Chicago Electrical Accident Attorney
Each year, many Chicago employees sustain injuries due to electrical components. If you suffer an electrical accident while on the job, you have the right to recover compensation for your injuries through a workers’ compensation claim. In these situations, trust the Chicago work injury lawyers at Taxman, Pollock, Murray & Bekkerman, LLC. Our attorneys have decades of experience representing injured Chicago workers in their insurance claims and lawsuits. Contact us today by calling (312) 586-1700.
Why Choose Us
- Our lawyers are dedicated to securing the maximum possible compensation for our clients. We have recovered over $400 million in settlements and jury verdicts.
- We understand how painful an electrical accident injury can be. Our firm will handle all aspects of your claim on your behalf, allowing you to focus on recovery.
- If you are unsure which avenue is right for your claim, our lawyers can help. We will aggressively pursue every available angle to achieve the best possible outcome.
The “Fatal Four” – Electrocutions Make the List
Electrocutions are one of the leading causes of death in construction, and the construction industry leads every other industry when it comes to workplace fatalities.
Electrical accidents are a major problem for those in this industry. Data indicates that electrocution injuries at construction sites affect not just the electricians working on that aspect of the site. These types of incidents regularly affect others, including HVAC technicians, roofers, plumbers, painters, carpenters, laborers, and more.
You Have the Right to a Safe Workplace
Workers in the city of Chicago have the right to a safe workplace. When we examine federal law, enforced by OSHA, we can see work environments should be free from known health and safety dangers. Workers also have the right to hold accountable negligent parties if their workplace safety rights are violated.
Workers are also protected from retaliation for notifying an employer of a workplace injury and for filing a work injury claim.
How Electrical Accidents Happen
Electrical accidents at workplaces in Chicago can occur in a variety of ways. When we examine information provided by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), we can see that during a recent reporting year, 126 workers tragically lost their lives due to electrical exposure. Analyzing this by profession, those in construction and extraction jobs represented the highest proportion of fatalities, accounting for 44% of the total. This was followed by individuals in installation, maintenance, and repair roles, who comprised 20% of these deaths, and those employed in building, grounds cleaning, and maintenance, contributing to 13%.
Over 60% (645) of these fatal incidents involving direct electricity exposure occurred during construction, repair, or cleaning tasks. One-third (33%) of these lethal accidents happened in private residences, while 31% occurred at industrial locations.
Notably, 56% of the injuries were caused by direct contact with electrical sources. This includes instances where workers came into direct contact with live electrical wires or were struck by an electrical arc. These statistics highlight the significant risks associated with electrical work, particularly in certain occupations and settings.
Types of Electrical Accident Injuries
If you come into contact with a live circuit or wire while on the job, you can sustain serious injuries that require long-term care. Some of the most common electrical injuries include the following.
- Electrical burns: These injuries are the most common after an electrical accident, leading to limb, tissue, and organ damage. These injuries occur due to the heat you may encounter when electricity flows through the body.
- Internal injuries: Electricity moving through the body can lead to tissue damage, trigger cardiac arrest, or cause permanent nerve and muscle damage.
- Scarring: Electrical burns can lead to permanent scarring at the point of contact, which may require reconstructive surgery or lead to permanent disfigurement.
- Psychological trauma: Not all electrical injuries are physical. You may develop depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other forms of psychological trauma due to the electrical accident.
Workers’ Compensation for Electrical Accident Victims
Electrical accidents can result in serious injuries, lost wages, and a permanent loss of function. However, if you sustained these injuries while on the job, you have the right to file a workers’ compensation claim. You can recover benefits for medical expenses, disability, and even transportation to and from your medical appointments.
To secure this compensation, however, you will need to prove that you sustained these injuries at work, the accident was not self-inflicted, and that the accident did not occur while you were violating company policy or committing a crime. You will need to take the following steps to file your claim.
- First, you will need to notify your employer of the injury. Employers must receive written notice within 45 days of the accident.
- Next, you will need to seek medical attention from an authorized provider and save all records related to your treatment.
- Within 30 days of the notification, your employer will file a workers’ compensation claim with his or her insurer.
- The insurer will review your case and determine whether you are eligible for compensation.
While this process may seem straightforward, you will need to supply evidence, file paperwork, and possibly engage in mediation with your employer. In these situations, you need someone who can advocate for your best interests—and an attorney from Taxman, Pollock, Murray & Bekkerman, LLC can handle these processes on your behalf.
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit After an Electrical Accident
There are several circumstances in which it may be appropriate to file a personal injury lawsuit after an electrical accident. If the incident occurred at work, you probably already know you are likely to recover workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation insurance in Illinois is a no-fault system, meaning an injured worker will receive compensation for an on-the-job injury or illness regardless of who caused the injury or illness.
However, generally, injured workers are prohibited from filing a personal injury lawsuit against their employer when they receive workers’ comp benefits.
There are situations where filing a lawsuit against an alleged negligent party is appropriate. Sometimes, this could even include the employer if the grossly negligent actions of an employer led to the injury. Also common is filing a claim against an alleged negligent third party who may have caused the injury. At a construction site in Chicago, these third parties can include other contractors, subcontractors, or other companies altogether. This can also include property owners.
Filing a personal injury lawsuit after an electrical accident opens up additional routes for recovering compensation. An injured worker may also be able to recover pain and suffering damages, something not available through a workers’ compensation claim. Workers’ comp does not pay the total amount of lost wages a worker experiences, but a successful personal injury claim could bring this additional compensation.
Compensation Available Through a Civil Lawsuit
If you are able to successfully file a personal injury lawsuit against another party after an electrical accident occurs, various types of economic and non-economic damages may be available.
Economic damages associated with an electrical accident revolve around calculable losses the victim is likely to incur. These losses can include expenses related to:
- Emergency medical expenses
- Ongoing medical and rehabilitation costs
- Medical devices or prescription medications
- Lost income and loss of future earnings
- Out-of-pocket household expenses arising as a result of the injury
Non-economic damages associated with a Chicago electrical accident are not as directly calculable as the expenses mentioned above. The economic damages can be calculated by gathering receipts or bills the victim receives after the incident, but those are usually not available for non-economic damages. These types of losses revolve around a victim’s:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional and psychological pain and suffering
- Loss of quality of life
- Scarring and disfigurement damages
Time Limit for Filing a Civil Lawsuit
In the event you are able to file a personal injury lawsuit against an alleged negligent party after an electrical accident, you must do so quickly. In Illinois, the personal injury statute of limitations is two years from the date an injury occurs. This means electrical accident victims have to file their lawsuit within two years, or they will likely lose the ability to recover compensation. Please keep in mind that this time frame applies to personal injury lawsuits filed in civil court. There are separate and shorter time frames involved with filing a workers’ compensation claim in Illinois.
How Long Until You Receive Payments?
There’s no set amount of time for how long it takes to start receiving payments after an electrical accident occurs in Chicago. There are several factors that influence the total amount a person receives as well as how quickly a person receives their payment. In general, individuals begin receiving workers’ compensation payments relatively soon after the incident occurs if they are out of work. Medical payments continue until a person reaches what their doctor considers maximum medical improvement, which is the point where any additional medical care is unlikely to alter the health outcome any further.
However, if an individual files a civil personal injury lawsuit against an alleged negligent party, it can take quite some time to recover any awarded compensation. These claims are often settled before they go all the way to trial, but that can still take months or even years. We encourage you to speak to your attorney about expected timelines related to your payments. Your attorney may be able to give you options for moving forward in a financially stable way until the claim is resolved.
Contact a Chicago Electrical Accident Attorney
If you are the victim of a Chicago electrical accident, the Chicago electrical accident lawyers at Taxman, Pollock, Murray & Bekkerman, LLC can help. We have represented hundreds of Chicago residents in their workers’ compensation claims and lawsuits, and we will pursue every possible angle to secure the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about your legal options.