Electrician Injuries at Work in North Carolina
Electricians must have special training and skills to do their work safely. Unfortunately, even the best-trained electrician is exposed to many on-the-job hazards that could result in injury or death.
If you or a loved one is injured or killed while working as an electrician, you may be able to obtain monetary compensation or work-injury benefits that ensure your workplace accident doesn’t lead to financial devastation. It can, however, be challenging to understand your legal rights and take advantage of all of the different benefits and protections provided by the laws of North Carolina.
At Hardison & Cochran, our work injury lawyers have extensive experience helping electricians who are hurt on the job or helping family members who have lost a loved one. Our goal is to seek compensation that will allow you to be taken care of after a work injury.
We provide case reviews. Simply call (800) 434-8399 or contact us online to schedule one today. Within 24 hours, we’ll respond to your inquiry.
Electrical Industry Risks
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has grouped the risks faced by electricians and electrical workers into categories that include:
- Death by electrical shock – Workers can suffer fatal electrical shocks if they are exposed to too much current and/or exposed to current for too long. For example, currents greater than 75mA will result in a rapid, ineffective heart beat, and death will occur within just a few minutes unless a defibrillator is used. OSHA cautions that 75 mA is not very much current and warns that even a small power drill uses 30 times as much current.
- Injuries by electrical shock – OSHA indicates that non-fatal electric shocks most often occur to the hands. These types of injuries can occur when coming into contact with electrical wire or equipment. Immediate medical attention is required to treat electrical shock and avoid serious permanent damage.
- Burn injuries – Electricity can cause either electrical burns from direct contact with current or thermal burns from arc flashes and blasts. Arc flashes happen when powerful, high-amperage currents arc or travel through the air. When an arc flash happens, the temperature can reach as high as 36,000 degrees Fahrenheit. A deadly burn can result within a matter of seconds.
- Fall injuries – Electrical workers may fall from ladders or other heights when performing wiring in high locations. Falls can also be a secondary cause of injury. Exposure to an electrical current, for example, can cause an electrical worker to fly through the air and fall.
While these are the top causes of workplace deaths and non-fatal injuries among electricians, they may also suffer from repetitive stress or overexertion injuries to the back, knees, fingers and hands.
These overexertion or stress injuries may come from:
- Using force to operate a tool or perform a task
- Working while bending or stooping
- Awkwardly positioning the hands, wrists, elbows or shoulders
- Staying in the same position for a long time
- Holding vibrating tools
- Standing on hard surfaces and applying continuous pressure to the body.
A repetitive stress or overuse injury can be just as debilitating and painful as fall injuries or other injuries resulting from accidents. These types of injuries can end your career and cause you to experience both significant discomfort and a reduction in your quality of life.
Your Options After an Electrical Injury
As an electrician, you know that your job can be physically demanding and full of injury risks. Unfortunately, a workplace injury can result in the need to take time off from work or even to switch to a different career altogether. This can cause serious financial stress as you struggle to pay your medical bills arising from the injury. Financial stress is the last thing you need as you strive to get better.
The laws in North Carolina attempt to shield you from this stress by ensuring that you are covered for work injuries. In fact, there are several different ways that you can obtain benefits or compensation after you get hurt on the job.
A lawyer can help you to explore your different options, including:
- Workers’ compensation benefits – Your employer must buy workers’ compensation insurance that will pay for your medical bills as well as disability benefits for any injury that occurs as a direct result of your job. Negligence is not a factor in workers’ compensation claims, and you should be covered no matter where your injury happened as long as it resulted directly from required work duties.
- Personal injury or wrongful death damages – While workers’ compensation applies in many situations even without employer negligence, it has some important limitations. For example, you aren’t compensated for pain and suffering with workers’ compensation claims. Also, family members whose loved one is killed cannot claim loss of companionship benefits for a wrongful death through workers’ compensation.
Because your workers’ compensation benefits are limited, you may wish to consider filing a personal injury lawsuit if you are hurt while working as an electrician. You cannot sue your employer if you collect workers’ compensation benefits, but you can sue any third parties who are responsible for your injury. This might include, for example, the manufacturer of a tool you were using that malfunctioned or a non-employer project manager on a construction job.
A work injury lawyer can assist you in making your personal injury or wrongful death claim if a third party was responsible for injuring you or killing your family member. You will need to prove that someone was negligent, careless or did something wrong that led to the injury. We will not only help you to understand who to sue but also help you to make a strong case so that you have the best chance of prevailing.
Our Attorneys Help Injured Electricians
At Hardison & Cochran, we know how devastating workplace injuries can be. We also understand how important it is for you to get the full compensation you need to get medical help and move on with your life. Our goal is to protect your rights and help you to prevail so you don’t have any financial worries for the future.
To learn more about how we can use our legal experience to help you after you were hurt while performing work as an electrician, call (800) 434-8399 or submit our online form today.
- Electricians, Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Injury and Fatality Statistics, Electrical Safety Foundation International
- Burn Injury Facts, Washington State Department of Labor & Industries
- Ergonomic Survival Guide for Electricians, Cal OSHA