June 16, 2021
As with many workplace injuries, you may be wondering who is liable if you get an electrical burn at work? Much will depend on the circumstances surrounding the injury, but many times it can be attributed to the employer or a negligent third party.
The last thing you expect or want to happen is a serious injury occurring while at work. This is especially true when it comes to electrical burns. So much depends on electricity, and working in and around it can be hazardous, and even life-threatening, to all those involved.
When mild to severe electrical burns do happen in the workplace, it can require extensive medical treatment and even lost time at work. At this time, you need to know what your options are and who is liable. This is where an experienced burn injury attorney can be beneficial, assisting with a nonsubscriber (or workers’ compensation) claim and establishing whether the negligence of another is involved.
Common Causes of an Electrical Burn at Work
Electrical burns occur when electric currents jump from an outlet, cord, wire, appliance, or other electrical device, touching your skin and passing through your body, leaving a burn.
Burn injuries are particularly dangerous in that they often damage the deeper tissues beneath your skin, including muscle or bone. The jolt you sustain during an electrical burn can also throw you off your feet and lead to other injuries as well.
Electrical burns in the workplace are often attributed to the handling of wires or power lines, damaged cords, ineffective or missing shielding, malfunctioning equipment, or defective products. But each injury and case is unique and requires a thorough look at causes and who may be responsible in any way for the resulting accident and burn.
Who is Liable if You Get an Electrical Burn at Work?
Understanding who is liable if you get an electrical burn at work will help you move forward with your injury claim and determine whether you have a legal course of action.
When you’re injured at work, a lot will depend on whether your employer carries workers’ compensation insurance for employees. Texas, unlike many other states, does not require employers to carry this insurance. If this is the case with your employer, seeking legal advice on liability and options early on will be essential.
If your employer does carry workers’ compensation insurance, your first action is to notify your supervisor of your injury. Then you will also need to file a claim to begin receiving any benefits. The laws surrounding workers’ compensation apply to all, regardless of who is at fault for work injuries. By accepting this coverage, you give up your right to sue your employer for the workplace injury.
Attempts to Deny a Workers’ Comp Claim after an Electrical Burn Injury
Many times, though, an employer’s workers’ compensation insurance provider will look for ways to deny your claim. One of these ways is to claim that you contributed to the injury in some way and, as a result, are liable for your own injuries. They may also argue that you were not at work or on duty at the time of the accidental burn.
If your burn injury occurred due to the negligence of your employer, another employee, or a third party, you can hold them liable and seek fair compensation for your injuries.
Employers are required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to address the potential for electrical injuries in their program covering the health and safety of workers. When this is not done, you may have a lawsuit.
To establish liability for an electrical burn in the workplace, the following will be required.
- Identify the exact cause of the electrical burn and any safeguards in place at the time of your injury.
- Determine whether any involved party acted in a negligent or willful manner. This element will help to establish what type of damages (compensation) you are entitled to.
- Evaluate the severity of your injury and whether or not it can effectively be treated or will be long-lasting.
Can You File a Lawsuit for an Electrical Burn at Work?
Under certain circumstances after an electrical burn at work, you can take legal action and file a lawsuit. Filing a lawsuit for an electrical burn at work requires proving certain factors—specifically, the negligence of the employer, a co-worker, or a third party.
Without workers’ compensation coverage, you may find yourself up against financial hardship for medical expenses and lost time at work. You will need to assert your rights and seek out these legal remedies to obtain the rightful compensation you deserve.
Even when you do have access to workers’ compensation, other outside parties may have contributed to the burn accident. A negligent employee or contractor, or a third party, is often liable in some way for an electrical burn injury.
Examples of liability that can lead to filing a lawsuit include:
- Exposed wires without adequate notification or warnings
- Inadequate safety training and provision of necessary equipment to workers
- Usage of a defective work product, potentially leading to a product liability lawsuit.
- Unsafe working environment for employees and contractors.
There are many others as well. Knowing your rights and when you can file a lawsuit will be essential to your well-being, now and in the future.
The majority of lawsuits will seek compensation for the following:
- medical expenses for all past and future expenses for doctor’s visits, treatments, surgeries, and physical therapy
- pain and suffering, and its effects on your quality of life
- loss of income and any diminished earning capacity you suffer as a result of the injury.
In accidents where the death of a loved one occurs, you may also be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Proving liability is the key to establishing whether or not you can file a lawsuit for your electrical burn. Work with a competent Texas attorney experienced in workplace accidents and burn injures to make sure you know your options and receive the representation you deserve.
Contact Waldman Legal Group About Your Electrical Burn Injury Today
Determining liability for an electrical burn at work can often be a challenge. If this happens to you, call us now at (713) 688-4878 to schedule a free consultation with our lawyers. Our professional legal team at the Waldman Legal Group will analyze the facts surrounding your case and devise a strategy most beneficial to you.