Injured Workers Rights After an Electrical Accident

electrical accidents

We work for income and, hopefully, health insurance. We do our best to stay healthy and in good “working condition” so we can support ourselves and our households by earning a steady income. Unfortunately, those positive efforts can be derailed if we are hurt by an electrical accident or other workplace injury.

Workers have rights. After sustaining an injury in a workplace electrical accident, the Pittsburgh workplace accident lawyers from SMT Legal can help. If you have been hurt in an electrical accident at work, our team will fight to protect and uphold your rights and help you secure substantial financial compensation.

The Right to a Safe Workplace

All United States workers have the right to a safe workplace. Under federal law, your work environment must be free of known safety and health dangers. You also have the right to hold negligent parties accountable when your safety rights are violated and are protected, again by federal law, from employer retaliation.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recognizes the specific dangers of electrical accidents and has standards employers must uphold to keep workers safe. From how to handle power tools to training to grounding currents, OSHA has worker safety covered.

Pennsylvania has additional laws in place to protect workers from unsafe environments. Our state’s General Safety Law requires all workplaces to be “constructed, equipped, arranged, operated, and conducted” to provide “reasonable and adequate protection for the life, limb, safety, and morals” of all who work in them.

How Electrical Accidents Happen

Some work environments present more potential for electrical accidents than others. A report by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) shows that for a recent year of data collection, 126 workers died from electrical exposures at work. A breakdown of the incidents shows:

  • 56%, or three in five, of injuries came from direct exposure to electricity
  • 44% of those killed worked in construction or extraction jobs
  • 20% of those killed worked in installation, repair, and maintenance occupations
  • 13% of those killed worked in building or grounds-keeping jobs
  • 33% of the incidents occurred at private residences, and 31% occurred at industrial sites

“Direct exposure” occurs when a worker has direct contact with live electrical wires or is struck by an electrical arc, which is made when an electrical current jumps from one connection to another.

Clearly, certain industries pose more electrical dangers than others, but whether you are a construction worker working with electrically powered tools and machinery, a cook in a kitchen, a teacher in a classroom, or a manager in a retail store, should an electrical accident caused by someone else’s negligence damage your health and safety, your ability to work, and / or your emotional wellbeing, you deserve to be compensated by the responsible party or parties.

The Right to Collect Compensation

electrical accidents compensationAs reported above, some industrial electrical accidents produce fatalities. Other times, victims survive but sustain significant injuries. Electrical injuries are burns. Sometimes, the effects of the burn “only” affect the skin. The higher the degree of the burn, the deeper it reaches into the layers of skin, the more treatment it requires, and the more likely it is to cause permanent and obvious scarring and disfigurement.

In other cases, electrical accidents cause internal damage, harming organs and affecting brain function, sometimes permanently. Whether you are injured, or a loved one is killed, in an electrical accident caused by another party’s negligence, you have the right to seek a settlement or trial verdict.

What a Settlement Covers

In the aftermath of an occupational electrical accident, victims are typically overwhelmed. The accident itself is traumatizing, medical interventions and rehabilitation are painful, and without the ability to work during recovery or perhaps ever again, fear of an unstable financial future sets in. Under these conditions, victims are in no shape to assess the value of their losses and calculate future needs, but an experienced Pittsburgh workplace accident attorney is. And workers have the right to secure competent legal representation.

There is no “average” settlement amount for electrical accident injuries.

The circumstances of the event, the severity of injuries, the consequences of those injuries, and the degree of negligence involved all factor into the settlement demand, and an attorney will ensure that demand is adequate to cover economic and non-economic losses and restore a sense of justice.

  • Economic damages include any financial costs incurred as a result of the electrical accident, such as medical bills, future care costs, income loss, lost future earnings and benefits, and any additional related expenses
  • Non-economic damages are those that affect your quality of life and emotional well-being but do not come with a definitive price tag
  • Punitive damages are not always awarded in Pennsylvania; they do not compensate the victim, though the victim receives a financial “award” if punitive damages are granted, but punish the at-fault party for their egregious negligence

Wrongful Death

electrical accidents wrongful deathIf your loved one is killed in a workplace electrical accident, you can exercise their right to compensation by seeking a wrongful death settlement. Through this settlement, you can potentially secure coverage for any accident-related medical costs, lost earnings, death expenses, and loss of affection. The team at SMT Legal will also calculate and include the value of your loved one’s contributions to your household in the demand.

The Right to Hold Negligent Parties Accountable

When safety regulations are violated, and that causes harm to a worker, that worker has the right to hold violators accountable. If you work on a property, the owner of that property owes it to you to keep the environment free of electrical hazards and / or warn you of any potential dangers, no matter the nature of your job. If electrical problems arise, your employer must inform the property owner, who must then have the problems corrected before anyone is hurt.

If you work with power tools, on or near power lines, or in industries that put you near these elements, your employer must ensure:

When a property owner or other third party is the negligent entity, the claims process is not necessarily easy, and it will follow Pennsylvania’s personal injury law. Victims have two years to file a claim and the right to collect damages. When an employer is responsible, the situation becomes more challenging. Fortunately, our workplace accident attorneys in Pittsburgh are up to that challenge.

Negligent Employers

It can be difficult to sue negligent employers under Pennsylvania law. That said, some situations do allow workers to file claims directly against them. Do not try to navigate these laws on your own. A skilled Pittsburgh workplace injury lawyer will review your case and help you determine the most promising course of action.

Get the Best Possible Outcome

At SMT Legal, our goal is to get you the best possible outcome after you have suffered injuries from an electrical accident in your workplace. We have comprehensive knowledge of Pennsylvania and federal worker safety laws, and our state’s injury laws. The physical, emotional, and financial burdens you face after an on-the-job electrical accident warrant compensation, and the Pittsburgh workplace accident lawyers from our firm will fight hard to get you the settlement or trial verdict you deserve. Call or send a message for a free case consultation today.

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