The lawsuit alleges that the two children, 8 and 13, were swimming near the dock at the vacation home of the family. Court documents claim that Union Electric did not inform dock owners that they needed to install protective devices on the docks, which are called ground fault interrupters. GFI’s are those simple circuit breakers incorporated into many home power outlets with a small reset button. GFI’s are required on docks and boat lifts which are exposed to moisture and wet conditions. The National Electric Code (NEC) has many provisions about when and where GFI’s must be used.
As we have seen in our injury law practice in Virginia, many electric shock victims are lucky to survive, and if they do, it can be with permanent impairments and loss of use of an arm or leg. Some of the more common causes of wrongful death by electrocution that we have seen include:
· Swimming accidents
· Accidental contact with exposed wiring
· Coming into contact with a power line
· Industrial/factory electric shock
In some cases where the victim survives, an electrical shock injury can cause terrible, disfiguring burns that are called electric burns. What makes such burns unusual is that your naked eye may not be able to see them. Some of these burns are entirely inside the body. If you suffer from such a burn, you may lose feeling in your leg or arm or other body part.
Injuries suffered in an electric shock case will depend largely on how much voltage the person is exposed to, the health of the victim, and how the shock traveled through the body. In the case above, unfortunately, the children were exposed to a fatal level of voltage.
The monetary damages an electric shock victim may be able to collect include:
· Medical bills
· Lost wages
· Pain and suffering, permanent impairment or loss of use of body part
· Emotional suffering and psychological injuries
In wrongful death cases caused by electrocution, a different set of monetary damages applies and each state has a damages statute that must be consulted.
Shapiro, Lewis, Appleton & Favaloro is a personal injury law firm with offices in both Virginia and North Carolina. Its personal injury lawyers often write about laws pertaining to personal injury law, including electrical shock claims.