Electrocution Investigation

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Electrocution Accidents

Since mankind began generating and consuming electricity some 140 years ago, it has been a persistent killer. Electrocutions in the United States are the fifth leading cause of work place fatalities, and are second only to falls as a cause of private sector construction industry fatalities. Electrocutions have occurred in recent decades at a rate of about 100 per year according to OSHA and the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. When non-worker incidents and public sector workers are accounted for the number grows higher. There are also a wide range of non-fatal electrical shock injuries, of which tens of thousands are estimated to occur each year. These can be accompanied by debilitating injuries and lost time from work. An electrocution incident can cost $5 million or more, making OSHA mandated electrical safety programs look very affordable.

Electrical accidents can be shrouded in mystery. The behavior of electricity itself is often very unintuitive, and frequently misunderstood even by those who are considered “trained in the art”. To counter this inherent problem, the electrical industry has produced well developed, nearly infallible safety standards. However, compliance is neither simple nor assured. Today’s electrical equipment, work practices, and safety standards, while effective, are also immensely more complex than those of past years. The confluence of these two factors produces a distinct vulnerability to human error, and electrocution accidents continue to occur.

We generally advise counsel and owners to perform an expert investigation as quickly as possible after an incident has occurred. Plaintiffs and defendants alike make better decisions with a preliminary expert opinion in hand. Additionally, costly “stalemate litigation” can possibly be avoided by early and effective evidence inspection. Some types of electrical evidence have no shelf life, but others can go “stale” or disappear entirely. The strength of conclusions in the expert report is directly correlated with the abundance and quality of evidence.
We have investigated numerous electrocution and shock cases both in the U.S. and internationally.

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