Electric Shock Accidents at Work
Workers in many industries face electric shock risks at work. While utility workers face obvious risks, other workers face not-so-obvious risks. Tree workers, construction workers and factory workers often come into contact with electric hazards such as faulty equipment and overhead/underground wires.
Given the extent of injuries that result from electric shock accidents at work, it’s vital for injured workers to understand their full legal rights to ensure maximum compensation. After all, the majority of workers who suffer electric shock accidents often become completely disabled from returning to work. This often results in serious economic losses and exacerbates pain and suffering.
Employer Liability & Workers’ Compensation
In most states, workers’ compensation laws prevent injured workers from suing their employers for a work accident. If an employer provides workers’ compensation benefits for its employees, the employees are usually prohibited from suing the employer after a work accident. Instead, the workers’ compensation system is the only source of benefits for any claims against the employer. However, that only applies for claims against the employer. It does not apply to non-employer parties, such as contractors or subcontractors. See section below on contractor liability.
Even though there is this general rule that prevents work accident lawsuit from being filed against an employer, there are situations when an employer can be sued, and they vary from state to state. Many states allow such claims when an employer acts with recklessness or intentional conduct, i.e., lying to safety inspectors or falsifying reports.
Liability of Others (Non-Employer Parties)
As indicated above, workers’ compensation laws usually prevent injured workers from being able to bring lawsuits against employers after a work injury occurs. For example, a tree worker who comes into contact with a live wire while pruning a tree probably won’t be able to sue his or her employer for having caused the accident.
However, other parties might be held liable, especially when contractors or subcontractors are involved. In a construction accident case, a subcontractor who failed to follow OSHA regulations for preventing electric hazards may be liable to an employee of another contractor. In a factory accident case involving electrocution on a machine, an injured worker may be able to sue an equipment manufacturer or equipment maintenance company.
Claims for Compensation
Whether it’s a lawsuit against an employer for an intentional wrong or a lawsuit against a non-employer party, the plaintiff (injured worker) can make claims to get compensated for medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. This includes claims for past expenses and past pain and suffering as well as future expenses and future pain and suffering. In many cases involving electric accidents at work, the spouse may have a separate claim, known as a loss of consortium claim. It provides compensation to the spouse for negative changes in the marital relationship as a result of the accident and injuries.
Work Injury Lawyers – Electric Shock Accidents
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**This website does not provide legal advice. Every case is unique and it is crucial to get a qualified, expert legal opinion prior to making any decisions about your case. See the full disclaimer at the bottom of this page.