Working in the construction industry presents a number of significant risks. One of the most common injuries is electrocution. But accidents involving electrocutions are largely avoidable. When construction companies and others disregard workplace health and safety rules, workers can get hurt or even killed.
Although workers’ compensation may cover some of your medical bills and lost income, you may be able to demand additional compensation through a separate personal injury lawsuit. We can help. Miller, Montiel & Strano, P.C. works every day to protect the rights of New York workers who have been hurt on the job.
Why Electrocutions Happen
Lighting, live wires, and machinery are prevalent on construction sites. When the site is properly set up and maintained, with safety rules observed, injuries to workers are unlikely. The problem is that not all general contractors, site managers, property owners, and others pay attention to proper worksite practices, applicable state and federal workplace safety rules. This increases the risk of electrocutions.
Understanding how and why the accident happened is an essential element in establishing liability in a personal injury case. Electrocutions frequently occur due to:
- Direct contact with an electrical source. This could include live wires, light fixtures, circuit breakers, control panels, junction boxes, and transformers. Temporary sources of power are established on construction sites, but safety regulations can be overlooked in the haste to get the job started.
- Contact with power lines. Electrocutions involving power lines generally happen in one of two ways. The worker could come in direct contact with an uninsulated portion of the line. Or the worker might touch the line with a tool or vehicle that conducts high voltage and causes electrocution. Power lines can be either overhead or buried.
- Defective machinery. The equipment and machines used on construction sites could have a defect that causes electrocution. For example, there may be uninsulated openings on the equipment that can cause shock.
- Unsafe use of extension cords. It’s not uncommon to find construction sites crisscrossed with extension cords. But exceeding the amount of electricity for which the cord is made can cause electrocutions and fires. In other accidents, the cords are frayed or otherwise damaged.
- Power overloads. Plugging in too many cords into one circuit can quickly cause a power overload. This can result in fires and electrocutions, especially when someone attempts to unplug one or more cords.
- Improper grounding. Proper electrical grounding is essential to preventing shock and electrocution. Tools and equipment usually have such grounding, but a manufacturing defect could negate this safety feature.
The Consequences of Electrocution
Electrocutions are often fatal. Even those that are not fatal can cause serious and even permanent injuries. Victims typically suffer the following:
- Cardiac arrest
- Brain and nerve damage
- Muscle spasms
- Chronic pain and numbness
- Pulmonary and respiratory problems
- Hearing and vision loss
Who Can Be Held Liable For An Electrocution?
Electrocutions are usually the result of negligence. There are strict safety regulations in place to ensure that construction sites are operated with reasonable care. For instance, New York Labor Law Sections 200 and 241 impose duties on property owners, contractors, and others to keep construction sites safe and provide adequate protection for workers.
If your injury occurred while you were working, you are entitled to pursue a workers’ compensation claim. The money available to you in such a claim is limited. True damages can be obtained from the negligent parties that played a role in causing your injuries.Negligent parties may include:
- Property owners
- General contractors
- Manufacturers of defective equipment, machinery, and parts
- Utility companies
- Outside parties near the construction site
How An Attorney Can Help
Legal representation is more than just having an attorney who is well-versed in personal injury law. While we are proud of our firm’s experience successfully representing clients, we know that victims have their choice of attorneys. They rightfully expect someone who will fight for them and demand the maximum amount of compensation available under the law.
To fulfill that purpose, we work to identify all parties who may be held liable for our clients’ injuries. In many electrocution cases, there are more than one or two parties who can be brought into the lawsuit as defendants. We conduct thorough investigations to uncover all relevant facts that point to the negligent behavior of anyone who caused injury to our clients.
We also know the importance of correctly valuing our clients’ damages. Not all accident victims are aware that they only have one chance to get the dollar amount right on their physical and psychological injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, and other losses. Once the case settles or is tried, you don’t get to pursue the at-fault parties for more money. It’s relatively easy to total the damages that the victim has already incurred when they first retain us, but what about future damages?
To estimate a reasonable total of those future losses, we employ the assistance of expert witnesses. For instance, a medical expert witness can explain to a court what kinds of medical treatments the victim will likely require down the road and what that injured worker’s continuing disabilities and limitations will be. To estimate lost future earnings (also known as lost earning capacity), we can bring in a vocational or economic expert witness. This individual can explain how the victim’s injuries will affect his or her ability to perform job tasks, and in turn how that affects the ability to earn a living.
Contact Our New York Electrocution Attorney
Another way we help our clients is by maintaining an active role in their cases from start to finish. Your file won’t be handed off to a paralegal because our partners handle our cases. The same attorney represents you throughout the matter and we do not take a fee unless we recover for you.
Were you or a loved one injured in an electrocution accident? Do you have questions about your right to win compensation? Contact Miller, Montiel & Strano, P.C. now.
Miller, Montiel, & Strano, P.C. help clients with their construction site electrocution claims throughout New York including Nassau County, Suffolk County, Queens, and Brooklyn.