Norfolk, VA Injury Attorney Reports: A Guide to Electric Shock Injuries
As lawyers operating in industrial cities including Norfolk, Portsmouth and Newport News, VA electrical shock injuries are among the most distressing kind of injuries we see.
And these kinds of injuries still occur regularly in the workplaces and homes of Virginia (VA), They are usually as unexpected as they are distressing.
In January, 2012, for instance, a Virginia fire chief suffered an electrical shock injury while attending a fire that destroyed a mobile home. Buchanan Volunteer Fire Department Chief Billy Joe Carter was shocked by a downed power line, the Roanoke Times reported.
He reported some residual paralysis on his right side and trouble walking, but was hopeful he would make a full recovery.
Some victims of electrical hazards are not so fortunate.
See this news video of a man who was electrocuted.
Storm may have played role in electrocution: wdtn.com
Ronald McCarter, a highways worker was injured when his vehicle struck a low-hanging power line while he was paving Alabama Highway 14. A charge of 7,600 volts of electricity entered his arm. The accident left hm in constant pain and unable to control his hand.
McCarter sued the Black Warrior Electric Power Company, claiming it was in breach of a national regulation on the height of power lines. He was awarded $1.5 million for his injuries in a subsequent lawsuit.
Failure to maintain power lines and to warn workers have led to wrongful death lawsuits such as the case of a dump truck driver who was killed in Montgomery, Texas (TX).
Electric shock injury can have numerous health implications for its victims. The nervous system (brain, spinal cord, and nerves) is particularly sensitive to electric shock injury, and it is common for victims to suffer from neurological damage.
Damage to the respiratory and cardiovascular systems is at its highest at the time of the shock injury. Electric shocks can also paralyze the respiratory system or affect heart action, leading to instant death. Blood clots can occur and damage to smaller vessels may render amputation necessary in the victim.
Strong shocks are often accompanied by violent muscle spasms that can dislocate or even shatter bones. Electrical burns are caused by electric current flowing through tissues or bone. Arc or flash burns result from high temperatures near the body and are produced by an electric arc or an explosion.
As experienced Norfolk, VA based serious injury lawyers, we are aware that the many industries in cities such as Portsmouth, Norfolk, Newport News and Chesapeake, VA mean workers sometimes suffer from electric shock injuries. Workers have also been electrocuted in poultry plans, a mainstay industry on Virginia’s Eastern Shore.
According to the International Association of Electrical Inspectors (IAEI) the construction industry sees the largest amount of electrical shock injuries. In 2003–2007, about 52 percent of occupational electrical fatalities occurring in construction.
The good news, according to IAEI is that the numbers of deaths and injuries have been falling.
“The numbers alone indicate that we are experiencing substantially fewer deaths and injuries than we were fifteen years ago. In 1994, which serves as the fifteen-year high watermark, there were 348 electrically-related fatalities and 6,018 injuries; in contrast, in 2007 there were a total of 212 electrically-related fatalities and 2,540 injuries reported,” IAEI stated in a recent report.
As Hampton Roads, VA injury attorneys, we hope this trend continues, although more than 200 electrocutions a year is still far too many. We have helped people electrocuted in hotel rooms, on boat docks, and while using cranes. Each of these cases involved someone not keeping the premises safe though they knew of extreme risks to others that should have been prevented.