Help! I got electrocuted at work. What are my rights?
Electric shock and electrocutions are some of the most common types of work injuries. Such injuries occur when an electric current travels through the body, causing both internal injuries as well as external tissue damage. Organ damage may also result from electric shock and electrocution.
Workers who are shocked may suffer from muscle spasms that are so strong they may dislocate or even break joints. Such spasms may result in loss of muscle control, which can make it difficult to get away from the source of the electrical shock. In the event the employee is working from a height, they could end up being thrown or fall.
Along with electrical shock, workers may also experience severe burn injuries, which occur when the tissue in the body becomes overheated from the electrical current. The result may be a third-degree burn that requires surgical treatment and may cause permanent disability.
If you’ve suffered from an electrical injury on the job in Georgia, you are most likely entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.
That’s the good news.
The bad news is that recovering from a serious electrocution can be difficult and costly. What’s more, employers and insurance companies commonly dispute these claims in order to save their bottom line.
Who is at risk for electrical shock?
Anyone who uses electricity in the workplace may be at risk for electric shock. However, some occupations pose a greater risk, including:
- Lighting specialists
- Maintenance workers
- Office workers
Types of electrical injuries
Some of the most common electrical hazards in the workplace are:
- Electrical overloads
- Unlabeled electrical equipment with live parts
- Inadequate wiring
- Temporary wiring
- Overhead power lines
- Ungrounded electrical circuits
Electrical injuries can occur in several categories:
- Fatal electrocution
- Electric shock
- Electric burns
- Falls as a result of electricity contact
Workers’ compensation liability for electrical injuries at work
Under workers’ compensation liability guidelines, an injured worker may be eligible to receive compensation even if the worker was fully or partially at fault for their own injury. This insurance provides compensation for lost wages and medical care to injured workers while they are not able to work.
In the event a worker is injured or killed as a result of an electrical injury at work, the worker or the deceased employee’s family may be able to file a workers’ compensation claim. In some instances, it may also be possible to file a third-party injury claim against contractors, power companies or even property owners.
What to do after an electrical injury at work
If you or a loved one suffer an electrical injury at work, the first step is to cease contact with the cause of the shock, if possible. In the event of a serious shock, it’s important to seek medical attention. This should be done as soon as possible. Workers suffering from a severe electrical shock shouldn’t move while waiting for medical treatment.
Even if the shock was not severe, it’s still important to seek medical care. It can sometimes take a while for symptoms to appear and it may not be possible to know whether you or your loved one suffered internal injuries right away.
Following medical treatment, the next step is to file a report with your employer and file a workers’ compensation claim.
Workers’ compensation benefits for electrocution
In Georgia, most employers are required to carry insurance policies that will provide protection for employees who are injured in the workplace.
You may be wondering:
If I was electrocuted at work, can I receive workers’ compensation?
If you are employed in Georgia, it’s likely that you are eligible to receive compensation for medical expenses, along with lost wages, for any workplace injury or illness—including electrocutions. However, it’s imperative that you file a claim as quickly as possible to ensure you receive fair compensation. Failure to file a claim right away could result in a denial of benefits.
What is the average compensation for electric shock?
It can be difficult to calculate the amount of compensation owed to you for electric shock due to the fact that various factors must be considered—including the fact that workers’ compensation benefits are based on the severity of the injury sustained by the worker.
Employees who aren’t able to work may be able to receive a percentage of their wages to make up for lost wages while they’re at home recovering. In the event a worker is killed as a result of electric shock, workers’ compensation benefits may pay for lost income as well as final expenses.
In addition, workers’ compensation benefits may also pay for medical expenses, including prescriptions, doctor visits, surgeries and therapy. In some instances, an injured worker may not be able to return to their former occupation. In those cases, this insurance may also pay for training to help the worker change occupations.
It’s important to seek professional legal representation following an electric shock at work. By working with an attorney who has experience in handling workers’ compensation cases, injured workers and their loved ones can ensure they are able to receive the full amount of compensation they deserve.