Electric Shock Injury Compensation Claims

If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by an electric shock accident we can help.

The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered an electric shock accident and is considering a legal claim for compensation. If you are looking for medical advice, please see the NHS website.

In our guide to claiming electric shock injury compensation:

Introduction

A high percentage of electric shock accidents are caused by faulty electrical equipment in the workplace. Electric shocks can result in serious personal injury. Around 1,000 electrical accidents a year are reported to the Health and Safety Executive. About 25 people a year subsequently die of their electric shock injuries.

Several occupations present an increased risk of electric shock accidents. These occupations include:

  • Electrical maintenance (electricians)
  • Construction
  • Catering
  • Hairdressing
  • Theatre production

Where an electric shock accident in the workplace has caused injury, a claim for personal injury compensation may be made.

Do I have an electric shock injury claim?

You should be able to make an electric shock injury claim if your injury happened:

  • in the last three years, and;
  • someone else was to blame, and;
  • that person owed you a duty of care.
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Injury claim eligibility - Common questions

What if a child was injured?

The 3 year rule does not apply to minors.

A claim can be pursued for anyone under the age of 18 by a parent, guardian or litigation friend. The injured child has up to the age of 21 to start an electric shock injury claim on their own behalf.

Read more about claiming injury compensation on behalf of a child.

Can I claim if the electric shock injury made an existing injury worse?

Yes, although demonstrating this can be more difficult, so legal and medical advice should be sought as early as possible.

What if I was diagnosed months after the electric shock injury?

Depending on how your electric shock injury happened, the three-year time limit may only start from the date you are diagnosed and learn of the cause of your injury. In some cases, this can be months or years after the cause occurred.

Symptoms of electric shock injury

Low electrical voltages can still result in electric shock injury. Even 50 volts can cause interference to electrical signals between the brain and muscles. Electric shocks can produce:

  • Irregular heartbeat, cardiac arrest
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Burns
  • Muscle spasms
  • Bone fractures and breakages, dislocated joints (caused by intense muscle spasms)
  • Injuries caused by being thrown by the electric current into other objects, or being thrown from heights

Factors affecting the severity of electric shock injury include:

  • The size of the electric voltage
  • The length of time the electric current flowed
  • Which parts of the body are involved
  • Whether the individual is damp

In severe electric shock cases, death can occur. This is known as electrocution.

Is my employer liable?

The Health and Safety Act 1974 imposes a duty of care on employers to provide a safe working environment for employees. A number of Regulations define the measures and practices which employers must comply with to ensure employee safety. These Regulations include:

The Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999 - require employers to carry out health and safety risk assessments of workplace equipment, machinery and environments.

The Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) at Work Regulations 1992 - require employers to ensure that PPE used by employees is suitable for the work tasks involved, and maintained in good working order. The Regulations require that employees receive appropriate instruction on how to use PPE provided, and understand the risks involved.

The Electricity At Work Regulations 1998 - provide employer guidelines on training employees working with electricity. The Regulations specify measures to be taken to cover live wires adequately. The Regulations also set out best practice procedures for performing risk assessments involving electrical equipment.

Claimants must prove that their electric shock injury was caused by the employer's breach of their duty of care to employees. If the employer (the defendant) is proven to be negligent, the employer will be held liable to pay personal injury compensation.

Can I claim if my electric shock accident happened at home?

Electric shock accidents at home are frequently caused by:

Faulty appliances

A claim may be made for electric shock injuries caused by faulty electrical appliances under the Consumer Protection Act 1987. This Act requires electrical appliance manufacturers and retailers to supply products which will not cause harm to their consumers.

Faulty workmanship of construction or electrical contractors

Construction and electrical contractors are required to have professional indemnity insurance. A claim may be made for electric shock injuries caused by faulty electrical work. The defendant in the claim would be the individual contractor, or the contractor's company.

How much compensation can I claim for an electric shock injury?

The amount of money you could claim for your electric shock injury will depend on:

  • the extent of your injury, and
  • any financial losses or costs you have incurred.

At the start of your claim, your solicitor will consider the many ways your electric shock injury has affected your life. Your solicitor will take all of these effects into account to calculate the correct compensation award for you.

This calculation will factor in 'general damages' and 'special damages'.

General damages

General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA).

Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.

Special damages

Special damages are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.

What can I claim for after an electric shock injury? (see list)

Examples of special damages (losses you can claim for) include:

  • Lost earnings (including future earnings)
  • Medical treatment costs
  • Physiotherapy
  • Travel costs
  • Costs of care
  • Costs of adapting your home or car

What is the average injury compensation for an electric shock injury claim?

The Judicial College injury tables give a approximate idea of the ranges awarded for different injuries.

However, the money you would receive following an electric shock injury will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.

Your electric shock injury compensation will be calculated based on the unique impact your injuries have had on your life, your ability to work, and the actual financial losses you have incurred as a result of your injuries.

Can I see the complete judicial college tables?

The table above (excerpted from the Judicial College Tables) shows the most common electric shock injury claims. To see the complete list see: Judicial College Injury Tables.

Electric shock injury compensation

Calculating how much compensation you can claim for an electric shock injury can be complicated.

Our injury compensation calculator tells you if you may have a claim, how much compensation you could claim, and what you can claim for.

Find out what your electric shock injury claim could be worth now:

Calculate compensation

How long does an electric shock injury claim take?

The length of time needed to win compensation for an electric shock accident can vary considerably.

For instance, a simple liability accepted injury claim can settle in a matter of weeks. If the employer or responsible party denies liability, a claim can take substantially longer. Normally an injury claim takes 4 to 9 months. See: How long will my claim take?

Caring and sensitive support

Your solicitor will handle your electric shock injury claim from the initial consultation through to the financial settlement. In addition, your solicitor will work with other specialists to help you with:

  • Financial support: interim payments while you are unable to work.
  • Advice: on personal injury trusts, tax and welfare benefits.
  • Coordination: with rehabilitation providers and therapists.
  • Access: to treatment and therapies not always available on the NHS.

How did your injury occur?

The claims process that your solicitor follows will vary, depending on how the injury occurred:

How does no win, no fee work?

No win, no fee takes all of the risk out of making an electric shock injury claim. If you do not win any compensation, you won't have to pay your solicitor any legal fees.

Our no win, no fee promise

If you have been injured and it wasn't your fault, our no win, no fee guarantee takes the risk out of claiming compensation for your electric shock injury. Read more about making a No win, no fee claim

What do I pay if I win my electric shock injury claim?

Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, only after your compensation is awarded. The solicitor's success fee can be up to 25%. You and your solicitor can agree the success fee before you start your claim.

What do I pay if I do not win my electric shock injury claim?

If your electric shock injury claim is not successful then you do not have to pay any legal fees whatsoever. Your solicitor may take out insurance to ensure there will be nothing to pay.

How do personal injury solicitors get paid?

If your electric shock injury claim is successful, the defendant, or their insurer, will pay the compensation and your solicitors fees.

How can Quittance help?

Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, the highly-experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning injury claims.

If you have any questions, or would like to start a No Win No Fee claim, we are open 8am to 9pm weekdays, 9am to 6pm on Saturday, and 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday.

Call us FREE 0800 612 7456 or arrange a callback:

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Electric shock injury FAQ's

Can I claim for someone else?

Yes. In certain circumstances, it is possible to claim compensation on behalf of another person in the capacity of a 'litigation friend'.

If an injured person is either too young or vulnerable, too injured or otherwise unable to claim on their own behalf, their litigation friend can handle the claim process on behalf of the injured person.

The litigation friend will be responsible for communicating with the solicitors, and for making decisions in respect of the claim.

Read more about claiming on behalf of another person.

Can I claim if I was partly responsible for an accident?

You may still be able to claim compensation even if you contributed to your accident or to your injuries.

However, if you were partly to blame (known as contributory negligence), your compensation may be reduced and it may be more difficult to prove liability.

Read more about claiming compensation if you were partly responsible for an accident.

How long do I have to make an electric shock injury claim?

In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the electric shock injury to make an injury claim.

The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your electric shock injury claim becomes 'statute barred'.

Can I claim for an electric shock injury after 3 years?

Possibly. The general rule for adults is that a claim must be started within three years.

However, the three-year countdown starts on the day you learned of your injury or illness. This will usually be the date of the accident, but could be the date your doctor gave you a diagnosis.

If you were injured as a child, you do have up until your 21st birthday to make a claim.

There other circumstances that can also impact the limitation date. Call us now on 0800 612 7456 to find out if you are still able to claim electric shock injury compensation.

In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether an electric shock injury claim will be taken on by a solicitor.

Calculate your claim limitation date

Will I have to go to court?

Highly unlikely. The vast majority of claims that are settled by the solicitor panel are settled out of court.

Only a very small percentage (approx. 5%) of personal injury claims go to court. Generally, only very complex cases, or those where liability cannot be resolved, end up in court.

Cases that do ultimately go to court are held in front of a judge, not a jury.

Read more: Will my injury claim go to court and what if it does?

Will I have to go to a solicitor's office?

No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. As with most professional services, it is no longer necessary to meet face to face with your solicitor. Personal injury claims are dealt with via email, post and telephone.

Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.

Read more: Will I have to visit a solicitor's office?

Can I get an early compensation payment?

If you suffer financial hardship as a result of an injury, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.

An interim payment is a partial settlement of your claim which is paid before your claim is concluded. The amount you receive in interim payments would then be deducted from your final compensation settlement or award.

Read more about interim compensation payments.

Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor

About the author

Howard qualified as a solicitor in 1984 and has specialised in personal injury for over 25 years. He is a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and is a recognised Law Society Personal Injury Panel expert.

Read more about this Quittance Legal Expert