Electrocution Accident Attorney in Fort Lauderdale

Each year, approximately 400 people die by electrocution on construction sites, according to The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). If you or a loved one suffered injury or died in an electric shock or electrocution accident, a Fort Lauderdale electrocution accident and injury lawyer can help you recover the compensation you deserve.

Schedule a consultation with the attorneys at Farmer, Jaffe, Weissing, Edwards, Fistos & Lehrman, P.L. and let us be your path to justice.

 What are common types of electrical injuries?

Electrocution refers to death by electricity, whereas electrical shock refers to accidents that do not cause death. There are four types of electrical injuries as determined by NIOSH:

Burns: The current travels through the body and burns tissue. Burns can be one of three types:

  • Electrical burns cause injury to tissues.
  • Arc or flash burns result from electric arcs or explosions near the body.
  • Thermal contact burns result from contact with heated electrical equipment or fires caused by electrical equipment.

 Electrical shock: An electrical shock can cause burns, internal injuries, cardiac arrest, or death.

 Falls caused by electrical shock: A shock or explosion can lead to a loss of muscle control and cause workers to fall from high surfaces.

 Fatal electrocution: A severe electrical injury can cause organ failure and death.

What causes electrical injuries?

Some of the most common causes of electrocution and electrical shock are:

  • Exposure to faulty equipment and power lines
  • Direct contact with live power sources, transformers, or lighting fixtures
  • Lack of ground fault circuit interrupters
  • Inadequate tools
  • Ungrounded, live wires
  • Improperly installed equipment and wiring
  • Unmarked construction zones
  • Poor lighting at construction sites 

Types of Electrical Injuries

An electrical injury occurs when a person comes into contact with an electrical current.  The severity of the injury will depend on:

  • The type of current (AC or DC)
  • The voltage of the current
  • How long the worker was exposed to the current
  • The path of the current through the body

The symptoms of an electrical injury can range from slight tingling to cardiac arrest. Some of these effects may have a long-term impact on a construction worker’s life. These symptoms may include:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Broken bones
  • Headaches
  • Respiratory arrest
  • Internal injuries
  • Muscular contractions
  • Nerve damage
  • Severe burns
  • Cardiac arrest or cardiovascular issues
  • Seizures
  • Vision or hearing loss

Who is at risk?

Electricians, construction workers, machinists, and linesman are some of the most at-risk for an electrical injury. However, anyone can suffer an electrical accident. For example, common household appliances or electrical outlets can cause shocks and serious injuries.

How can I recover compensation for electrical injuries?

Those injured in an electrical accident may be suffering a great deal. Treating the burns and internal injuries caused by the accident may require expensive therapy and surgery. Many electrical accident victims will not be able to go to work for months after their injuries, making it difficult to pay their bills. 

Fortunately, workers (or family members) have options to recover compensation for their injuries.

Workers’ Compensation

If a worker suffered an electrical injury while on the job, his or her employer’s workers’ compensation insurance should cover all reasonable medical expenses and a portion of the worker’s wage (after seven days).

If the worker died from his injuries, the family is eligible to recover up to $7,500 in funeral costs and a portion of the deceased’s wages for a period of time.

Because workers’ compensation is not fault-based, the worker can recover these benefits even if he or she was the cause of the injury. However, if the worker was intoxicated, engaged in horseplay, or purposefully injured his or herself, the insurer does not need to cover the injury.

While workers’ compensation will help keep your family afloat while you are out of work, sometimes receiving two-thirds of your weekly wage just is not enough.

Workers’ compensation laws prohibit workers from suing their employer; however, you might have another option.

Third-Party Lawsuit

If your injury resulted from another party’s negligence, you may eligible to file a third-party claim or lawsuit. Third parties might include:

  • Manufacturers of products involved in the injury
  • A public utility
  • Property owners
  • Other contractors on site (general or sub)

Filing a lawsuit against a third, party allows you to recover damages for pain and suffering, in addition to lost wages and medical expenses. However, it requires you to prove that the other party’s negligent behavior caused your injury.

Proving Negligence

Many electrical shock accidents result from negligence, such as manufacturing defective products, failing to follow safety protocol, and failing to fix known dangerous conditions.

To prove negligence, you will need to prove the following:

  • Duty: You will need to show that the third party owed you a duty. For example, manufacturers owe a duty to adhere to safety standards and provide a non-defective product for workers to use.
  • Breach of Duty: Next, you will need to prove that the third party breached the duty they owed (e.g., manufacturer failed to follow safety standards when producing the product). You can use expert testimony and state laws to prove the breach.
  • Causation: Third, you will need to show that the third party’s breach of duty directly caused your injuries. Expert testimony from a physician and other experts in the field may help prove the connection between your injury and the negligence.
  • Damages: Lastly, you will need to prove that you suffered harm or injury in the accident (e.g., medical records showing your burns and other injuries).

How long do I have to file a lawsuit?

If you have been injured in an electrical accident due to a third party’s negligence, Florida requires that you file a suit within four years of the date of injury. Delay in filing your claim may prevent you from recovering any damages. 

What damages can I recover?

Electrical injury victims can recover damages for the following:

  • Past and future medical expenses,
  • Lost income
  • Pain and suffering
  • Future loss of earning capacity due to permanent disability
  • Emotional distress
  • Disfigurement (e.g., burn scars)

A successful electrical injury lawsuit can help victims (or surviving family members) recover their rightful damages while holding negligent parties responsible for their actions. The attorneys at Farmer, Jaffe, Weissing, Edwards, Fistos & Lehrman, P.L. can help you recover the compensation to which you are entitled. For more information, contact 954-524-2820.