According to the American Burn Association (ABA), electrical burns accounted for four percent of admissions to burn centers between 2001 and 2010. These burns can happen in a variety of different settings, from exposure to electrical wiring or appliances in the home to exposure in a business or industrial setting.
If an electrical burn occurs through no fault of your own, you should consult with a skilled and experienced New Jersey burn lawyer from Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C. We can help you to seek compensation for losses associated with your electrical burn.
We understand the unique issues and challenges involved in electrical burn cases, and we are dedicated to helping victims and their families recover money they need and deserve.
To schedule a free initial consultation, call us today at 1-800-LAW-2000 or complete our online form. You will not pay for our legal services unless we recover for you.
Causes of Electrical Burns
Unfortunately, electrical exposure is a major cause of workplace death and injury. In fact, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA):
- Contact with overhead power lines is the most common cause of workplace-related electrocutions. Contact with overhead power lines causes 42 percent of all on-the-job deaths as a result of exposure to electricity.
- Failure to de-energize electrical equipment properly before beginning work is the second most common cause of fatal workplace electrocutions.
- Contact with electrical components mistakenly believed to have been de-energized is the third most common cause of fatal workplace electrocutions.
- Contact with buried underground power lines causes 1 percent of workplace fatalities related to electricity and 2 percent of non-fatal workplace injuries relating to electricity.
- 36 percent of non-fatal work injuries resulting from electrical exposure occur as a result of contact with electric current from a light fixture, machine or tool.
- 34 percent of non-fatal injuries resulting from electrical exposure at work occur due to contact with transformers, wiring or other electrical components.
When a worker comes into contact with electricity in these and other situations, OSHA reports that a variety of different injuries can occur. For example, electrical exposure can cause internal injuries and involuntary muscle contractions. The National Institute of Health warns that cardiac arrest may result and that you may experience nerve, muscle or tissue destruction.
However, when an electrical incident occurs, the most likely outcome is an electrical burn. In fact, there are three different types of electrical burns that OSHA reports are a common result of electrical incidents. These include:
- Electrical burns which result from heat generated by electrical current flowing through the body. These serious burns can cause tissue damage.
- Flash or arch burns, which are caused by high temperatures near to the body.
- Thermal burns, which occur when the skin touches overhead electrical equipment or when an electrical incident causes clothing to ignite.
Both OSHA and the National Institute of Health agree that burns are the most common injury related to electrical shocks. There is a very significant risk of an electrical burn whenever one is exposed to an electrical hazard at work.
Who is at Risk of Suffering Electrical Burns?
Electrical burn injuries are especially common as a result of workplace accidents. A recent study by the National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety found that there were 3,378 deaths due to electrical injuries between 1992 and 2002. OSHA reports that these deaths represented 4.7 percent of all occupational deaths. They averaged out to almost one death due to electrical injury every single day.
Electrical burns are one possible cause of these workplace deaths. Electrical burns can also cause serious and life-changing injuries that include scarring and tissue or nerve damage at the burn site.
Those most at risk of electrical exposure and of electrical burns at work include:
- Construction workers
- Industrial workers.
However, any worker who comes into contact with electricity, tools or machinery as a regular part of his or her job may be at risk of electrical burns.
In general, injuries to workers are fully covered even if the worker or a co-worker caused or contributed to the accident and injury under a state’s workers’ compensation laws. However, accidents often result from the negligence of the property owner, a general contractor or other contractor on the job site. In those circumstances, an injured worker can bring a claim not only under the state’s workers’ compensation laws, they can also file a significant claim for money damages in what is called a third-party claim.
Contact a New Jersey Electrical Burn Injury Lawyer for Legal Help
When you suffer injury from an electrical burn, you may need extensive and costly medical treatment, including skin grafts. If your burn resulted from a work injury or an incident at work, your employer may be responsible for paying for your medical bills and other costs through a workers’ compensation claim. In cases where electrical burns result from the negligence of a non-employer, it may also be possible to file a lawsuit.
To learn more about your legal rights and options, talk to a New Jersey electrical burn lawyer from Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C., today. Call us at 1-800-LAW-2000 or complete our online form to schedule a free initial consultation. You will pay no legal fees unless we recover the compensation that you and your family deserve.