Electrocution Accidents in New York City

The threat of electrical accidents also exists outside the workplace, putting virtually everyone dealing with electricity at risk. When people suffer a serious electric shock or lose a loved one due to electrocution, it typically means staggering medical expenses, the possibility of debilitating, long-term physical limitations, and financial strain.

If you are dealing with any of this because someone was negligent and caused an electrical accident, it is time to discuss your rights and options with an experienced New York electrical accident lawyer.

NYC Electric Shock Accidents

According to Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), in 2017, 2,210 workers sustained electric shock injuries, which is an increase of 35% from the previous year. There are various factors behind electrical accidents, but many are preventable and only happen because of carelessness.

Electricians, electrical contractors, and related professionals are at extreme risk because of the hazards that are inherent in their jobs. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports that electrical accidents in the workplace rank fourth as a cause of work-related fatalities.

Workers suffer severe injuries due to:

  • Incomplete or poor workplace safety training
  • Deteriorating wires
  • Defective or unsafe tools or equipment
  • Damaged power lines

Of course, individuals outside the construction industry are also at risk of electrical accidents. The NIH report indicates that around 30,000 victims suffer electrical injuries every year. Approximately 20% of electrical accidents affect minors, particularly toddlers and adolescents.

Residential electrical hazards include:

  • Defects in large appliances, such as refrigerators, ranges, A/C units, washers, and dryers
  • Improper or out-of-date wiring that violates building codes, particularly knob-and-tube or dangerous extension cord use
  • Failure to install ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) wiring in kitchens, bathrooms, and near water sources
  • Defective consumer products, including small appliances, audio/visual equipment, computers, accessories, and other electronic equipment

Many of these same electrical hazards may also be present on non-residential property, such as restaurants, shops, office buildings, theme parks, tourist attractions, and other public spaces.

How Electrical Accidents Affect Your Body

How Electrical Accidents Affect Your Body

When a person is exposed to an electrical current, it passes through them. The extent of the damage depends on the voltage, the duration, and the current’s path through the body.

Bodily damage caused by electric shock includes:

Tissue Damage & Burns

As the electrical current enters and exits a body, it can burn a person’s bodily external tissue, as well as internal burns as it moves through your internal organs.

Cardiovascular System

Disruption to your heart is frequent in electrical accidents. It is known as asystole or ventricular fibrillation, and if not treated timely, it can lead to fatal electrocution.

Central Nervous System

Damage to the brain and nervous system is also possible after a significant electric shock. This can lead to impaired brain functions and respiratory failure, leading to traumatic brain injuries.

Musculoskeletal System

The muscles and organs also suffer considerable damage due to electric shock, either from the current itself or the subsequent fall or being thrown by the shock’s force.

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NYC Electrical Accidents and Your Rights

Though carelessness may be the root cause in many incidents, the legal basis for a victim’s claim is negligence. An NYC electrocution lawyer can explain the relevant concepts and claims process in more detail.

The essential elements you must prove are:

  1. Duty – The responsible party had a legal obligation to exercise reasonable care as not to cause a risk of harm to others. This duty applies to power and electrical companies, product manufacturers, property owners, and others.
  2. Breach – You must prove that the person or entity breached this duty of care by engaging in conduct that deviates from the standard of reasonable care.
  3. Causation – There must be a direct link between the breach of duty and the electrical accident that caused your injuries. Causation may be established by showing that the incident wouldn’t have occurred but for the responsible party’s breach.
  4. Damages – You need to show that you suffered physically, financially, and/or emotionally because of your injuries, and deserve compensation for these losses.

Note that some New York City electrical accidents don’t fall under principles of negligence. For electrical accidents in the workplace, you don’t need to show that your employer was negligent to recover benefits under New York’s workers’ compensation system. Also, a claim related to a defective product could be based upon negligence, but may also proceed according to the principles of strict liability. It’s not necessary to prove negligence by the manufacturer, but you must still prove that a dangerous product directly caused your injuries.

Monetary Damages for Electric Shock Injury Victims

Monetary Damages for Electric Shock Injury Victims

If you and your lawyer provide sufficient evidence to prove the four essential elements of a negligence-based case described above, you establish your right to compensation. It’s possible to recover monetary damages for losses like medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and others. Economic and non-economic damages are also available if you prove a case for defective products based upon strict liability.

Workers’ Comp for Electric Shock Injuries

Victims’ rights are different when the injuries are due to accidents in the workplace. Under New York’s workers’ comp laws, you don’t need to prove fault to qualify for benefits.

You need to show that:

  • You’re a covered employee, as opposed to an independent contractor
  • You sustained electrocution injuries while performing job-related tasks within the scope of your employment

In a successful workers’ comp claim, you can obtain benefits to cover your medical treatment. If you miss more than seven days of work, you can also recover lost wages. The exact amount of these benefits is based on a percentage of your average weekly wage multiplied by the degree of disability attributed to your injuries.

Fatal Electrocution Accidents in New York City

At Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, P.C., we represent surviving family members after fatal electrocution accidents happen in New York. If your spouse, parent, or child was lost because someone negligently created an electrical hazard, call us right away to discuss your rights, options, and the possibility of filing a wrongful death lawsuit.

If a third party is responsible for your loss, then through a wrongful death claim, you may recover compensation for your expenses, grief and emotional distress, loss of compensation and benefits, loved one’s companionship, and more.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How Does an Electrocution Happen?

Electrical shock accidents and electrocution can happen in many ways on New York construction sites. They often occur due to deteriorating wires, unsafe power tools or equipment, and damaged power lines.

2. What If I Caused the Electrical Accident?

Even if you took action that caused the electrical accident, you should still be able to file a workers’ compensation claim. Also, your employer may be additionally liable for not training you properly or failing to provide you with the proper safety equipment.

3. How Much Is My Electrical Accident Claim Worth?

It’s impossible to know exactly how much you can get for your electrical accident claim, but we can probably give you an estimate via a free consultation. If you make a workers’ compensation claim, then all of your medical bills should be covered and you can get money to compensate for some of your lost wages and disability. If you make a third party claim, you can also obtain noneconomic damages like pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and decreased quality of life.

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Consult a New York Electrical Accident Lawyer Now

At Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, P.C., we have decades of experience and have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars in a wide range of New York injury and fatality claims. We understand that no two electrical accidents are the same, which is why we take great care in investigating and analyzing each case.

We will never treat your claim with a one-size-fits-all solution. We will work closely with you to develop a strategy appropriate to your circumstances and priorities. In this way, we are best suited to pursue the maximum compensation available. After an electrical accident in New York, contact us online or call to schedule a free, no-risk consultation.

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