Electrical injuries and deaths are caused by electrocution and electric shock. This occurs when a person comes in direct contact with electrical current or energy source that result in the electricity flowing through the body.
When this occurs it can cause serious injury or even death in some cases, in other cases it might not cause any injury. The injury or death is dependent on the strength of the current; how it travels through the body and how quickly medical treatment is received.
Burns from Power and Electrical Instruments
Electric shock injuries are basically burns. Low volts equal a little shock and yoru reflexes cause you to pull away before your body sets a current. But at higher levels of voltage there can be internal damage to the heart, the brain or muscles. Each year there are approximately 1,000 people in the United States that are fatally injured due to electrical injuries. Work related accidents account for many of these deaths. If you are injured or a family member is killed due to an electric shock in California, it is important to contact an electric shock injury attorney immediately.
How Electric Shock Injuries Occur
When electricity comes in direct contact between a person and electricity electrocution occurs. This causes the electrical current to move through the body, on whatever part of the body the electricity comes in contact with the skin. When electricity travels through the vital organs and other parts of the body the injuries can be serious.
The three most common damages that can occur due to electric shock:
Skin Contact Site:
- When electricity comes in direct contact with the skin it results in a burn on the skin.
- Nerve, Muscle and Tissue Damage: When a person comes in contact with electricity there can be damage done that destroys nerves, muscles and tissue in the body at the burn site and where it travels through the body.
- Heart Damage: The heart can be stopped by electricity traveling through the body, which can occur when there is an electric shock to the hand and travels across the chest to the other hand to exit the body.
Electric Voltage and the Degree of Injury
Electric voltage and the degree of injury depend on the amount of electricity that causes the electrical shock. When electricity and the skin come in direct contact, and is a high enough voltage the current travels a path through the body.
There are also different types of electrical current. There is AC, which is alternating current and there is DC, which is direct current.
- The electric shock that is over 500 volts is high voltage and when a person’s skin comes in direct contact it can cause serious injury and even death in some cases.
- Electric current that is low voltage is under 500 volts and in most cases does not cause serious injury.
Treatment for Electrocution and Electric Shock
If a person receives a high voltage shock they need immediate medical attention, the faster the medical attention can save their life, in some cases this will require resuscitation. Resuscitation could be needed if the electricity path it travels is through the heart muscle.
The person that has a low voltage electrical shock should also be given immediate medical attention, as this type of electrical shock results in burns. The burns will need medical treatment to avoid becoming infected and severe electrical burns can be life threatening.
The Causes of Electrocution and Electric Shock
Most adults that sustain electrical shocks usually occur in the workplace, but they can occur at home also. People that work in construction and restaurants are at a higher risk of being electrocuted. Having live electrical wires exposed, active outdoor power lines with metal, water and multiple electrical outlets like at construction sites or restaurants are a hazard that raises the risk of electrocution.
Household electricity is in the form of 110 and 220 volts and can be a serious risk of electric shock or electrocution. Electric shock and electrocution is rare in children, with wall outlets posing the highest risk and account for 15 percent of child electricity injuries and electrocution.
Other Common Causes of Electric Shock
- Accidental contact with electrical sources that are exposed, such as appliances or wiring.
- Water coming in contact with electrical outlets on the floor and can often be found in commercial kitchens or industrial plants.
- Contact between metal and electricity, which can occur at construction sites, with metal ladders. It can also occur in industrial workplaces with machines or metal rails that are exposed to electric current.
- Contact with high voltage power lines that can occur in construction sites, home yards and car accidents.
- Contact with electrical arc flashes from power lines, which can occur at the construction site, the home yard or a car accident.
- Lightening is also a cause of an electric shock or electrocution to the human body.
Symptoms of Electrical Shock
The main symptom of electrical shock is burns, but there can be other types of injuries caused by an electrical shock. In some cases there are no apparent skin injuries due to an electrical shock, but there can be other types of injuries.
- Electric shock burns are common and most severe at the point of contact.
- Cardiac arrest can occur when the path of the electrical shock travels through the body crossing the heart muscle.
- Heart arrhythmia can be an injury due to electrical shock.
- Numbness or tingling, weakness, headaches, muscle pain or contraction, hearing impairment and seizures.
- Broken bones can also be an injury sustained due to the electrical shock or from being thrown after the shock.
- Deformity where the point of contact with the electric was.
- Respiratory failure.
Contact a Shock Lawyer To Learn More
If you or a loved one has been injured or died as the result of a high voltage shock, it is important to get medical attention immediately. Then it is important to speak with our electric shock and electrocution attorneys, since these types of injuries are often caused due to negligence. The Ehline Law firm can be reached at 888-400-9721, where our experienced attorneys can assist you in understanding your rights to compensation for your injuries or loved ones death. We are statewide, fighting for you.