electric shock

Kansas City Electrical Injury Attorneys

Representing electrical shock and electrocution victims throughout Missouri and Kansas

Working with or near electricity is extremely dangerous. Yet electricians, workers who use power tools, and workers who work near power lines risk dying or suffering severe electric shock and burns every day. Anyone, other than employees, who is injured due to the negligence of a property owner or employer has the right to file a personal injury action against the responsible parties. Injury victims have the right to file a product liability claim if a defective tool or equipment causes an electrocution. The families of deceased loved ones have a right to file a wrongful death action.

At Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys, our personal injury lawyers represent construction, manufacturing, and other types of workers, as well as non-employees, in claims involving electrical injuries. We understand how traumatic it is for families to learn that a loved one died because of an electrical accident, and for people who survive electrical accidents to cope with their injuries. We work with electricians and similar professionals to show that the defendants failed to follow proper federal, state, and local standards or electrical product directions and warnings. We work with experts to show tools and equipment were defective.

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How often do electrical accidents happen?

The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) is a nonprofit dedicated to promoting electrical safety in the home and at work. The ESFI reviews industry codes and regulations that are set by OSHA, the National Electric Code, the IEEE, and NFPA 70E electrical safety standards, plus best practices in the industry. According to the ESFI, for 2019:

  • 166 people died due to electrical accidents.
  • The industry with the most fatal electrical injuries was the construction industry followed by the utility industry.
  • 8% of all electrical injuries were fatal.
  • More than 1/2 of all fatalities were due to “constructing, repairing, or cleaning.” Another 1/4 were due to “using or operating tools or machinery.”
  • 3 in 10 electrical fatalities occurred at private residences and another 30% occurred at industrial sites.
  • 1,900 nonfatal electrical injuries required workers to lose time from work.
  • “57% of fatalities occurred in service-providing industries while 43 occurred in good-producing industries.”

What are the six primary electrical hazards?

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) uses the acronym “BE SAFE” to outline the six primary electrical hazards:

Burns, including electrical, arc/flash, and thermal contact.

Electrocution, a fatal electrical shock which exposes the brain to a lethal amount of electricity.

Shock, a “reflex response to the passage of electric current through the body.”

Arc Flash/Arc Blast, a release of electrical energy into the air.

Fire, often caused by problems with the wiring.

Explosions, which “can occur when electricity ignites an explosive mixture of material in the air.”

What types of injuries do electrical accidents cause?

Anyone who is exposed to electrical current may suffer:

  • Internal or external burns
  • Heart failure
  • Respiratory disorders
  • Nerve, muscle, or tissue damage
  • Spasms or seizures
  • Hearing and vision problems

Victims may also fall from ladders or other heights due to an electric shock, which can lead to secondary injuries such as spinal cord damage or traumatic brain injuries. In the most tragic cases, the victim of an electrical accident dies.

The type of injury and the severity depend on a variety of factors including the length of the exposure, the voltage, the person’s health, and other factors. Emergency help should be provided. Some victims may require surgery. Victims who survive an electrocution often need long-term physical and occupational therapy to function again, and to possibly return to work.

Common causes of electrical injuries on Kansas City worksites

According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), some of the causes of electrical accidents are:

  • Contact with power lines. Buried power lines and overhead lines are extremely dangerous. Workers may come into contact with these lines directly. Often, workers come into contact with these lines because the equipment they use, such as cranes, backhoes, concrete pumpers, metal ladders, construction materials, and scaffolds comes into contact with the lines.
  • Lack of ground-fault protection. According to OSHA, constant use of electrical equipment can cause “wear and tear that results in insulation breaks, short-circuits, and exposed wires.” “If there is no ground-fault protection, these can cause a ground-fault that sends current through the worker's body, resulting in electrical burns, explosions, fire, or death.”
  • Faulty grounding and faulty paths. An electrical current may run through an employee if the power supply to the electrical equipment, or if the path between the supply and the equipment, isn’t properly grounded. Extreme conditions and rough use of the electrical equipment can cause a properly grounded power supply to become hazardous.
  • The equipment isn’t used according to directions. Electrical equipment should be used in accordance with manufacturer specifications. For example, it’s dangerous to use equipment outside if the equipment was designed for inside use. It’s dangerous to use to attach “two-prong adapter plugs to three-prong cords and tools.”

Cords, wires, and other electrical conduits should regularly be checked for wear and tear. Electrocution accidents may also be due to power surges, defective products, lightning, water leaks, and exposed outlets.

Who is accountable for an electrical accident?

In electrical injury claims, there could be multiple liable parties:

  • The manufacturers, distributors, and sellers of electrical products can be held responsible if their product is defective, and the defect causes the electrical accident.
  • Home renovation and construction companies who have made mistakes during installation in a building.
  • A power company which failed to properly maintain its lines or grid.
  • Construction site employers and other employers may be liable to contractors if the employers failed to follow federal and state regulations, failed to follow industry safety protocols, or they were otherwise negligent.

Employees generally have a right to file a workers’ compensation claim if they are injured in an electrical accident at work.

The families of non-employees have the right to file a wrongful death action against the responsible parties. The families of employees may be entitled to death benefits.

How can an experienced electrical accident lawyer help?

Our Kansas City-based personal injury lawyers work with electricians, investigators, and industry professionals throughout Missouri and Kansas to confirm how the accident happened, and why it happened. If the cause of your injuries or the death of a loved one was due to a defective tool or item of equipment, we work with product safety professionals who can explain the defect and how the defect caused the accident. We work with your doctors to verify your diagnosis, explain the treatments you need, and show all the ways your life has changed because of your burns and other electrical injuries.

Do you have an electrical shock injury attorney near me?

Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys maintains multiple offices throughout Missouri and Kansas. Our Kansas City office is located at 510 Walnut Street, only a few blocks from City Hall.

Speak with a skilled Kansas City electrical injury lawyer today

At Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys, we demand full compensation for your medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering. Our lawyers have been fighting for personal injury victims for 30 years. To discuss your right to file a claim for damages, call us at 816-471-5111, conduct a live chat today, or use our contact form to schedule a free consultation. From our headquarters in Kansas City, we represent clients across Kansas and Missouri. Our firm has locations in Lee’s Summit, St. Joseph, and Parkville, MO, as well as Overland Park and Olathe, KS available by appointment.

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