An electrical burn occurs when an individual is handling a product which conducts electricity, like a live wire or a malfunctioning appliance. While an initial electric shock may send a tingling sensation throughout the body, under certain circumstances, people can experience severe electrical burn injuries.
An individual may sustain burn injuries on any part of the body which comes in contact with an electrical current. Though electricians and construction workers are the most likely to sustain an electrical burn, you could also be hurt in your home or on someone else’s property. Common causes of electrical shocks and burns include:
- Electrical outlets without child safety covers
- Fallen power lines
- Using devices with frayed or damaged power cords
- Failure to install GFCI outlets
- Touching electrified water
- Using a vacuum on wet or damp rug
- Jump starting another person’s car without checking the polarity first
- Using an electrical device around bodies of water
While these are a few of the places where someone can sustain an electrical burn, it is true that burn injuries can occur in any environment where electricity is involved. You can also suffer electrical burns if you’re hit by lightening (though, admittedly, that’s rare.)
How do you categorize electrical burn injuries?
There are five different types of electrical burns: arc, flash, flame, high voltage, and low voltage. Each one can vary in severity:
- Superficial burns cause damage to the skin. These burns are often painful and can leave scars, but they are not the most severe burn injuries that a person can end up with.
- Partial-thickness burns that are deeper and more severe than the superficial burns. These burns tend to hurt even worse because they destroy multiple layers of skin.
- Full-thickness burns that are considered the worst type of electrical burns that a person can sustain. When these burns occur, skin and muscles are often damaged.
Who can be held accountable for burn injuries?
Different people can be held accountable for burn injuries if they owed a duty of care to the victims and they were negligent in some way. For example, the victim may have sustained a burn injury after encountering a dangerous electrical work zone. The victim might not have known that he or she was entering a work zone where live electric currents were running because there were no warnings and no signage posted. In this case, the operator of the site or the construction company itself could be liable.
In a different situation, a manufacturer may have produced a faulty electrical product. When using the product, it could have malfunctioned on the victim, causing that victim to sustain burns. As a result, the manufacturer could be held liable in a product liability lawsuit.
If you suffered electrical burn injuries, the right Huntsville injury lawyer could be the difference between getting the help you need, and continuing to suffer. At Martin & Helms, we can help you fight for a better future. Call us to schedule a free consultation at our office in Huntsville or Decatur: 256-539-1990, or complete our contact form. We represent clients throughout the Tennessee Valley.