Electricity is essential to life as we know it. Electrical current runs through our homes, our cars and our places of work and play. Yet direct exposure to live electrical current can lead to significant injury or death. An electrical burn injury not only causes intense pain, but also significant scarring, nerve damage, and impaired motor functions. Electrical burns can also interfere with heart function. If you or a loved one have been suffered an electrical burn or been electrocuted, the electrical burn injury lawyers at Begam Marks & Traulsen, P.A. can help. Our Phoenix injury attorneys understand how to handle electrical burn injury cases and can fight for just compensation for your injuries.
What Is an Electrical Burn?
The human body conducts electricity, and electrical currents course throughout our bodies at all times. When a person comes into contact with a high-voltage discharge of electricity or touches an electrified surface, the resulting injuries can be extensive. Too much electricity will shock the body, overloading nerve endings and interfering with the body’s natural electrical currents. Electricity also generates heat, causing burning wounds around the point of contact, and the heat can cause clothing to catch fire and cause thermal burns as well.
Most electrical burn injuries happen during the course of electricity-related work, such as construction, power line and generator maintenance, or appliance repairs. However, there are several risk factors for electrical burns in any given home. For example, a crawling toddler may find an electrical cord and chew through the protective coating, suffering an electric shock once he or she makes contact with the exposed wire. Appliances, electronic toys, and any device that uses electricity can potentially cause an electrical burn.
Effects of an Electrical Burn
An electrical burn may not always appear significant on the outside, but the real damage is often invisible and internal for electrical burn victims. Some electrical burns leave visible scarring, but others will not display significant external symptoms. The severity of the burn depends on the voltage level of the electrical source and how long the victim remained in contact with the source.
Primary symptoms of an electrical burn can include numbness, tingling sensations, weakness, headaches, and disorientation. More severe symptoms can include arrhythmia, or irregular heartbeat, seizures, low blood pressure, and even cardiac arrest. A severe electrical shock can also cause involuntary muscle contractions. For construction workers and utility workers who operate high off the ground, it presents a significant falling risk that can result in even more injuries.
Liability for Electrical Burns
If you or a loved one suffered an electrical burn that you believe was foreseeable and avoidable, you may have grounds for a lawsuit against the responsible party. A personal injury lawsuit hinges on the concept of negligence, which you will need to prove to succeed in your case. Proving negligence entails four elements:
- Duty. The defendant owed the victim a duty of care during the situation in question. Proving this aspect of negligence is relatively simple and typically requires proving the defendant was present and involved in the given situation.
- Breach. The plaintiff has to show how the defendant breached this duty of care. This usually involves proving that another reasonable person in the same situation would have acted differently.
- Damage. The plaintiff only has a claim if he or she sustained actual harm, or some kind of measurable damage.
- Causation. Finally, the plaintiff has to prove a link between the defendant’s negligence and the plaintiff’s damages. The plaintiff must show the court that the damages would not have occurred if not for the defendant’s negligence, or that the defendant’s negligence directly caused the plaintiff’s damages.
Recovery from an electrical burn is a long, stressful, and often expensive process. The first step you can take to make this process more manageable is to hire a reliable Phoenix burn injury lawyer. Begam Marks & Traulsen, P.A. represents clients from all over the Phoenix area in a variety of civil claims, so contact us today to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys. We’ll review your electrical burn claim and let you know if you have grounds for a lawsuit.