Electricity: When a Best Friend Can Become a Dangerous Foe

December 15, 2015 | Category: Burn Injuries

The majority of the U.S. population has access to electricity, and the average household uses 920 kWh of electricity per month. Even though a small percentage of U.S. residents choose to avoid its use, most individuals consider electricity to be a necessity in virtually all aspects of life.

Electric power seems almost as important as air. However, Medscape warns that that the commercial use of electricity has been one of the most potentially dangerous commodities in our society since its inception in 1849. Each Los Angeles burn injury lawyer at our firm has seen enough claims to concur with this assessment.

Serious Injuries Can Result from Low or High Voltage Accidents

When it comes to electricity-related injuries the voltage levels naturally make a difference; however, serious injuries can occur even at lower voltage levels:

  • Low voltage burns often involve the hands, generally due to contact with extension cords with worn or torn insulating material or cord misuse, often by children age five and under. These injuries are typically small, deep burns that can involve blood vessels, tendons and nerves and may require surgery or even amputation of a finger. Oral cavity injuries are also common in very young children (between one and two years old) who suck electrical outlets or bite electric cords. These injuries can leave scars in the mouth and can even cause cardiac or respiratory arrest. Regardless of whether these injuries occur on the hands or in mouths, they require immediate medical attention.
  • High-voltage burns are even more severe and are generated in many ways. They are commonly sustained by connection with an electric arc (including lightening) and by contact with an electric current (such as touching a live wire). They often leave entry and exit wounds and can cause severe internal injuries, including permanent damage to bones. Again, immediate medical attention is vital to identify the full scope of damage and begin treatment.

Clearly, common-sense measures can help protect children from burns. All live cords need to be secured out of reach of children, and inexpensive outlet protectors can go a long way to keeping the kids safe. Additionally, since high voltage burns are probably more common to adults — particularly do-it-yourself home repair aficionados — knowing how to protect against electrical burns is as important as knowing any other part of a home repair project. Anything, from knowing how to handle electrical wires and cut power to avoiding use of metal ladders and tools near live wires, can make a major difference on safety.

Seek Legal Advice When Electrical Burns Result From the Negligence of Others

Keep in mind that electrical burns can also occur when electrical workers or other building professionals fail to take appropriate preventive measures while at work in homes or places of business. It can take only seconds for an innocent passerby to sustain serious injuries just because a worker left a live wire exposed while running to a nearby truck for parts.

When any electrical accident causes injuries, the first priority is to get immediate medical help. Then, if there is any concern that the accident might have been prevented with a reasonable degree of care and attention, it is time to call an attorney with experience in this area of the law. Call The Rudman Law Firm APC toll-free at (844) 478-3626 / (844) 4RUDMAN, at our Los Angeles office (213) 375-3777 or at our Studio City office (818) 769-6969. You can also use our convenient online contact form to reach us at any time.

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