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Can You Sue After an Electric Shock?

Posted in Liability on November 13, 2017

Electric shock injuries are not rare and the damage they cause varies greatly. Electrocutions are when an electric shock is fatal and they are fairly rare.  According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there are around 70 fatal electrocutions each year from consumer products, and many more injuries. The most common age for electrocution is not among children, but among adults aged 40 to 59. One of the most common forms of electrocution results from occupational injuries, which account for almost 10% of all fatal workplace accidents.

If you or a loved one recently sustained a serious electric shock, you may be wondering what your legal options are. The following aspects will inform any electric shock lawsuit:

Who Is the Responsible Party?

As with virtually every other personal injury case, electric shock cases are rooted in the theory of negligence. This means that another person’s careless actions (or inaction) directly led to your injuries. In general, there are four elements that comprise an electric shock case:

1. Someone owed you a duty of care – i.e., they were required to help keep you safe. For example, your employer has a duty to provide a safe workplace.

2. That party breached their duty of care – i.e., committed negligence. An example might be failing to check a machine for loose wiring.

3. That breach of care led to your injuries, and;

4. You incurred specific damages as a result (medical bills, lost wages, etc.).

The most important part of your case will be determining who breached their duty of care. There are several legal theories that may come into play in an electric shock case, which may include:

  • Premises liability. If you were shocked at a store or in a public place, you may have a case based on the idea that property owners are duty-bound to keep their premises safe for visitors.
  • Negligent supervision. If your child or loved one was shocked while playing in a pool in a thunderstorm while under another person’s care, you may collect compensation using the theory of negligent supervision.
  • Product liability. If you were shocked while using a defective product, you may have a case under the scope of product liability law, which states that anyone involved in the production and distribution of a product must use reasonable care to make it safe.

Types of Damages in Electric Shock Cases

If you have legal grounds for an electric shock lawsuit, you may be able to collect damages. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Economic damages. These types of damages, also called “special” damages, compensate for all the tangible losses associated with your experience. Examples may include medical bills, lost wages, and the cost of rehabilitation.
  • General damages. These help with the intangible losses of an accident, such as pain, suffering, and any loss in life quality.

Electric shocks can lead to serious injury or death. Thankfully, victims of these shocks may be able to gain compensation, especially when their injuries arise from someone else’s negligence. If you have further questions or want to know if you have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit, contact an attorney.