If a worker is shocked or fatally electrocuted while performing their job duties, the worker or their surviving dependents may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, which can pay for medical expenses, pay for funeral expenses, and partially replace lost wages. Unfortunately, North Carolina’s complex laws can make the process of getting benefits very difficult for workers, especially in situations where an employer or insurance company has already denied the claim. Being represented by an aggressive, experienced workers’ compensation attorney increases the odds of getting the benefits you deserve.
At the Ramsay Law Firm, our Charlotte workers’ compensation lawyers have more than 20 years of combined experience representing electricians, construction workers, and other workers who were injured or killed in job-related electrical accidents. We can fight to make sure that your rights are protected, while working to increase the value of your claim. For a free consultation, contact our law offices online, or call us right away at (704) 376-1616. We handle workers’ compensation claims, appeals, and hearings on behalf of disabled workers throughout the Charlotte region.
Effects of Electrical Injuries
Every year in the United States, thousands of people are killed or seriously injured by accidental contact with high-voltage lines, industrial equipment, home appliances, and wires or outlets conducting powerful electrical currents. Electricity can kill or maim in fractions of a second, and is capable of causing a range of debilitating medical effects that can leave the victim permanently disabled. Examples of injuries that can be caused by contact with electrical wires or other sources of electricity include, but are not limited to:
- Damage to bones and muscle tissue caused by electrical current traveling through the body
- Hearing loss or impaired hearing
- Heart attack caused by disruption of normal heart rhythms
- Loss of physical sensation
- Nerve damage
- Painful muscle spasms and contractions
- Partial or total paralysis
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Second degree burns or third degree burns
- Severe tongue injuries caused by involuntary clamping of the jaw
- Tingling and numbness
- Vision loss or impaired vision
While anyone can be fatally electrocuted or severely shocked, workers in certain professions have an elevated risk due to their job requirements. For example, construction workers, utility workers, electricians and electrical apprentices, and appliance repair specialists all work around electricity on a routine basis, creating numerous opportunities for disaster to strike.
NC Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Electrocution and Shock Injuries
The North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act establishes a requirement for most employers to carry mandatory workers’ compensation insurance. Most workers in North Carolina are covered by the law, with some exceptions for workers employed by companies with fewer than three employees. This extends to part-time workers, full-time workers, and even independent contractors.
An employer who does not carry workers’ compensation insurance may be violating the law, depending on the size and nature of the company. If your employer informs you that workers’ compensation is not available, it is in your best interests to review the matter with an experienced work injury lawyer as soon as possible. If your employer is violating the law, an attorney can step in to protect your rights and fight for the benefits you deserve.
Workers’ compensation benefits serve several purposes. For example, one purpose of benefits is to compensate the worker for the loss of earnings while he or she is in recovery. The amount of compensation varies from claim to claim, because payments are calculated based on the worker’s pre-injury weekly wage. Specifically, a worker is entitled to up to 66.66% of his or her pre-accident wage. Therefore, a worker who was earning $800 per week before becoming injured could receive a maximum award of $533.28 per week. If the worker is later able to return to work, these benefits will be reduced or cut off, depending on how much income the worker earns after resuming employment.
The other key purpose of workers’ compensation benefits is to provide financial coverage for medical bills related to the injury. This extends to reasonable medical expenses related to surgery, medication, physical therapy, medical transportation, and other aspects of patient care.
In order to receive benefits, the worker must (1) report the injury to his or her employer within 30 days of the injury, and (2) file a claim for workers’ compensation with assistance from an attorney. If the injury is not reported in time, or if no claim is filed, the worker will be unable to secure benefits.
Charlotte, NC Workplace Electrocution Accident Attorney
If you or your spouse suffered burn injuries, nerve damage, heart failure, paralysis, or other injuries as a result of being shocked or electrocuted in a workplace accident, workers’ compensation could be available to help with your treatment costs and other financial losses. However, time is of the essence, as claims are subject to strict deadlines. To speak confidentially about filing a claim, filing an appeal, or other aspects of the North Carolina workers’ compensation process in a free legal consultation, contact the Ramsay Law Firm at (704) 376-1616 right away.