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.
If your injuries were caused by someone else's actions or negligence, you may be entitled to claim compensation.
Claiming injury compensation with a solicitor
You can make a compensation claim with the help and support of a personal injury solicitor.
Your solicitor will ask you about what happened, and they will collect evidence to prove what caused your injuries. Your solicitor will also work out how much money you can claim, based on your injuries, lost earnings and other expenses.
We can help you make a personal injury compensation claim on a No Win No Fee basis.
In this article
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.
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 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:
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.
Do I have an injury claim?
You should be able to make an injury claim if your injury happened:
- in the last 3 years, and;
- someone else was to blame, and;
- that person owed you a duty of care.
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 injury claim on their own behalf.
What if there is no evidence?
Evidence can take the form of eyewitness accounts, CCTV footage, photographs etc. It will be difficult to win an electric shock injury claim with no evidence at all. You may feel that there is no evidence but a solictor may well be able to assist in collating evidence that you, as a claimant, were unaware of.
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.
This calculation will factor in 'general damages' and 'special 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 are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.
What can I claim for after an injury? (see list)
Examples of special damages (losses you can claim for) include:
- Lost earnings (including future earnings)
- Medical treatment costs
- Travel costs
- Costs of care
- Costs of adapting your home or car
What is the average injury compensation for an 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 injury will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.
Your injury compensation will be calculated based on the unique impact your injuries have had on your life and your ability to work, and on the actual financial losses you have incurred as a result of your injuries.
Can I claim for an existing electric shock injury that has got worse?
Yes, it is possible to pursue a claim in the event that a pre-existing medical condition, illness or injury is made worse or aggravated by an accident or someone else's negligence.
Calculate my injury compensation
Calculating how much compensation you can claim for an 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 injury claim could be worth now:
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?
How else can a solicitor help me?
Your solicitor will handle your injury claim from the initial FREE case evaluation, through to the financial settlement.
Your solicitor will work with other specialists to provide caring and sensitive support and 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.
Will I have to go to court?
Highly unlikely. Solicitors settle the vast majority of claims out of court.
Less than 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 decided by a judge or magistrate, not a jury.
Even if the claim does go to court, it is very unlikely you will have to attend.
How does no win, no fee work?
No win, no fee takes all of the risk out of making an injury claim. If you do not win any compensation, you won't have to pay your solicitor any legal fees.
No win, no fee - our guarantee
If you have been injured and it was not your fault, we can help you make a no win, no fee injury compensation claim.
What do I pay if I win my 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 injury claim?
If your 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.
Can I get Legal Aid?
Legal aid is no longer available when making a personal injury claim, but a Conditional Fee Agreement (No Win, No Fee) can reduce the financial risks of making a claim.
How we can help you
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.
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
- 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday
Call us for FREE advice on 0800 376 1001, or arrange a call back from a friendly, legally-trained advisor:
- Find out
if you can claim
- No obligation
to start a claim
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.
Can I claim if I feel I was partly responsible for my accident?
Yes. You may still be able to claim compensation even if your actions may have contributed to the accident.
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.
How long do I have to make an injury claim?
In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the injury to make an injury claim.
The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your injury claim becomes 'statute barred'.
Can I claim for an 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 376 1001 to find out if you are still able to claim injury compensation.
In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether an injury claim will be taken on by a solicitor.
Will I have to visit a solicitor's office to start a claim?
No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. Personal injury claims are handled by email, post and phone.
Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.
I need the money now - what are my options?
If you are unable to work and have bills to pay, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.
An interim payment is an advance on your compensation payment. Any amount you receive in interim payments would be deducted from your final compensation payment.
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.