Electric shock injury compensation claims
The following guide sets out everything you need to know about making a successful electric shock accident compensation claim.
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
Where an electric shock accident in the workplace has caused injury, a claim for personal injury compensation may be made.
If you have suffered an electric shock injury in the last three years (longer if children were involved) and someone else was to blame, then we can help you make a compensation claim.
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 body are involved
- Whether the individual is damp
In severe electric shock cases, death can occur. This is known as electrocution.
I have a strong claim - why won't a solicitor take it on?
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.
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.
Injury compensation guidelines are recommended by the Judicial College (formerly the Judicial Studies Board). An award is recommended with respect to the extent of a given injury, including the prognosis for recovery. Compensation recommendations are made in the guidelines using tables of upper and lower awards for injuries and medical conditions.
The guidelines are, strictly speaking, not law but they are widely adopted by insurers, solicitors and the Courts. Our Compensation Claims Report will look at the factors affecting your likely compensation in reference to both the Judicial College guidelines and to the circumstances of your accident or illness.
You can also make a claim for special damages. This can include travel expenses and the cost of medical treatments.
A No Win, No Fee agreement, referred to as a CFA or Conditional Fee Agreement, comprises an important part of most claims.
The agreement explains the service the lawyer delivers in addition to the success fee that will be taken from the damages once the claim is won.
You will be able to prioritise your recovery, with the knowledge that there is nothing to pay if the claim is not successful. You have no hidden fees when choosing a Quittance personal injury lawyer.
Accidents at work - Claims against your employer
Every year, 600,000* employees are injured in accidents at work. If you have suffered an injury or illness at work, you may able to claim compensation.
Find out if you can claim electric shock injury compensation from your employer: Read more about work accident claims
*Source: 2016/17 Health and Safety Executive (HSE) report
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The national panel of QLS solicitors help injured people with all types of personal injury claims, from less-severe claims to catastrophic injury. Selected for their winning track record, our solicitors have years of dedicated experience winning compensation for claimants.
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.
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