We understand the suffering you endure after an electrocution accident, and that’s why we want to help you get the compensation you need to move forward. Contact Madison Law Group now for a free consultation with our trusted and experienced personal injury lawyers.
Long Beach was one of the first cities in California to have an electric streetcar system, which was introduced in 1902 and helped to shape the city’s early development. Since then, this bustling port city has undergone a tremendous infrastructure expansion that has also increased the risks associated with electricity.
One moment of negligence can have life-altering consequences, and a Long Beach electrocution accident can leave people with physical, emotional, and financial burdens. According to the National Fire Protection Association, almost 2,400 employees suffered non-fatal electrical injuries in 2020. and approximately 1,000 fatalities occur annually as a result of electrical injuries in the United States. The Census of Fatal Occupational Injury reported 126 workers lost their lives due to electricity-related accidents that same year.
An electrocution injury can include extensive burns, nerve damage, cardiac arrest, and even death. The lingering effects of such an accident can be both physically and emotionally traumatizing, impacting an individual’s ability to work, enjoy life, and care for their family. These tragic outcomes can last for years or even a lifetime, leaving the people who get injured needing compensation, medical attention, and support.
Let Us Fight for Your Rights
In the wake of a Long Beach electrocution accident, every moment counts. Personal injury claims in California are subject to strict filing deadlines, meaning it’s vital for victims to take immediate action to safeguard their legal rights.
When you have suffered an electrocution injury, dealing with complex legal matters and a giant insurance company can feel like an uphill struggle. The Madison Law Group understands the urgency and gravity of such situations. Our skilled personal injury attorneys have the knowledge and experience to represent our clients in electrocution accident cases effectively. We bring a combination of genuine care and legal savvy to every case we take on.
Our law firm is well-versed in the intricate details of California’s personal injury laws. We have a reputation for achieving successful outcomes for our clients.
Common Causes of Electrical Accidents
Electrical accidents in “The Beach City” can occur for multiple reasons. The primary culprits include:
- Faulty machinery: Electrical accidents can happen when equipment malfunctions or is improperly maintained, such as hair dryers, power tools, and extension cords. Damaged insulation, frayed wires, or faulty circuit breakers can lead to electrical shocks or fires.
- Flawed safety practices: A lack of proper safety protocols or ineffective training can increase the likelihood of electrical accidents. Employers are responsible for providing comprehensive safety training and ensuring that employees follow established guidelines to minimize the risk of injury.
- Human blunders: Mistakes made by individuals, such as using damaged electrical tools, incorrect wiring, or bypassing safety devices, can lead to electrical accidents.
- Exposure to live wires: Contact with live electrical wires, directly or indirectly, can result in severe electrical injuries. Such exposure can occur due to damaged insulation, improper grounding, or contact with conductive materials (e.g., water, metal, and concrete).
Exploring the Causes and Consequences of Construction Electrocution Accidents
Long Beach is home to several large construction companies, including KPRS Construction Services and Long Beach Construction. The construction industry is a significant contributor to the local economy in Long Beach, employing thousands of construction workers and generating millions of dollars in revenue each year.
Unfortunately, this thriving sector is vulnerable to electrocution accidents due to various factors, often stemming from the inherently hazardous nature of construction sites and the extensive use of electrical equipment. Some of the primary reasons for electrocution accidents in the construction industry include the following:
- Substandard safety protocols: Construction sites often need proper safety measures, such as grounding systems, insulation, and lockout tagout procedures. Failure to implement and enforce these safety protocols can result in electrocution accidents.
- Poor employee training: Workers may need adequate training on electrical safety, equipment operation, and hazard recognition. This lack of knowledge increases the likelihood of accidents involving electrocution.
- Defective equipment: Outdated or poorly maintained electrical machinery. poorly installed lighting, improperly installed electrical systems, and frayed extension cords can create hazardous conditions for construction workers.
- Overhead power lines: Heavy machinery such as cranes, bulldozers, and excavators can cause electrocution if they come into contact with overhead power lines.
- Errors of judgment: Electrocution accidents can be caused by various human mistakes, from using damaged tools and incorrect wiring to bypassing safety devices. The combination of exhaustion, lack of focus, or poor communication can also be factored into causing these types of incidents.
Electricity and Construction Workers: The Most Common Accidents
Several types of electrocution accidents are more prevalent in the construction industry. Some of the most common construction-related electrocution accidents include:
- Contact with overhead power lines: Workers operating cranes, boom lifts, or other equipment near overhead power lines risk electrocution if they come into contact with live wires. Electricity can sometimes arc from the power line to the equipment, causing an electrocution accident even without direct contact.
- Tool and equipment accidents: Electrocution can occur when workers use defective, damaged, or improperly maintained electrical tools and equipment. Faulty insulation, exposed wires, or malfunctioning safety features can create hazardous conditions.
- Wiring accidents: Incorrectly installed or maintained wiring can result in electrocution accidents. Workers may accidentally come into contact with live wires, or improperly grounded circuits can create hazardous conditions.
- Exposure to energized parts: Workers may come into contact with energized parts of electrical systems, such as transformers, circuit breakers, or junction boxes, leading to electrocution accidents.
- Electrical fires and explosions: Electrocution accidents can also occur due to electrical fires or explosions caused by faulty wiring, overloaded circuits, or the use of inappropriate electrical equipment in hazardous environments.
The Hidden Dangers of Electrical Work: Common Injuries Sustained in Electrician Accidents
According to a report from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), 77 percent of the 325 contract worker electrocutions from 2012-2016 involved construction workers, including electricians.
Commonly reported injuries from electrician accidents can vary in severity and type, depending on the nature of the incident and the electrical current involved. Here is a list of some of the most serious injuries:
- Electrical burns: These injuries occur when an electrical current passes through the body, generating heat that damages the skin and underlying tissues. Electrical burns can range from mild to severe and may require extensive medical treatment, including skin grafts in more severe cases.
- Thermal burns: Thermal burns are caused by contact with hot surfaces or exposure to flames resulting from electrical accidents, such as fires or explosions. These burns can lead to skin damage, scarring, and possible infection.
- Electrocution: Electrocution refers to death caused by exposure to a lethal amount of electrical current. The current can disrupt the normal functioning of the heart, leading to cardiac arrest, or cause respiratory failure due to paralysis of the respiratory muscles.
- Electric shock: Electric shock injuries occur when an electrical current passes through the body, causing pain, muscle contractions, and involuntary movements. These injuries can range from minor to severe, depending on the intensity and duration of the electrical current.
- Nerve damage: Prolonged exposure to an electrical current can cause damage to the nerves, resulting in numbness, tingling, or loss of function in affected areas.
- Internal injuries: Electrocutions can result in internal injuries, such as damage to organs, blood vessels, and muscles. These serious injuries can be challenging to detect initially and may require extensive medical intervention.
- Cardiac arrhythmias: An electrical current passing through the heart can disrupt its normal rhythm, leading to irregular heartbeats or potentially life-threatening arrhythmias.
- Muscle and joint injuries: Electric shock can cause involuntary muscle contractions, which may lead to sprains, strains, or fractures. These severe injuries can result from fall accidents or sudden, forceful movements during the electric shock.
- Respiratory difficulties: Inhalation of smoke, toxic fumes, or chemical byproducts from electrical fires or explosions can cause respiratory issues, such as difficulty breathing or lung damage.
- Psychological distress: Survivors of electrocutions may experience mental and emotional pain, including anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder, resulting from the incident.
Electrocution Injuries: The Hidden Dangers That Linger for Years
The lasting effects of electrocution injuries can be wide-ranging and depend on several factors, including the strength and duration of the electrical current, the pathway it takes through the body, and the individual’s overall health. Electrocution victims often experience these long-term health issues:
- Neurological damage: The electrical current can cause direct injury to the nervous system, leading to ongoing issues such as numbness, tingling, chronic pain, or muscle weakness. In more severe cases, electrocution may result in paralysis or impaired cognitive function.
- Cardiac complications: Exposure to electrical current can have lasting effects on the heart, such as arrhythmias or an increased risk of heart disease. Sometimes, a person may require ongoing medical monitoring and treatment to manage these conditions.
- Scarring and disfigurement: Severe electrical burns can leave permanent scars or disfigurement, which may require multiple surgeries or skin grafts. These visible reminders of the injury can have a lasting psychological impact on the victim’s self-esteem and overall quality of life.
- Chronic pain: Electrocution injuries can lead to persistent pain due to nerve damage, muscle injuries, or joint complications. This pain can affect the victim’s ability to perform daily activities, work, or enjoy leisure activities.
- Impaired mobility: Damage to muscles, nerves, or joints can result in long-term mobility issues, such as difficulty walking, limited range of motion, or loss of strength. These impairments may necessitate ongoing physical therapy or adaptive equipment to maintain functionality.
- Psychological effects: The trauma of an electrocution injury can lead to lasting psychological consequences, such as anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These mental health challenges may require ongoing therapy and support to manage effectively.
- Sensory loss: Electrocution injuries can affect the patient’s sensory perception, such as hearing or vision loss, due to damage to the nerves or other structures responsible for these functions.
- Organ damage: Severe electrocution injuries can cause lasting damage to internal organs, such as the lungs, kidneys, or liver. This damage may result in long-term health complications and the need for ongoing medical intervention.
- Amputation: In extreme cases, severe tissue damage or infection resulting from electrical burns may necessitate amputation of the affected limb. This can significantly impact the victim’s ability to function independently and may require adaptive equipment or prosthetics.
From Construction Sites to Homes: Where Electrocution Personal Injury Cases Occur
Electrocution personal injury cases can arise from various circumstances where an individual suffers harm due to electrical factors. Here are some examples of electrocution personal injury cases:
- Workplace incidents: Severe injuries may occur on job sites, particularly in industries such as construction, utilities, and manufacturing, where workers are exposed to electrical hazards. In these cases, the injured party may pursue a workers’ compensation claim or, in some circumstances, a third-party liability claim against an entity other than their employer.
- Defective products: Serious injuries can result from using defective or poorly designed electrical products, such as appliances, power tools, or electronics. In these cases, victims may file a product liability claim against the manufacturer or distributor for the faulty product.
- Premises liability: Property owners have a duty to maintain safe conditions on their premises. Electrocution injuries from exposed wiring, faulty electrical systems, or inadequate maintenance may lead to a premises liability claim against the property owner or manager.
- Construction site disasters: Construction workers, as well as bystanders, can suffer catastrophic injuries due to contact with live wires, improper grounding, or inadequate safety measures. In these cases, the injured party may pursue a personal injury claim against the construction company, contractor, or other responsible parties.
- Utility company negligence: Electrocution injuries may occur due to the negligence of utility companies, such as failing to maintain power lines or transformers properly, or not providing adequate warning about electrical hazards. The injured party can file a personal injury claim against the utility company in these cases.
- Auto collisions involving electrical components: In some cases, electrocution injuries may result from collisions with utility poles or electric vehicles with faulty wiring or electrical systems. The injured party may pursue a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver, vehicle manufacturer, or other responsible parties.
- Medical malpractice: Catastrophic injuries can occur in medical settings if electrical equipment is misused or malfunctions during a procedure. The injured party may file a medical malpractice claim against the healthcare provider or facility in these cases.
Taking the Right Steps After an Electrical Accident Happens
In the event of catastrophic injuries from an electrical accident, injured parties should take the following steps to ensure proper recovery and legal recourse:
- Get medical help right away: Electrical injuries can have visible and invisible effects, such as burns or internal organ damage. Obtaining prompt medical care to assess and treat the injuries is essential.
- Make a formal report: If an electrical incident occurs at the workplace, it must be reported to the employer or supervisor as soon as possible. This step is critical for initiating a workers’ compensation claim, which can provide financial assistance for medical bills and lost wages.
- Gather supporting information: Capture the accident scene by snapping photos, gathering witness accounts, and jotting down relevant details. Focus on facts such as time, location, and circumstances surrounding the event. This evidence can help identify the liable party and lay the groundwork for taking legal action.
- Consult with an attorney: An experienced attorney specializing in electrical injuries can provide valuable assistance when you pursue a workers’ compensation claim or personal injury lawsuit. Having a legal team on your side can improve your chances of receiving the maximum compensation and support you need.
Workers’ Compensation Claim for an Electrician Accident
California Labor Code Section 3700 requires employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance coverage. Suppose you are an electrician injured on the job in an electrical-related accident in California. In that case, it helps to know how to access workers’ compensation benefits as an employee. Here are the steps to follow during the claims process.
Employee vs. Independent Contractor
In California, workers’ compensation laws cover employees but not independent contractors. It is crucial to determine your employment status to understand your eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits. An employee generally works under the direct control of an employer. An independent contractor provides services to a client or company under a contractual agreement and may have multiple clients.
Reporting the Injury
If you have been involved in an electrician accident and sustained an injury, you must immediately report the incident to your employer. California law requires employees to notify their employer in writing within 30 days of the injury. Failing to report the injury within this timeframe may jeopardize your ability to receive workers’ compensation benefits.
Seeking Medical Treatment
After reporting the injury, go to the doctor or hospital without delay. In California, your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company generally has the right to direct your medical care through a designated network of approved physicians. However, if you have predesignated your personal physician in writing before the injury, you may be allowed to receive treatment from that healthcare provider instead.
Filing the Workers’ Compensation Claim
Your employer must provide you with a workers’ compensation claim form (DWC-1) within one working day of receiving notice of your injury. This document helps establish that you were hurt on the job and need financial support for recovery. Complete the form detailing the circumstances of the accident and the nature of your injury, and submit it to your employer. Your employer should then submit the claim form to their workers’ compensation insurance carrier.
The Role of the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Carrier
Once the claim has been submitted, the insurance carrier will investigate it and decide whether to accept or deny it. They have up to 90 days to make this decision. If your claim is accepted, you will begin receiving medical aid and other benefits as dictated by California workers’ compensation laws.
Disputes and Appeals
If your claim is denied, you can challenge the decision. In California, you may need to file an Application for Adjudication of Claim with the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) and attend a hearing before a workers’ compensation judge. It is highly recommended to consult with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to assist you in this process.
Workers’ Comp vs. Personal Injury: Which Path Is Right for Your Construction Electrocution Case
Construction electrocution accidents can be classified as workers’ compensation and personal injury cases, depending on the incident’s circumstances. Understanding the distinctions between the two cases is important to determine your situation’s best course of action.
Workers’ Compensation Cases
If a serious construction accident or electrocution accident occurs while the injured party is performing their job duties as an employee, it will typically be considered a workers’ compensation case. Workers’ compensation is a no-fault insurance system designed to provide benefits to employees who are injured on the job. These benefits may include medical treatment, temporary or permanent disability payments, and vocational rehabilitation.
In a workers’ compensation case, the injured employee is not required to prove negligence by their employer or any other party. Instead, they only need to demonstrate that their injury occurred during employment.
Personal Injury Lawsuits
In some circumstances, a construction electrocution accident may also give rise to a personal injury claim. This may happen when the injury is caused by a third party’s negligence, such as another contractor, subcontractor, or manufacturer of a defective product used on the construction site.
In a personal injury case, the injured party must prove that the defendant’s negligence directly caused their injury. If successful, the injured party may recover damages for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses.
Combining Workers’ Compensation and Personal Injury Claims
An injured worker can pursue a workers’ compensation and personal injury claim simultaneously, provided the injury claim is against a third party and not their employer. This can allow the injured worker to recover additional compensation beyond what is provided through the workers’ compensation system.
Denied Claims: Understanding Why Your Workers’ Comp Claim May Be Rejected
Injured workers may encounter several problems when pursuing workers’ compensation. Understanding these common challenges can help you better prepare for the journey ahead.
Delayed or Denied Claims
One of the most common problems injured workers face is the delay or denial of their workers’ compensation claim. Insurance carriers may deny a claim due to insufficient documentation, disputes over the nature of the injury, or questions about whether the injury occurred during employment.
Delays can also be caused by slow communication between your insurance company, employer, and medical providers. Working with an experienced Long Beach electrician accident attorney can help ensure that your claim is submitted correctly and promptly, increasing the likelihood of a timely resolution.
Another common issue is receiving inadequate benefits to cover your many medical bills, lost wages, and other costs associated with your injury. This may occur if the insurance carrier underestimates the severity of your injury or disputes the extent of the medical treatment you require. An attorney can help you gather the necessary documentation and advocate for the appropriate level of benefits to cover your needs.
Difficulty Obtaining Medical Care
In some cases, injured workers may struggle to obtain the necessary clinical care, especially if the employers don’t carry workers’ compensation insurance. This could be due to disputes with the insurance carrier about the type or extent of treatment required or issues accessing approved medical providers within the workers’ compensation network. An attorney can assist you in navigating these challenges and ensure you receive the medical services you need to recover from your injury.
Returning to Work
One of the most significant concerns for injured workers is the prospect of returning to work. You may be worried about losing your job, facing discrimination or retaliation from your employer, or being unable to perform your job duties due to your injury. An experienced attorney can help you understand your legal rights and advise you on the best action to protect your job and ensure a smooth transition back to work.
Pursuing Third-Party Claims
In some cases, you may be eligible to pursue a personal injury claim against a third party responsible for your electrical injury and your workers’ compensation claim. This process can be complex and requires a thorough understanding of the legal issues involved. An attorney can guide you through this process and help you maximize your potential compensation.
Building a Personal Injury Case: What Information You Need to Pursue a Construction Electrocution Claim
To prove a personal injury claim, you will need to gather and present the following information:
- Evidence of negligence: Demonstrate that the responsible party, such as the construction company, contractor, or property owner, failed to adhere to safety standards or acted negligently, leading to the electrocution accident.
- Documentation of your injuries: Gather medical records, including diagnosis, treatment plans, and bills, to prove the severity and extent of your injuries. Photographic evidence of your injuries can also be helpful.
- Incident reports: Obtain any available accident or incident reports from the construction site and any records of prior safety violations or similar accidents.
- Witness statements: Collect statements from witnesses who saw the accident or can attest to the hazardous conditions at the construction site.
- Employment records: If you were working during the accident, provide evidence of your employment status, such as pay stubs, employment contracts, or tax records.
- Evidence of financial losses: Compile documentation of your losses, such as lost wages, medical expenses, and any other costs incurred due to the accident.
Steps to Filing an Electrocution Accident Lawsuit
The steps to filing a personal injury lawsuit for an electrocution accident are as follows:
- Consult an attorney: Seek advice from an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you determine whether you have a valid personal injury claim and guide you through the legal process.
- Gather evidence: Collect all relevant information and evidence to build a strong personal injury case, such as health records, police reports, photos and videos of the accident scene, eyewitness accounts, and expert witnesses.
- File the complaint: Your personal injury attorney will draft and file a formal complaint with the appropriate court, detailing the allegations against the at-fault party and the damages you seek.
- Serve the defendant: Once the complaint has been filed, the defendant must be served with the lawsuit documents, giving them notice of the legal action against them.
- Discovery phase: Both parties will engage in the discovery process, exchanging relevant information, evidence, and witness lists. This may include written questions, document requests, and depositions.
- Settlement negotiations: Many personal injury cases are resolved through settlement negotiations, where both parties agree to a monetary amount in exchange for dropping the lawsuit. Your attorney will represent your interests during these negotiations.
- Trial: If a settlement cannot be reached, the case will proceed to trial. Your attorney will present your case to a judge or jury, who will decide on the issue of liability and the appropriate amount of damages, if any.
- Appeal: If either party is dissatisfied with the trial’s outcome, they may have the option to appeal the decision to a higher court.
Compensation for Tragic Loss: What You Need to Know About Fatal Electrocution Construction Accidents
Electrocution accidents on construction sites can have severe consequences, including catastrophic injuries and fatalities. When a loved one loses their life due to such an accident, the surviving family members may be entitled to seek compensation through a wrongful death claim. This guide will provide an overview of wrongful death damages available for a fatal electrocution construction site accident and the legal options for pursuing a claim.
Certain surviving family members are able by law to bring a claim for compensation when their loved one dies in an accident where someone is liable for what happened. Below are the kinds of damages you can collect in a wrongful death lawsuit.
Economic damages are intended to compensate the surviving family members for their financial losses due to their loved one’s untimely death. These damages may include the following:
- Loss of income: Compensation for the deceased’s future earnings that the family would have received had the accident not occurred.
- Medical expenses: Reimbursement for any medical costs incurred due to the electrocution injury before the victim’s death.
- Funeral and burial expenses: Compensation for the deceased’s funeral and burial arrangements costs.
- Loss of benefits: Compensation for the loss of benefits, such as health insurance or pension plans, that the deceased would have provided to the family.
Non-economic damages are intended to compensate the surviving family members for the emotional pain and suffering they have experienced due to their loved one’s death. These damages may include the following:
- Loss of companionship: Compensation for the loss of love, affection, and emotional support the deceased provided to their spouse or partner.
- Loss of consortium: Compensation for the loss of intimacy and sexual relationship the deceased provided to their spouse or partner.
- Loss of parental guidance: Compensation for the loss of guidance, care, and nurturing the deceased provided to their children.
- Emotional distress: Compensation for the mental anguish, grief, and suffering experienced by the surviving family members due to their loved one’s death.