Electrical shocks on the jobsite do happen from time to time, especially to electricians. These injuries are almost avoidable if proper precautions are taken and safety protocols are put in places. Electricity travels in closed circuits through a conductor.
A person gets shocked when the human body comes in contact with one wire of an energized circuit or with both wires of an electric circuit, among other ways. Electricity streams through parts of the body to the ground or earth.Washington State Electrical Shock Laws
When skin is moist or wet, the skin will be like a conductor, which is why electric shocks so often happen when there is rain or water present. When someone is shocked, the damages can be horrific or minor in nature. The electricity may only feel like a tingling running through one’s limbs or it could lead to the person having a heart attack and being killed instantly. The results depend in large part on how much electricity runs through the body.
When people are harmed from an electric shock, there are three likely reasons.
- First, there are unsafe work practices.
- Second, the environment is not safe.
- Third, the equipment being used at the jobsite or the installation job was not done properly. Many times there are problems with insulation or guarding or electrical protective devices.
Fortunately, most electrical shock accidents can be prevented entirely, including but not limited to using the proper protective equipment, be very careful around energized liens, properly maintaining tools, and making sure to properly inspect and repair electrical equipment. If you have been injured on the job, you have one of two options in order to secure a recovery for your injuries. First, you may to be able to turn to L&I.
L&I stands for Labor and Industries and they are a division of Washington State. They will pay you a portion of your time loss and, if you are eligible, you can receive a financial settlement for your injuries, which is called a permanent partial disability award (PPD award). This amount is based on the percentage of your disability.
The particular thing about a L&I case is that you don’t have to prove that anyone was at fault. L&I does not care who was at fault. You can receive benefits from L&I regardless of who was at fault. Even you could be at fault. All that matters is that you were on the job when you got hurt. While the settlement you will receive L&I may not be much money, it can at least be something for you.
The second option you have is what is called a third party settlement. A third party settlement is only available when a party other than your employer caused your accident. So if there was another company, such as a general contractor, that was partly or entirely responsible for how the accident was created, then you can sue the general contractor just like you could sue someone who struck you with their car.
If you have to sue the general contractor, or a subcontractor, then you have to prove that they were somehow negligent and caused your injuries. This is very different from L&I obviously, where, again, you don’t have to prove fault. With a third party case, the burden of proof is on you. This means you may have to hire a certain kind of expert to prove your version of events are in fact correct. These cases may not be easy to win, but the financial reward may be much greater than with a L&I case.
If this second option is available to you, there is no reason why you can’t have both a L&I case and a third party case. The reason this is the case is that you are not suing your employer, which is not allowed when L&I is involved. Instead, you’re suing a company other than your employer, which is allowed. However, L&I will likely ask that you repay a portion of your legal settlement that is reserved for medical bills back to L&I.
While the party that injured you, whether it be a general or subcontractor, may have violated any number of laws, it is important to identify at least one. In addition, you may be able to just point to the fact that the defendant either knew or should have known there was a problem with their worksite in terms of it not being safe.
If you have suffered an electric shock on the job and suffered serious injuries, feel free to speak to The Jackman Law Firm for a free consultation.Common Electrical Shock Injuries
If you have been injured on the job or at a construction site because of an electrical shock, you may have suffered a number of serious injuries. Among them are:
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Head trauma
- Spinal cord injuries
- Back injuries
- Shoulder injuries
- Knee injuries
After injuring yourself in a construction accident, it is doubtful the injury will just heal on its own. Rather, you will have to see a doctor or specialist, such as a chiropractor, osteopath, primary doctor, or surgeon in order to get back to health. Delaying to get medical care is not advisable. Please seek immediately medical care in order to treat your injuries.How The Jackman Law Firm Can Help
After being injured from an electrical shock at a construction or job site, you are likely dealing with a great deal of trauma, both physically and emotionally. This event may have completely altered your life. Aside from dealing with the physical pain and the stress of recuperating, you may be wondering how your bills are going to get paid and where to turn. The Jackman Law Firm can help you make sense of this with our expert help.
First of all, your own health insurance through company should pay your medical bills if the injury occurred while you were not working. If you were on the job at the time, then Labor and Industries, L&I, should pay your bills. If there is a problem with this, let us know. At the end of your case, when it has settled, be aware that a portion of the medical bills that L&I paid will have to be repaid to L&I. In terms of the damages you are allowed to receive, legally-speaking, these are the categories: medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, out of pocket expenses, and loss of consortium.
Pain and suffering is money for just what it sounds like: money to compensate you for the pain and the suffering you endured because of your accident. Loss of consortium is an amount of money that is intended to help compensate your spouse or legal partner for their injuries sustained as part of your accident.
It may seem unfair, but at times the insurance company for the company, most likely the general contractor, may allege that you did something wrong, either in part or in total to contribute to your accident. If this is your situation, you need to have an attorney who can fight to make sure that this argument does not hinder your case. The Jackman Law Firm has the resources, in the form of expert witnesses, who can do everything possible to minimize this argument’s impact on the overall outcome of your case.
Since we work on a contingency fee agreement basis, this means we do not get paid unless you do first. We will never send you a bill for our time or ask for a large retainer. Rather, we take a third of whatever recovery we obtain. The consultation is also free.