According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International, 4% of all workplace fatalities are the result of electrical hazards. And the dangers of electrocution are particularly high in the construction industry.
Electrical Hazard Accidents In New York
On every construction site in New York, electricity is absolutely essential. It powers tools and lights, making the very work you do everyday possible.
Unfinished buildings, both commercial and residential, are tracked by vast networks of electrical wires. Until a project is complete, most of these wires are out in the open, rather than sealed behind walls.
But one fault in an electrical system can have devastating consequences.
Even a brief, low-voltage shock can result in severe burns, as the outer layer of skin is literally killed by electric current. Neurological damage is common, and many workers permanently lose the use of damaged limbs. Strong currents can result in severe brain damage, or stop the heart from beating.
Live current of any strength presents a significant hazard to even the most careful worker.
Common Electrical Hazards On The Worksite
Even seemingly innocent electrical appliances can be dangers when malfunctioning. Workers have been fatally electrocuted by objects as “harmless” as a broken light bulb.
Defective equipment is another significant hazard. As reported by the Centers for Disease Control, 17% of all worker deaths from electrocution occur when laborers come into contact with faulty tools that have become electrified.
But overhead power lines are by far the most frequent cause of fatal electrocution injuries; 41% of all worker deaths are attributed to power lines. Workers on the ground are most at risk, especially earth drillers.
In many cases, a truck’s boom will inadvertently make contact with an overhead line, electrifying the entire machine. Operators trapped inside, or workers leaning on the vehicle, can be instantly injured by the flowing current.
Your Rights As A Worker
As a worker in New York, you have the right to a safe workplace. This right extends to the electrical systems around which you work, along with those you actively handle on a daily basis.
Property owners are responsible for maintaining safe wiring throughout a premises, guarding live wires wherever possible, and warning guests, workers and occupants of potential hazards. But failure to warn, along with wiring that was defective from the start, is a tragically common cause of severe injuries.
Every year, more construction workers are seriously harmed by faulty wiring and electrical panels than employees in any other occupation. In 2010, that meant 163 workers fatally injured after coming into contact with electrical hazards. Other construction workers are left facing grave injuries: annually, around 2,000 employees suffer nonfatal electrical injuries and are forced to take time off.
Is Fair Compensation Out Of Reach?
Unfortunately, New York’s Workers Compensation system prevents you from pursuing your employer in a lawsuit.
Instead, you’ll be told to work with an insurance company, who will only provide minimal benefits for your necessary medical expenses and a portion of the wages you’ve lost.
But there’s another way.
In a personal injury lawsuit, you can seek damages far beyond the benefits an insurance company will offer. Of course, there will be money to cover your medical expenses and lost wages.
In addition, you can pursue compensation for your pain, emotional distress, psychological trauma and even damages to alleviate the burden a work injury has placed on your family. To learn more about personal injury damages, click here.
Do I Have Grounds For A Lawsuit?
If you were seriously hurt in an electrical accident, you may be eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit.
While you cannot sue your employer, every construction project is a group effort. Numerous players, from architects to electricians, are necessary to finish the job. When these third-parties fail to perform their duties properly, and create hazards on the worksite, injured parties have the right to sue.
If a property owner or general contractor failed to properly protect you from electrical dangers, they may be held legally liable for your injuries.
Electricians who perform shoddy work and endanger the lives of others can also be made accountable in a personal injury lawsuit.
Utility companies are responsible for ensuring that power lines are taut and placed correctly. Hazardous transformers must be marked correctly, and lines must be thoroughly insulated.
Without a thorough investigation, the true cause of your accident will never come to light. But if you’re seriously injured, you should be focused on your own recovery.
Aggressive Representation, Unmatched Results
The personal injury attorneys at Lipsig, Shapey, Manus & Moverman, P.C. offer legal guidance to injured workers throughout New York State.
With eight decades of combined trial experience, and a long history of results, our lawyers are positioned to pursue the maximum compensation you deserve.
If you hope to win your case, you’ll need an aggressive advocate, one whose only goal is your success. That’s exactly what our construction accident team provides, along with a thorough understanding of New York’s unique labor laws, access to the region’s top electrical engineering experts, and years of practical experience.
Need proof? Here’s a look at one of our most recent cases that involved electrical hazards:
Previous Results: Verdicts & Settlements
Our personal injury attorneys secured $1.2 million for a 44-year-old electrician. Working at height, our client was electrocuted and fell 14 feet, suffering multiple rib fractures that required multiple rounds of surgery.
Find more of our construction lawsuit victories here.
Contact New York’s Accident & Injury Attorneys
When workers comp fails, the construction accident lawyers at Lipsig, Shapey, Manus & Moverman, P.C. pick up the slack. We’ve recovered over $500 million for clients injured in New York. Now it’s your turn.
Contact our attorneys today for a free consultation. There’s no charge and no obligation, just the proven legal advice you need. Call 212-285-3300 or fill out our contact form to begin reviewing your case with an experienced lawyer today.