Injuries by Electrocution
The attorneys at McDermott-Hickey have successfully represented victims who have been killed and injured due to electrocution.
In one case the power company was told about a downed wire that was sparking but waited days to fix the problem. The wife of our client unknowingly walked into the wire and was killed instantly. Had the power company acted in a timely manner her death would not have happened. There are generally several types of electrocution injury lawsuits; contact with power lines, faulty wiring, appliances and portable generators.
Electric utility companies have immense responsibilities. In addition to providing electricity to the entire country, they must properly manage the power source to keep the workers in the vicinity of the power lines safe, as well as the general public. In other words, the power company is responsible for keeping the public safe – not cleaning or covering up the mess after its defective power lines or equipment have caused an otherwise preventable injury or death. In addition, electrical companies have a duty to prevent injury to people coming in contact with their wires and this applies to the public in general. In addition to protecting the public, electrical companies owe these duties to any individual engaged in a lawful occupation in a place where he is entitled to be present.
In erecting and installing power lines, utility companies “must exercise a degree of care commensurate with the danger for the protection of those who rightfully may be subject to danger. Additionally, an electrical company also has a duty to “make reasonable inspections of wires and other instrumentalities in order to discover and remedy hazards and defects. What amounts to ‘reasonable inspections’ is a question of fact for a jury to decide. And how often the inspections should be made will depend on the circumstances of the particular case.
Part of the duty to erect and maintain electrical wires includes making sure utility wires are not sagging, hanging or are too low.
Hundreds of electrocutions occur every year due to improper wiring in homes and businesses. Often times electrical work is performed by “handymen” who lack the skill, knowledge and experience to do the job properly and to code. This can also lead to fire hazards as well as electrocution hazards.
Electrocutions involving appliances usually involve the appliance coming into contact with water or appliances that are not plugged into a proper outlet.
Many people buy portable generators for when the power goes out due to a storm or blackout. Unfortunately most people are not familiar with the proper procedures when using a generator. This can lead to shocks and electrocutions.