On-The-Job Electrocutions Are More Common Than You Might Think

When most people think of work injuries, they likely think of falls or cuts, but electrocution is one of the most serious injuries in the world of construction. Understanding these types of injuries, and how much to expect in a civil suit, can guide your compensation case.

Injuries Caused By Electrocution

It may surprise you to know that electrocution is one of the "Fatal Four" injury types in the construction world. They are second only to workplace falls and cause eight percent of worker fatalities on average every year. This does not account for non-fatal injuries, however, so the actual number is much higher.

Types of injuries include:

  • Nerve damage caused by shock
  • Muscle damage
  • Thermal burns on and inside the body

Even if you survive electrocution, you're likely going to suffer from a variety of side effects, including heart spasms, brain damage, and seizures. These injuries can be severe enough to require compensation from an employer who didn't protect his employees properly.

Causes Of These Injuries

Electrocution injuries on the job occur for a variety of reasons. The most common cause is faulty electrical wiring and equipment. In one study, it was found that 58 percent of all electrocution-on-the-job cases were caused by this concern. Overhead power lines (particularly poor location of them or working too close) caused about 34 percent of these injuries.

These statistics are specific to construction jobs and may vary depending on the type of job you perform. For example, if you work in an office, it's highly unlikely you're going to have to worry about overhead wires, but a malfunctioning computer could cause an injury.

Potential Settlement Awards

The award for an electrocution case will vary, depending on the circumstance. For example, in one case, the family of a man who was electrocuted while working on a bridge won $3.2 million in their civil case. The family of another man killed in the same incident received just $350,000 in a settlement in their case.

Wrongful death cases are usually going to win more money, so if you or someone you know was just injured, the payout is likely to be smaller. However, you are more likely to get a high payout if you actually pursue the case with a work injury lawyer, rather than just settle it. Though it may be a difficult process, it is worth it if you are unable to work after an electrocution injury.