The most common cause of an electric shock injury both in the workplace and home can be put down to faulty electrical equipment and wiring. An electric shock can be extremely serious and even life-threatening, depending of what voltage is involved. With this said, a low intensity electric shock can result in serious burns, scarring and difficulty breathing to name but a few effects of this type of workplace injury.
If you suffered an electric shock at work through no fault of your own and the incident happened in the last 3 years, you could be entitled to file an electric shock claim against a negligent employer. You could be awarded the level of compensation you deserve for the pain and suffering as well as any out of pocket expenses you incurred should your claim be successful.
Common Workplace Electric Shock Injuries
Electric shock injuries can be slight to a lot more severe with a jolt of 50 Volts resulting in the following:
- Burns from slight or very severe
- Muscle spasms
- A difficulty breathing
- Cardiac arrest
- An irregular heartbeat
- Tissue necrosis
- Spinal injury
- Brain injury
- Bone fractures
- Dislocated joints
The severity of an electrical shock injury would depend not only on the voltage involved, but also the circumstances surrounding the accident and whether dampness was involved. Other factors include the extent of time you were subjected to electric current flowing through your body and your age.
If you suffered an electric shock whether you sustained a minor burn, suffered muscle spasms or you had to be hospitalised, you should seek legal advice on how to file a personal injury claim against an employer you believe was negligent in their duty to keep you safe from harm while you were at work.
Can I Claim Compensation For An Electric Shock At Work?
Over recent years, the government introduced Acts and Regulations to protect employees from injury and harm in the workplace and all employers in the UK must abide to Health and Safety Executive at Work regulations. Employers have a duty to keep all employees safe from injury and harm in the workplace. The legislation sets out the law that protects all workers, whatever industry they are employed in.
Electrical contractors as well as construction workers must by law take out professional indemnity insurance to protect anyone who works with electricity. Failure to do so which results in you suffering an electric shock injury at work, could lead to an employer being held liable and they would be compelled to pay you the level of compensation you rightly deserve for all the pain, suffering and out of pocket expenses you incurred due to their negligence.
Who is Most At Risk of Suffering an Electric Shock in the Workplace?
People who work in specific environments are most at risk of suffering an electric shock injury which are as follows:
- Electrical maintenance engineers
- Construction workers
- Lighting specialists
- Office staff
- Cleaning staff
- Interior decorators
- Care and hospital workers
With this said, anyone is at risk of suffering an electric shock at work whether their injuries are slight or more severe. If you were injured at work when you handled anything electrical, you could be entitled to file an electric shock claim against your employer providing you can prove they were negligent in their duty to keep you safe from harm in the workplace.
If an employer fails to keep machinery and equipment well maintained or they fail to carry out the required risk assessments in the workplace and you suffer any sort of injury, your employer could be held liable which includes if you suffer an electric shock at work.
What Can I Include in an Electric Shock Claim Against my Employer?
The compensation you may receive because you suffered an electric shock at work would depend on the severity and complexity of your injuries. With this said, there are certain things that can be included in work-related personal injury claims which includes any that involve electric shock injuries. The things you can include in a claim are as follows:
- The pain and suffering you experienced as a direct result of your injuries
- Your loss of amenity (this covers your physical or mental capacity to do the things you used to do before you suffered an electric shock at work)
- Any loss of earnings you incurred during the time you were off work
- Any loss of future income should you not be able to work again
- Your medical expenses and this includes all your ongoing medical care should this be needed
- Your travel expenses which covers your expenditure to and from hospital or other medical facilities to receive treatment for your injuries
- Care costs should you not be able to carry out normal daily chores around the home
All of the above would be taken into consideration when calculating the amount of compensation you may be awarded in a successful electric shock injury claim against a negligent employer whether the amount is awarded by a court or by your employer’s insurers should they decide to offer you an out of court settlement.
Should I File an Electric Shock Claim Against my Employer?
If you suffered an electric shock injury at work through no fault of your own in the last 3 years and you were unable to work for a short or longer period of time, you have every right to file a compensation claim against your employer. If your employer failed in their duty to keep you safe from harm in the workplace, they could be deemed negligent and a court could rule that they have to pay the level of compensation you rightly deserve for the pain, suffering and out of pocket expenses you incurred.
It is worth noting that all employers in the UK are required by law to have insurance in place which covers them for any accidents that employees and other people may suffer in the workplace. As such, it would be your employer’s insurers who have to pay the compensation you may be awarded in a successful electric shock at work claim, bearing in mind that most work-related injury claims are settled before they even go before a judge.
Not being able to work can put you and your family under financial pressure. You may not be able to pay bills and other necessary expenses during the time you are unable to work. The electric shock injury compensation you receive in a successful claim could help avoid this type of financial worry and stress.
Can My Employer Fire Me for Filing an Electric Shock Claim Against Them?
The law prohibits your employer from treating you unfairly or firing you if you decide to file an electric shock injury claim against them unless there is a valid reason for them to do so. Should your employer fire you for no good reason, you would have every right to not only file an electric shock claim against them, but an unfair dismissal claim too.
What are My Rights Following an Electric Shock at Work?
Under UK law, employees must be kept from harm and injury in the workplace and if an employer fails in their duty of care and you suffer an electric shock injury as a direct result, you have certain rights following an accident at work which are detailed below:
- You receive an amount in compensation for the pain, suffering and out of pocket expenses you incurred as a direct result of your electric shock injury at work
- Your job is safe even if you file an electric shock compensation claim against your employer
If you suffer an electric shock injury at work through no fault of your own, your employer could be held liable and their insurance would cover the compensation you would be awarded in a successful personal injury claim.
Seeking Legal Advice on an Electric Shock Injury Claim
As with most work-related personal injury claims, it is best to seek legal advice if you are considering filing an electric shock injury claim against a negligent employer. For your claim to be successful, you would be required to provide as much evidence as possible which a solicitor would use to establish who is liable for your injury and whether you have a strong case against a negligent employer. Even if you think you may be partly responsible for your injury, you may still be entitled to claim compensation for the pain, suffering and out of pocket expenses you incurred.
The evidence required to prove your case would include the following:
- Proof that you reported the incident to a manager or your employer
- A record of the incident as noted in the Accident Report Book if there is one, and if there is not, you should have made a detailed record of the incident and your injuries and sent it to your employer, keeping a copy for your own records
- Photos of where the incident occurred
- Photos of your injuries
- Witness statements and their contact details
- A medical report of your injuries
Providing all of the above helps strengthen an electric shock claim and also goes a long way in helping a court decide how much compensation you may receive on a successful personal injury claim.
Is There a Time Limit to Electric Shock Injury Claims?
As with all personal injury claims that are work-related, you have 3 years from the date of the incident to file an electric shock injury claim against a negligent employer. The time limit begins from the date you suffered your injury at work or the date when you became aware of your injuries.
Working with a No Win No Fee Solicitor on Your Electric Shock Injury Claim?
Because of the 3 year time limit to electric shock injury claims, it is far better to seek legal advice sooner rather than later. The reason being that you would need to gather as much information and evidence relating to your electric shock injury at work to prove and strengthen your case. A solicitor would typically offer an initial free consultation which allows them the time needed to assess your case and to establish who could be held liable for your injuries.
Once this has been established, most solicitors would offer to work with you on a No Win No Fee basis which means you would not have to worry about finding the money to pay a solicitor an upfront fee or retainer. Once you have signed the Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) with the firm of solicitors, they can start working on your electric shock injury claim immediately, leaving you to concentrate on your recovery. The CFA you sign with a firm of solicitors would include the following:
- The terms and conditions of the agreement
- The percentage that you have agreed to pay the firm of solicitors on a successful electric shock claim, often referred to as a “success fee”
The amount you would pay the solicitor which was agreed in the CFA you signed, would be deducted from the amount of compensation you are awarded by the court, bearing in mind that the majority of work-related personal injury claims are settled “out of court” before even going before a judge. Should your claim not be successful, there would be nothing to pay for the legal representation you received on your electric shock injury claim.