How Electrocution Accident Lawyers Are Defending Oklahoma Injured Workers

Electricity hazards pose a risk to Oklahoma workers in many jobs and industries. While electricity is essential, electrical accidents can cause severe shocks and burns and have lasting physical and emotional effects.

If you were injured in an electrical accident that was caused by someone else’s carelessness or disregard for safety, you may be entitled to seek financial compensation.

At Ryan Bisher Ryan & Simons, our knowledgeable Oklahoma electrocution injury lawyers offer experienced legal representation to people who have sustained electrical injuries as a result of other’s negligence. Our personal injury law firm has been helping Oklahomans injured in electrical accidents and the families of those who have suffered fatal injuries for more than 30 years.

Our compassionate attorneys and staff offer personalized attention to help you address the financial aspects of an electrical accident such as recovery of medical expenses and loss of income. We have represented clients in many towns and counties throughout Oklahoma. Several of our partners grew up in small towns in Oklahoma and our law firm prides itself on its small-town hospitality and friendliness.

Contact us today if you or your loved one has sustained an electrocution injury to discuss how we may help.

Types of Electrical Injuries

An electrical power line worker repairing a line

Types of Electrical Accidents

Workers may sustain serious injuries in various types of electrocution accidents:

  • Electrical Shocks—An electrical shock can occur if a person accidentally comes into contact with the conductors in an electrical circuit or an ungrounded conductor and current passes through the person’s body. Overhead power lines, exposed wiring, faulty appliances, and energized equipment can cause electrical shock injuries. The extent of the injury depends on the amount of electricity that passes through the body and the length of time a person is exposed to the electrical current. A severe shock can cause cardiac arrest, an irregular heartbeat, breathing difficulty, loss of muscle control and loss of limbs.
  • Electrical BurnsDirect contact with electrical current can cause severe thermal burns from the heat generated by current passing through tissue or bone. Electrical burns are among the most serious types of burn injuries. The internal tissue damage from an electrical burn may be more extensive than is apparent on the skin surface. An electrical burn can cause scarring and disfigurement, requiring reconstructive surgery or result in death.
  • Electrical Explosions— Arc burns are one of the most common types of injuries caused by electrical current. The blast impact from an arc flash electrical explosion can cause serious injuries such as hearing loss, brain injuries, internal organ damage, lung damage or death. It can also start a fire and ignite clothing causing other burn injuries.

Electrocution Accidents on Work Sites

The industries with the largest number of non-fatal electrical injuries are:

  • Construction
  • Real Estate and Rental and Leasing
  • Scientific and Technical Services
  • Manufacturing.

Meanwhile the utilities industry had the highest rate of electrical injuries.

Exposure to electrical current is one of the most common types of electrical accidents. Overhead lines and buried power lines at construction job sites present a risk because they carry high voltage current. An electrical shock can cause a worker on a ladder to fall if the ladder contacts an overhead power line, causing blunt force trauma and internal injuries.

Electrical accidents are largely preventable accidents and are typically caused by one of several factors:

  • Outdated or worn electrical equipment or wiring
  • Improper installation of electrical equipment
  • Unsafe work practices
  • Unsafe environment

OSHA Standards

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has regulations covering the design, use and maintenance of electrical equipment including motors, appliances, machines, lighting, and switches to reduce the risk of workplace electrical accidents.

Proper safety training for workers is essential. OSHA regulations regarding electrical safety practices emphasize that all electrical circuit conductors should be de-energized before working on them or near them. Even after conductors are de-energized, they should still be treated as energized until locked out or tagged out and tested.

OSHA requires that employers provide training to electrical workers and workers in certain non-electrical occupations who face a higher than normal risk of electrical accidents and injuries due to electric shock. They must receive training in safety-related work practices such as wearing proper protective gear, using caution when working around energized lines and de-energizing electrical equipment before attempting repairs, according to OSHA. These occupations include:

Operators of heavy equipment
Industrial machine operators
Mechanics and repairers
Painters
Riggers and roustabouts
Stationary engineers
Welders
Blue collar supervisors
Electrical and electronic engineers
Electrical equipment assemblers
Electronic technicians

Our knowledgeable attorneys can review the circumstances of your electrical accident and discuss your legal options.

Contact our law office in Oklahoma City now

Classification of Electrocution Injuries

Low Voltage Injury—An individual who sustains a low voltage injury may have either superficial burns on the skin surface or severe injuries if the individual had prolonged contact with the electrical source. Generally speaking, the longer a person is exposed to an electrical shock, the more extensive the damage. The current in households is typically 110 volts or 220 volts for large appliances. Low voltage injuries may cause muscle spasms, irregular heartbeat and cardiac arrest.

High Voltage Injury—High voltage current is more likely to cause serious injuries including internal injuries than low voltage current. Any current over 500 volts is considered high voltage. High voltage current can leap through the air, which is known as arcing.

Flash Injuries —Flash injuries occur when an individual is exposed to the heat produced by an electrical arc. Five to 10 arc flash explosions occur every day in the workplace, the U.S. Department of Labor estimates. Arc flash explosions can result in serious injury or fatal injury and require the victim to have treatment at a special burn center hospital.

Flame Injuries—Flame injuries occur when an arc flash or electrical explosion ignites an individual’s clothing, resulting in burns.

Lightning Injury—A lightning injury results from a brief exposure to the high voltage current of a lightning strike. Electrical current passing through the body produces heat, which can destroy tissue. But lightning is less likely to cause internal injuries than electrocution injuries from generated electricity. Approximately 10 percent of people who suffer lightning injuries die and some lightning injuries result in permanent disability.

How You Can Get Compensation for an Electrical Injury

Many electrical accidents occur on the job. Most employers in Oklahoma are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance and provide benefits to employees who are injured on the job.

If you suffered an electrocution injury in a workplace accident, you may be entitled to the following types of workers’ compensation benefits:

  • Paid medical care for work-related electrical injuries
  • Payments for wages lost due to being out of work because of work-related electrocution injuries
  • Temporary total disability payments
  • Compensation for permanent disabilities or loss of limbs caused by work-related electrical injuries
  • Job retraining for workers’ who are unable to return to work their prior occupation
  • Death benefits for the families of workers who died due to a work-related electrocution injury

Many electrical injuries lead to significant amounts of missed days of work. A fourth of workers who sustained injuries from exposure to electricity resulted in 31 days or longer off work, according to a report by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

Our electrical injury attorneys at Ryan Bisher Ryan & Simons can review your injury during a no-obligation consultation and discuss which workers’ comp benefits you have a right to claim. The Oklahoma workers’ compensation insurance system is complicated, and you will want to consult an experienced Oklahoma workers’ compensation attorney.

After certain work accidents, you may have a right to file a lawsuit if the electrical accident was caused by the negligence of another party with whom you have no employment relationship.

For example, if you were working on a construction site for a subcontractor and suffered an electrocution injury due to hazardous conditions that the general contractor had failed to correct, then you may have a right to sue the general contractor who caused your injuries.

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Contact Our Oklahoma Electrical Injury Law Firm Today

The experienced and compassionate attorneys at Ryan Bisher Ryan & Simons understand the physical pain, psychological distress and financial pressure that a serious electrical injury accident can cause. We seek to help our clients pursue the full compensation allowed by law to pay for the harm caused by other’s carelessness or negligence. Contact our firm today online or call us to arrange your free consultation to discuss how we can assist you.