Job-Related Electrocution Accidents and Worker’s Compensation

worker handling electrical wiresMany workers are exposed to electrical hazards at their jobs. Whether they are working with damaged extension cords, faulty power lines or operating electrical equipment, the risk of electrocution is high. Electrical shocks and burns can result in serious injury or even death. If you or a loved one has suffered an electrical injury while at work, worker’s compensation may cover your injury-related expenses.

A worker’s compensation attorney in Fox Valley is ready to help you seek compensation from the state’s compensation system. An initial consultation to learn more about your potential legal option is completely free. If you have a valid worker’s comp claim, you are under no obligation to move forward. We only receive payment for our services if we help you obtain benefits.

Causes of Electrocution Accidents on the Job Site

Electrocution accidents occur far too often in certain occupations. Common electrical hazards that may result in serious injury for construction workers, electricians, utility workers and cable operators include:

  • Dangerous power connections
  • Damaged or frayed electrical cords
  • Overloaded electrical circuits
  • Exposed live electrical wires
  • Improperly installed electrical lines
  • Electrical wiring problems
  • Downed or damaged power lines
  • Using electrical equipment in damp or wet conditions

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) identifies electricity as a serious workplace hazard and has designed standards to protect employees from electrical shocks, burns and fatalities.

Different Types of Electrical Injuries

The severity of an electrical injury depends on the amount of electrical current that flows through the body and the part of the body that is impacted.

For instance, a low-voltage electrical current may cause minor shock and muscle pain without any permanent damage while a high-voltage electrical current can produce some devastating injuries.

Injuries caused by electrocution accidents may include, but are not limited to:

  • Burns – A worker may experience extensive and severe burns to the skin where the electricity entered and exited the body.
  • Broken bones – Electric shock can cause violent muscle contractions that may lead to broken bones or fractures.
  • Brain damage – An electrical injury can affect the brain or central nervous system, resulting in loss of memory, confusion or seizures.
  • Cardiac arrest – An electrical injury to the heart can cause an arrhythmia, or irregular heartbeat, or sometimes the heart may even stop beating entirely.
  • Falls – A worker who is electrocuted can lose consciousness and suffer injuries in a fall. Falls can be especially dangerous and lead to serious brain or spine trauma from a ladder or scaffold.
  • Internal injures – Electrical shock can cause damage to the internal tissues, nerves and organs.
  • Muscle injuries – Muscles, ligaments and tendons may tear as a result of the sudden contraction caused by an electric shock.
  • Respiratory arrest – A electrical injury to chest and lungs can lead to respiratory arrest, causing a worker to experience difficulty breathing or stop breathing entirely.

After an electrocution accident, it is important to obtain immediate medical care and then consult with an experienced lawyer to help you pursue the benefits you need. Our firm is well-versed in Wisconsin’s workers’ compensation system and the kind of injuries that may be covered.

Worker’s Compensation and Electrocution Accidents

Worker’s compensation is a no-fault system, so you may be eligible for worker’s compensation benefits even if the injury was your fault. Wisconsin’s worker’s compensation insurance helps employers provide injured workers with medical care and compensation for any wages lost during their recovery.

Workers may be able to receive a maximum weekly amount while off work due to an electrical injury. A surviving spouse or child may also be able to receive a maximum death benefit amount for the death of a worker in an electrocution accident. Worker’s compensation benefits are the exclusive remedy of an employee for a job-related injury caused by an employer or fellow co-worker.

What If I Was Injured by a Third Party?

If your electrical injury was caused by someone other than your employer or co-worker, you may be eligible to file a claim against a negligent third party. Third parties who could potentially be liable for your injury include utility providers, contractors and property owners.

Unlike worker’s compensation claims, negligence must be proven in a third-party claim. Compensation may include mental anguish, and pain and suffering, beyond what is covered by worker’s comp benefits.

Get the Legal Help You Need Today

If you were involved in an electrocution accident at work, you may have a valid worker’s compensation claim and qualify to file other types of claims to recover additional compensation for your injuries.

A lawyer at Sigman Janssen is prepared to review your situation in greater detail during a free, no-obligation legal consultation. There is no risk in contacting us and no upfront fees to use our services.

Licensed. Local. Lawyers. Ph: (877) 888-5201

Proving an Existing Injury Was Made Worse by Your Job

worker with carpel tunnelMany employees may believe that having a preexisting injury may automatically disqualify them from pursuing a worker’s compensation claim, even if that old injury becomes worse because of their job duties. However, in Wisconsin, this is not true. You cannot be barred from making a claim simply because you have a preexisting injury.

If you have an old injury that was aggravated or made worse while you were doing your job, we encourage you to contact our law offices to find out whether you may have a valid claim. This initial consultation with one of our experienced lawyers is completely free, and there is no obligation to use our services after this meeting.

Did Your Job Duties Cause a Preexisting Injury to Worsen?

Perhaps your boss or a co-worker told you that if you have a preexisting injury or medical condition that got worse while working on the job you are not eligible to file a claim for worker’s compensation. For example, if you have a preexisting back injury and your job duties include lifting heavy objects every day, your work could either cause a new back injury or aggravate your old one. Many industries, such as construction, inherently carry a higher risk for injury, or reinjury, due to working with heavy equipment.

If you are injured while doing your job, even if you have a preexisting injury, you may still be eligible to receive worker’s compensation benefits.

What Types of Injuries or Conditions May Worsen on the Job?

Medical conditions and other prior injuries that can be aggravated by performing your job duties include:

  • Back injuries
  • Carpal tunnel
  • Tendonitis
  • Arthritis
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Spinal cord damage
  • Certain types of cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Hearing or vision problems
  • Skin conditions

Some employers, or even worker’s compensation carriers, may rely on the fact that many people just give up on pursuing a claim after being denied benefits for a preexisting injury.

Evidence That Can Help Support Your Claim

It is important to remember that insurance companies are not on your side, so if they can find a reason to deny your claim, they will. However, there are steps that you can take to help provide proof that your preexisting injury was made worse by your job:

Disclose Your Preexisting Injury

Although it may be tempting to do so, it is never a good idea to try to hide an old injury when filing for worker’s compensation benefits, and this tactic will likely backfire on you anyway. It is better to get it out in the open. However, there is a proper way to do it. When filing your application for benefits, talk about the specific activities that caused your preexisting injury or medical condition to worsen. Discuss the symptoms you are having now and describe how they are different from what you experienced with your old injury.

Repetition is Key

Once you choose your treating physician, be sure to talk about how your symptoms with this reinjury or aggravated medical condition are different from what you previously experienced. Tell your doctor what activities you were doing at work that caused you to get reinjured.

Do Not Wait to Report Your Injury

Never wait to report a work injury. If you do, you leave wiggle room for either your employer, the worker’s comp insurance carrier, or both, to argue that your injuries could have happened anywhere.

If you are denied benefits, there are options for appealing this decision. However, you do not typically have time to waste. Contact an experienced lawyer to learn about your legal options for overturning this decision and getting the benefits you need.

Injured or Reinjured at Work? Call Our Firm for Legal Help Today

We recommend speaking to an experienced attorney to learn whether you may still be eligible to receive worker’s comp benefits while you recover from your injury.

At Sigman and Janssen, we are prepared to review the circumstances of your situation and help determine whether you may have a valid claim. There is no cost to meet with us; your initial consultation is completely free. We have decades of experience, and we have recovered millions in compensation for our clients.

There is no obligation to hire our services, and if you hire one of our Oshkosh worker’s compensation lawyers to represent you, there are no upfront fees or attorney costs to pay. We only get paid if we are successful in obtaining compensation for you.

Schedule Your Free Consultation Today. (877) 888-5201.

Potential Liability for Injuries Due to Heavy Machinery Accidents

liability for heavy machinery accidentsWorkers in many industries, including construction and manufacturing, operate heavy machinery during building, demolition and restoration. Unfortunately, constant exposure to this machinery can put workers at a greater risk of being in an accident that can result in life-altering injuries and fatalities.

If you or someone you care about has been injured at work in a heavy machinery accident, Sigman Janssen is here to help. Reach out to discuss your situation today in a free, no-obligation consultation.

Who Could Be Liable for Your Injuries?

If a worker is performing his or her normal work duties and suffers an injury due to heavy machinery, he or she may be able to obtain worker’s compensation benefits. In Wisconsin, this could include all reasonable and necessary medical expenses and wage loss benefits. If a worker is fatally injured, death benefits may be pursued. You can receive these benefits no matter who is at fault for the accident.

However, accidents at work are not always caused by a fellow worker. There are certain situations in which an individual or a worker from another company may have acted carelessly and caused you harm.

If a third party was involved in your accident, our attorneys are here to help. Although you do not have the right to sue your employer when you are covered by worker’s compensation insurance, you could file a claim against negligent third parties. Examples of third parties that could be liable include:

  • General contractor – On a construction site, the general contractor is responsible for providing a safe work environment that meets Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines and local requirements.
  • Project owner – The project owner may not necessarily be your employer and could be responsible for maintaining a safe work site and providing direction for a contractor to enforce.
  • Manufacturer – When heavy machinery is defective, the manufacturer of these products could share some liability in an accident.

Why Heavy Machinery Accidents Occur

Accidents involving heavy machinery occur all too often on construction sites, leading to numerous injuries every year. Some of the reasons why heavy machinery accidents occur include:

Inadequate Training

Operating heavy machinery safely and correctly requires specialized training and experience. When a worker is not given adequate training on how to properly use a machine, accidents can happen.

Workers should also be supervised when operating heavy machinery. Some workers may not be aware of all the dangers that may be present in an area while using a crane, forklift, bulldozer, hoist or other type of heavy machinery.

Having the right supervision could help prevent workers using heavy machinery from doing something that causes harm to themselves or others around them.

Lack of Maintenance

Heavy machinery that is poorly maintained poses a serious risk for workers who use it and others working nearby. The longer maintenance is not performed, the greater chance that warning systems on the machine will fail to function. If the alert system breaks, other workers may not be warned and get hit.

For instance, forklifts could possibly malfunction if not adequately maintained. A load could come down unexpectedly from a malfunctioning forklift and crush workers nearby. If a crane malfunctions, it can collapse and easily injure or fatally harm workers below.

Heavy machinery that is defective should also not be used until proper repairs are made. Putting a piece of machinery back in service before repairs are completed puts workers in danger.

Improper Inspections

It is important that heavy machinery is inspected on a regular basis. Workers should be utilizing checklists to ensure that the machine is in good working condition. All heavy machinery must have:

  • A working brake system, including emergency and parking brakes
  • Working headlights, taillights and brake lights
  • An audible warning device, such as a horn

How to Reduce the Risk of an Accident

Most heavy machinery accidents are preventable when proper safety guidelines are implemented and followed. There are certain steps you can take when working with heavy equipment to protect yourself and reduce the risk of an accident and injury.

  • Wear appropriate safety gear – Depending on your line of work, this could include hardhats, heavy-duty gloves, face shields, ear plugs, steel-toed boots, harnesses and safety vests.
  • Keep machine-guarding equipment on – This safety equipment helps protect workers from danger, such as flying chips and sparks when operating heavy machinery.
  • Stay clear of operating or moving machinery – If someone else is operating heavy machinery, do not distract or bother them. Operating these machines require focus as there may be many moving parts and breaking that focus could result in serious injuries.
  • Only operate machinery you are trained for – Operating heavy machinery without proper, specialized training puts you and others at risk of being injured.
  • Use machinery as intended – Each piece of heavy machinery is designed to perform a specific task. Using machinery to perform other jobs can be dangerous.

Our Initial Consultations Are Free of Charge

If you have been injured in an accident at work, a licensed Green Bay worker’s compensation lawyer from our firm is prepared to discuss your rights and legal options in a free consultation. We have decades of experienced helping to secure the benefits injured workers and their families need.

There are no upfront fees to unitize our services. We only get paid if we help you obtain compensation.

For a free case review, call (877) 888-5201.