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What Are Your Rights After a Power Line Electrocution Injury in Pennsylvania?

By: Anapol Weiss

Power line electrocution injuries are more common than many people realize. These accidents can happen in an instant, and the effects can last a lifetime, leaving victims and their families often facing not just severe physical injuries but deep emotional and financial hardships as well. This blog aims to guide you through the essential steps to take after a power line electrocution, the nature of these injuries, your legal rights in Pennsylvania, and how legal representation can significantly impact the outcome of your case.

Immediate Steps to Take Following a Power Line Electrocution Injury

  • Seek Medical Evaluation: Regardless of the apparent severity, it's essential to seek immediate and thorough medical evaluation. Electrocution injuries can have delayed symptoms, making an early medical assessment vital for your health and any future legal action.
  • Be Cautious of Secondary Injuries: Power line electrocutions often occur in environments where secondary injuries, such as falls, are possible. It's crucial to remain cautious and seek a safe area immediately following an incident to avoid further harm.
  • Preserve Evidence: Preserving evidence is critical for legal purposes. If possible, secure surveillance footage of the incident, document the scene with photos or videos and keep a detailed diary of your injuries, symptoms, and medical visits. This documentation can be invaluable in building your case.
  • Report the Incident: Report the incident to local authorities and the utility company involved. Provide detailed information and follow the expected procedures for such reports. This step is crucial not only for ensuring safety but also for establishing a formal record of the incident, which is essential for any legal action.

Understanding Power Line Electrocution Injuries

Electrocution from power lines is not just about getting a shock; it's a serious event that can change your life or the life of someone you love in an instant. When someone gets electrocuted, it means electricity has passed through their body. This can happen if they touch a power line directly, but also in other ways, like if they're holding a ladder that touches a power line or even standing near a power line during a storm.

What Happens to the Body?

  • Burns: Burn injuries are some of the most common from electrocution. These aren't just regular burns; electricity can burn you from the inside out.
  • Heart Problems: Electricity can mess with your heart's rhythm, leading to cardiac arrest, which is when your heart stops beating properly.
  • Muscle Damage: Muscles can spasm or contract uncontrollably. Severe cases might lead to long-term issues, like trouble moving or even paralysis.
  • Neurological Damage: The nervous system controls everything your body does, from moving to thinking. Electricity can cause nerve damage, leading to problems like seizures, difficulty thinking or concentrating, and changes in behavior.
  • Psychological Impact: Surviving an electrocution can be traumatic. Victims might experience PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), anxiety, depression, or nightmares and flashbacks about the incident.

The Long Road to Recovery

Recovering from an electrocution injury can be a long and difficult journey. Some injuries might heal over time with medical treatment, but others can leave lasting effects, including disabilities. This journey isn't just physical; it's emotional and financial too. Victims and their families often face large medical bills, lost income if they can't work, and the emotional toll of dealing with such a traumatic event.

In Pennsylvania, if you or someone you love has been injured by electrocution due to someone else's negligence, you have rights. Understanding these rights is crucial to ensuring you can seek justice and compensation.

  • Negligence and Liability: If a utility company didn't maintain their power lines or a property owner didn't ensure a safe environment, they might be considered negligent. Proving negligence is key to your case.
  • Comparative Negligence: Pennsylvania uses a system called "comparative negligence" for personal injury cases. This means if you were partly at fault for the accident, your compensation might be reduced by your percentage of fault. However, as long as you are not more at fault than the other party, you can still receive compensation.

Compensation for Victims of Power Line Electrocution

Victims of power line electrocution in Pennsylvania can seek various types of compensation, depending on the specifics of their case. This compensation is designed to cover:

  • Medical Expenses: This includes hospital stays, surgeries, medications, physical therapy, and any future medical care you might need because of your injuries.
  • Lost Wages: If you can't work because of your injuries, you can be compensated for the income you've lost and will lose in the future.
  • Pain and Suffering: This covers the physical pain and emotional distress you've experienced because of the accident.
  • Wrongful Death: If a loved one dies because of electrocution, family members might be able to seek compensation for funeral expenses, lost future income, and the loss of companionship.

Filing a Claim and Statute of Limitations

In Pennsylvania, there's a time limit, known as the statute of limitations, for filing a personal injury lawsuit. This limit is generally two years from the date of the accident. However, there are exceptions:

  • For Minors: If the victim is a child, the clock doesn't start ticking until they turn 18.
  • Discovery Rule: Sometimes, the injuries from electrocution aren't immediately obvious. The discovery rule can extend the deadline to file a lawsuit until the injuries are discovered or should have been discovered.

It's crucial to seek legal advice as soon as possible to make sure you don't miss the deadline for filing your claim.

Frequently Asked Questions About Power Line Electrocution Injuries and Prevention

What should I do if I see a downed power line?

Stay far away and immediately call 911 or your local utility company. Never try to touch or move it.

How can communities advocate for safer power line infrastructure?

Communities can work together to petition for regular safety inspections and maintenance of power lines. Engaging with local government officials and utility companies about safety concerns can also make a difference.

Can I sue the utility company for my injuries?

Yes, if the utility company's negligence led to your injuries, you might have a case against them. An experienced attorney can help you understand your rights and options.

What if the electrocution happened at work?

If you experienced a work injury as a result of a third party's negligence, you might have a personal injury claim.

What is the difference between settling a case and going to trial?

Settling means both parties agree on compensation without going to court. A trial is when the case is decided by a judge or jury. Settlements are more common, but sometimes a trial is necessary to get fair compensation.

How can an attorney help me with my electrocution injury case?

An attorney can guide you through the legal process, gather evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and represent you in court if necessary. Their goal is to get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses.

Contact a Personal Injury Attorney at Anapol Weiss Today For a Free Consultation To Discuss Your Power Line Accident

If you or a loved one has suffered from an electrocution injury in Philadelphia, the path to recovery can seem daunting. At Anapol Weiss, we understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll these injuries can take on victims and their families. Our dedicated team of electrocution injury attorneys is committed to guiding you through every step of the legal process with compassion, expertise, and a relentless pursuit of justice.

With decades of experience in handling complex electrocution cases, Anapol Weiss has built a reputation for achieving outstanding results for our clients. Our approach combines thorough investigation, expert collaboration, and strategic litigation to ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive the maximum compensation you deserve.

Don't navigate this challenging time alone. Let Anapol Weiss stand by your side, fighting for your rights while you focus on healing. Contact us today for a free consultation, and take the first step towards securing your future. At Anapol Weiss, we're not just your attorneys; we're your advocates, your support, and your path to justice.