an accident, you will not be permitted to receive any compensation in a personal injury lawsuit.
If you are injured in an electrocution accident, you should speak with our accomplished Philadelphia personal injury attorney to determine if there are liable third-parties and if you have a solid legal case against them.
Compensation for Electrocution Injuries in Philadelphia
The type and amount of compensation available after an electrocution accident depends on the type of claim. If you qualify for workers’ compensation benefits, you will recover your medical expenses and a portion of your lost wages.
However, through a third-party personal injury claim, you could be entitled to significantly more compensation. For example, if you cannot work, whether it is for a few weeks, months, or years, you could recover your entire lost wages. Additionally, while workers’ compensation covers your medical expenses, you could recover additional costs such as parking fees, medication, and home modifications if required.
Electrocution victims are also entitled to compensation for their physical, emotional, and mental suffering. These types of non-economic damages are not typically available in a workers’ compensation claim.
Call Our Experienced Philadelphia Electrocution Construction Site Lawyer to Review Your Rights
An electrical injury could result in a lifetime of physical therapy and pain. In the most severe cases, a victim of an electrical shock could die. If you were hurt in an electrical accident, contact our Philadelphia electrocution construction site lawyer to review your options. Injured victims could have a valid workers’ compensation claim or third-party personal injury case. At the Reiff Law Firm, our attorneys and staff are dedicated to maximizing our clients’ compensation. Call our office at (215) 709-6940 to schedule a free and confidential consultation.