Electrical Burn Injury
Perhaps when most people think of burn injuries, they imagine terrifying encounters with raging infernos. However, a less visible but common source of burn injuries is electricity. Electrical components reach temperatures of extremely high heat and conduct charges that can easily produce injuries in human beings. Electrical burn injuries can penetrate the top layers of a person’s skin and can damage nerve endings well beneath the skin. Electrical burn injuries often lead to a secondary injury: bacterial infection. Burned skin is less equipped to ward off infection than healthy skin.
If you or a loved one has suffered an electrical burn injury caused by another person’s negligence, it is critical that you contact a skilled local personal injury lawyer. The professionals at Arnold & Smith, PLLC have helped many electrical burn victims throughout North Carolina recover compensation for their injuries. Contact our law firm as soon as possible to schedule a free initial consultation.Common Causes of Electrical Burns in North Carolina
Many common items used by North Carolinians in their everyday lives can cause serious electrical burns. Electrical wiring, electrical appliances, and even lightning strikes can cause electrical burns. Burn injuries caused by faulty electrical wiring or dangerous electrical appliances often occur in the following ways:
- A child bites on an electrical cord when it is plugged into an outlet;
- A pet chews on electrical wiring, exposing the charged wires;
- An appliance contains faulty wiring that catches on fire and causes burns;
- A person attempts a repair or installation of an appliance whose power supply is on;
- An appliance that is plugged into an outlet is dropped into water
- A high-voltage power line is damaged, causing electrical arcs to leap from one electrical conductor to another.
While many electrical burns occur in a person’s home environment, a person’s risk of being burned in an electrical accident increases when one is employed in an environment featuring high-voltage electricity. The following settings can increase a worker’s chances of suffering an electrical burn:
- Agriculture workers face a higher likelihood of suffering electrical burns due to their proximity to high-voltage power lines;
- Persons who work outdoors during thunderstorms with lighting strikes have an increased likelihood of suffering electrical burn injuries;
- Occupations that involve work on electrical wiring or electrical appliances;
- Occupations that include exposure to power lines or electrical currents of any kind;
- Workers in steel mills;
- Workers in various kinds of factories;
- Workers in various heavy industrial fields.
Some electrical burns require minimal treatment. Other electrical burn injuries can cause death or serious bodily injury. For example, a man in Montana suffered serious injuries after discovering a dead black bear near an electrical power source. The man went down to poke the bear with a knife, and 2400 volts of electricity shot through his body. Investigators later discovered that a power company had negligently buried a live electric wire that surged through the man’s body.
Surgeons had to amputate one of the man’s arms, and he suffered numerous other burn injuries across his body, undergoing twenty-one (21) surgeries and spending forty-eight (48) days in the intensive burn unit. Over the next ten (10) months, the man underwent treatment for the reconstruction of his scalp. As the man’s story illustrates, severe electrical burns can cause life-changing injuries.Treatment of Electrical Burn Injuries
Treating electrical burn injuries can be extremely expensive and time-consuming. Rehabilitation costs for severe electrical burns can easily cost $500,000 or more. Initially, persons who suffer severe electrical burns often need CPR to restart their hearts, and need breathing support, intravenous fluids, and emergency surgery.
In the long-term, those who suffer severe electrical burns may need treatment for nerve, kidney, or heart damage. The medical removal of damaged limbs, tissue, and muscle can necessitate months or years of physical therapy and a lifetime of ongoing treatment. The mental trauma associated with suffering a serious electrical burn is also significant, and it can lead to a permanent change in a person’s outlook on life.Why Hire a Lawyer After a Serious Electrical Burn Injury?
If you have suffered an electrical burn injury at work, you may qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. Our lawyers can help you determine if you qualify for those benefits. If you do qualify, our professionals can help you apply for benefits and make sure that you receive all of the benefits to which you are entitled.
In addition to workers’ compensation benefits, you may also be entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering, which can only be won through a claim settlement or a personal injury lawsuit against the person or business whose negligence caused your burn injuries. The professionals at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are trial-ready and have extensive experience dealing with complex personal injury lawsuits. Contact our personal injury law firm today to schedule your free initial consultation. Arnold & Smith, PLLC has offices in uptown Charlotte, in Mooresville, and in Monroe, and the firm handles personal injury cases throughout the State of North Carolina.