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Injured by Electric Shock – Can You Sue?

On Behalf of | Sep 21, 2017 | Construction Site Accidents

According to the most recent data from Consumer Product Safety Commission, there are around 70 electrocution fatalities every year from consumer products. And while you might think children are the most vulnerable to electrocution, there were twice as many victims who were 40 to 59 years old, compared to the number of victims who were 19 years old and younger.

Electrocutions are also one of the most common workplace injuries, accounting for around 9 percent of all fatal workplace accidents. Electric shock injuries can be scary, and whether you can sue for those injuries may depend on who injured you and where.

Who Shocked You?

The vast majority of injury lawsuits are based on negligence liability, meaning that another person’s negligence led to your injury. And there are four elements to a standard negligence claim:

Duty: Someone owed you a legal duty to use reasonable care with electric wiring or equipment under the circumstances;
Breach: The person breached that legal duty by acting or failing to act responsibly with the wiring or equipment;
Causation: It was this breach that actually caused your injuries; and
Damages: Your injury is real and compensable.

In order to be compensated for your electric shock injuries, you will need t be able to prove all four of these elements, as well as an accurate estimate of the amount of cost of your injuries.

Where Were You Shocked?

Electric shock injuries could also be a property owner’s fault. There are three main ways you can sue someone owning the property on which you were injured:

Premises liability: The property owner knew or should have known about a dangerous condition on the property that led to your injury;
Negligent training/supervision: An employer failed to train employees properly in electric safety; or
Vicarious liability: An employee was negligent in the scope of his or her employment, and his or her employer can be held liable for his or her actions or failure to act.

If you were electrocuted on the job, you may need to file a worker’s compensation claim before a civil lawsuit. Legal theories involving personal injuries can be complex and could overlap in dealing with your electric shock injury case. An experienced personal injury attorney can explain how each may apply to you.