Our construction accident personal injury lawyers handle accidents involving electrocutions, electrical shocks, electrical burns and other electric-related injuries in Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. If you or a family member has been the victim of a construction-related electrical accident, or if you are an attorney in need of assistance for your client’s electrocution injury case, please contact us now for more information.
Why do electrical accidents occur in this day and age?
Most if not all electrical accidents in or near construction sites are completely preventable. Follow us here: Donald Rumsfeld was Secretary of Defense under George W. Bush. In 2002, he was speaking at a press conference about the evidence linking Iraq to weapons of mass destruction or WMDs. Rumsfeld was quoted as saying:
…[T]here are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say, we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don’t know we don’t know. And if one looks throughout the history of our country and other free countries, it is the latter category that tends to be the difficult ones.
When it comes to electrical accidents, there may be “known knowns”. And there may be “known unknowns”. But there should never be an “unknown unknown” that causes the death or injury of a human being. The “unknown unknowns” is indeed the category that tends to present the worst cases.
“Known knowns”: We have never seen an electrical injury in a “known known” situation. A “known known” is where you know the location of every electrical wire present, and you know you cut the power to everything. An example of this would be a homeowner who built his own house. The homeowner, a licensed electrician, wired his own master bath. Now, when he goes to install a new light fixture, he knows where the electrical wiring is and he knows he cut it off at the breaker box. That guy’s family is not calling us about an electrocution case.
“Known unknowns”: There are cases where you know there could be wires, but you don’t know for sure where they are or that power has been cut off. Let’s say you are on a landscape design crew. Your foreman marks out the spots where you need to dig post holes for a new fence. Before breaking ground, the foreman calls 811 or Miss Utility or whatever service exists in your state. A man comes out and marks the location of the utility lines in the vicinity. Now let’s say you start to dig your fence posts and strike something. You reach into the hole to pull it out and it’s electrically charged. You and your crew knew there could be something there, but despite taking precautions the hot electrical line was still unknown. Occasionally, even though you know there could be hotlines, you don’t know where exactly they are or you believe power has been turned off when it has not. Known unknowns are terribly dangerous in construction.
“Unknown unknowns”: There are things you don’t know you don’t know. Imagine if you were on a construction crew and the safety leader had no training in construction. Imagine if the safety leader simply didn’t know to take any action to identify potentially deadly sources of electrical power. When construction contractors hire inexperienced leaders and fail to train them on basic safety precautions to protect workers, that is when you see “unknown unknowns” and the death and injuries that follow from being too ignorant to know what you don’t know about hot electrical lines. Unknown unknowns lead to disaster.
What types of injuries result from electrical accidents?
Electrical accident cases present a different type of injury from most accidents. Electrical accidents can cause the following:
Electrocution – electrocution means death by electric shock. The word is a portmanteau of electric and execution.
Electrical burns on the skin or other organs – as a result of exposure to electrical current, thermal burns can occur on the skin and other organs of the body.
Scarring – scar tissue can form where burns or other lesions of the soft tissues.
Cardiac arrest and destruction of nerves and muscles.
If you or a family member has been injured or killed due to an electrical accident, please contact us immediately to learn more about your legal rights. If you are an attorney handling an electric accident construction accident case, please contact us to learn more about how we can co-counsel to provide an outstanding result for your client.