Philadelphia Construction Site Electrocution Attorney
Electrocution shock accidents on construction sites can be the most serious type of injury. Our Philadelphia, PA lawyers understand that construction sites can be very dangerous places, and electrocution shock injuries are a very real possibility on construction sites. Our attorneys can show that these types of accidents have the potential to result in very serious internal injuries, or even death by electrocution. Most of these accidents could be prevented by the imposition of safety measures and practices. You have a right to recover for all your injuries against the parties that did not take appropriate measures to ensure your safety.
Construction workers rely on electricity to perform many different tasks at a construction site, from powering a saw or nail gun to running lights and other utilities. Each power source represents a potential hazard that can electrocute you. Depending on your contact, you may have superficial or life-threatening injuries. Generally, electricity injuries are divided into low-voltage and high-voltage injuries, with 500V or 1000V as the cutoff.
There are four main types of electrocution injuries:
- Electric shock
- Fatal electrocution
- Falls caused as a result of electrical energy
For example, burns might be superficial or you might suffer burns inside your body as the electrical current heats your tissue. Accident victims sometimes suffer damage to the muscles, tissue, and nerves as the current passes through the body. You will typically suffer burns at the entry point and exit point of the current.
Electrocution can also cause cardiac arrest or unconsciousness. If the person received CPR quickly, then they may be able to avoid brain damage and recover. However, where the electrocution is severe—or where CPR is not administered swiftly—then brain damage may result. As a result, victims might be unable to walk or talk normally, or in extreme cases they may die.
Who Is Responsible For Your Injuries?
If you suffered an electrocution through no fault of your own, compensation may be available. However, the precise party you sue will depend on the facts and circumstances surrounding your accident. In some situations, you might not be able to sue at all—even if you are bed-ridden at home and unable to work.
For example, if you are injured on the job, Pennsylvania’s workers’ compensation laws prevent you from bringing a lawsuit against your employer. Workers’ compensation is a “no-fault” system, meaning you don’t have to prove your employer did anything wrong to get benefits. Instead, the fact that you were injured on the job entitles you to subsidized medical treatment and partial replacement of your lost wages. In exchange for this streamlined process, however, you give up being able to bring a lawsuit against your employer.
Workers might have better luck suing a third party if they can prove that person is responsible for the electrocution. For example, you might have been electrocuted by a defective product which was manufactured or designed improperly. In this situation, you can sue the manufacturer and possibly others in the distribution chain for your injuries.
You might also be able to hold the premises owner liable for your injuries in a negligence lawsuit. You can sue for negligence if you can show that the owner was careless about how they maintained the jobsite. Proof that the owner violated safety standards—whether federal, state, or local—will go a long way to establishing negligence. Or you could argue that the owner had a duty to warn you of certain hazards which they failed to.
Each worksite is different, and you’re not responsible for identifying the correct party to sue on your own. Instead, meet as soon as possible with a personal injury attorney who can assess the surrounding circumstances and pinpoint the person responsible for your injuries.
Compensation Is Available
If an injured worker can sue a third party (not their employer), then they can usually receive more compensation than they would receive if they solely relied on workers’ compensation benefits. For example, you can receive full compensation for your economic losses, including:
- Doctor’s visits
- Hospital stays
- Rehabilitation costs
- Therapy or mental health counseling
- Prescription and over-the-counter drugs
- Medical devices, such as a wheelchair or cane
You might also receive compensation for lost wages if your injury has prevented you from returning to work. If your injuries are so serious that you can’t return to work for some time—or indefinitely—then you might be able to receive lost future wages, called lost earning capacity.
Pennsylvania accident victims can also receive non-economic damages, for the following:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Negative changes to your marriage (called “loss of consortium”)
The damages are called non-economic because there is no precise dollar amount that you can attach to them, unlike hospital bills. Nevertheless, the law recognizes that you have suffered real injuries and that you deserve compensation. Generally, the amount of non-economic damages you can receive depends on the severity of your injuries as well as the quality of your evidence.
What If I’m Partially To Blame For The Electrocution?
Sometimes, workers make mistakes that increase the risk of being electrocuted. For example, they might use a metal ladder near a power source or not operate a piece of equipment in a careful manner. In these situations, you can’t say someone else is solely responsible for your injuries. Nevertheless, you might be able to receive compensation even though you partially are to blame.
In Pennsylvania, accident victims can sue and receive compensation if they are not more responsible than the other parties for the accident. This means that you can be 50% responsible for the accident—but not more. Ultimately, the jury will decide your percentage of fault, so you should carefully review what actions you took before the electrocution with your lawyer.
Your contributory negligence will affect your case in one other way: you can expect to receive less money. According to the law, the amount of compensation you receive for your injuries will be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, the jury might decide you are 40% at fault for your injuries. If they decide your injuries are worth $100,000, then you will only receive $60,000.
There are a number of different kinds of electrical injuries that may occur on construction sites. Workers may be injured upon coming into contact with exposed live wires or outlets. Faulty machinery or power tools could produce an electrical injury when touched. While burns on the skin are a good indication of an electrical injury, not all people develop physical, visible injuries. The best way to determine the extent of your injury is to have a doctor monitor your heart for abnormal rhythms. If you have been exposed to an electrical current, you may have suffered damage to your internal organs or burned tissue. You can recover for your injuries against any party who was responsible for inspecting the premises and correcting any dangers, but who failed to do so.
It is important to contact an attorney right away if you have suffered an electrical injury at a construction site. The nature of a construction site is that it is constantly changing, and it is important that the site is investigated, observed and photographed in the same condition that it was in when you were injured. Property owners may try to fix the dangerous condition or cover it up, or it may be eliminated on its own as part of the original construction plans. That’s why you need an attorney who will work quickly and efficiently to ensure that you have the strongest case possible so that you can fully recover for your injuries.
Representing clients who were injured in construction site electrical accidents requires a team of aggressive investigators and lawyers all devoting their maximum effort to their clients. At The Levin Firm, our Pennsylvania and New Jersey personal injury attorneys work together with a team of investigators and support staff to investigate every claim so that we may aggressively and zealously represent our clients and obtain the best possible results.
Contact A Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Personal Injury Lawyer Today
Having a breadwinner injured is a stressful experience for families. Medical expenses continue to mount, and you can’t pay your rent or mortgage without any income coming in the door. Accident victims and their loved ones deserve compensation when they are electrocuted because of someone else’s culpable conduct. When you need a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania or New Jersey personal injury attorney to represent you, a family member or friend who has been in a construction site electrical accident, contact The Levin Firm, who represent every client zealously in order to obtain the best results possible in each case. Call us today for a free consultation, 215-825-5183, or fill out our contact form.