If an electric shock injury has set you back, we'll help you move forward
Electric shocks can lead to severe immediate injuries such as burns and cardiac arrest, and they may result in long-term neurological damage affecting many aspects of your health and daily function
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by an electric shock accident, we can help. If your injuries were caused by someone else's actions or negligence, you may be entitled to claim compensation.
Claims may include compensation for emergency and ongoing medical care, loss of function, and psychological impact, and the financial impact the injury has on your life.
You can make a compensation claim with the help and support of a personal injury solicitor.
In this article
You are not alone
Contact with electricity accounts for a wide range of serious workplace injuries, from burns to brain and nerve injuries (hse.gov.uk).
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)
- Theatre production
If you are injured by an electric shock at work, you may be able to claim compensation.
If you decide to make an electric shock injury claim, your personal injury solicitor will take you through every step of the claims process. Your solicitor will be with you until you win your claim and get the compensation you need to move forward.
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
- 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 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:
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.
Am I eligible for electric shock injury compensation?
You will be able to claim compensation if you've been injured or diagnosed with an illness in the last three years and it wasn't your fault.
Use our injury claim calculator to find out if you can claim. Or you can call 0800 376 1001 to speak to a specialist advisor. Find out in minutes if you have a claim.
Is a claim still possible if I was partly responsible for my injury?
Understanding who is legally at fault for an accident often requires navigating through a maze of legal complexities.
Each year, Quittance carries out a survey of potential claimants. In our 2023 Personal Injury Claimant Survey, 13.99% of respondents felt they might be at least partly to blame for their injuries.
You may still be able to claim compensation even if your actions may have contributed to the accident. Claims where there is fault on both sides (contributory negligence) are often resolved with a split liability agreement.
How long do I have to claim electric shock injury compensation?
In most cases, you have up to 3 years from the date of your accident or injury to start a claim.
For an injured child, the three-year limitation period begins on their 18th birthday, giving them until they are 21 to start a claim.
How much compensation can I claim for an electric shock injury?
The amount of money you could claim for your injury will depend on:
- the seriousness 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 injuries have affected your life. Your solicitor will take these considerations into account to calculate the correct compensation award.
Electric shock injury
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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 are awarded to compensate you for any costs or losses you've incurred or might incur as a result of your accident. These costs might include lost earnings, bonuses and overtime, or any other out of pocket expenses.
Special damages may also be awarded for medical treatments or procedures that you might need to treat your electric shock injury, including cpr if needed, burns treatment, pain medication and monitoring heart and vitals.
Claiming compensation for psychological injuries
If you have suffered psychological harm in addition to a physical injury or illness, you are not alone.
According to our 2023 Personal Injury Claimant Survey shows that 29.03% of potential claimants sustained a psychological injury, 70.97% of which related to a physical injury.
Electric shock injuries often result in phobia of electrical sources (electrophobia) and anxiety about potential long-term neurological effects. Visible electrical burn scars can also lead to social anxiety and depression.
Although psychiatric injuries are less obvious than physical injuries and illness, mental health conditions can be no less debilitating.
Our compensation calculator can estimate your compensation for psychological injuries. Or you can call us on 0800 376 1001 to speak to a specialist advisor.
The compensation claims process will depend on where and how your electric shock injury occurred. Click the icons below for more information:
How we can help you with your injury claim
Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, and the highly-experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning injury claims.
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Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher
About the author
Gaynor Haliday is an experienced legal researcher and published author. She has had numerous articles published in the press and is a legal industry commentator.