Almost everyone you meet will have experienced an electric shock in the past. After all, the crack of static electricity is a fine example of just how easily the human body conducts electricity. However, not everyone knows what it is like to feel the tingle and blast of standard electrical currents, and that is a very good thing. Electric shock injuries are no joke and they can cause burns to the flesh; nerve, muscle and tissue damage; and even knock someone into cardiac arrest. Naturally, if they are severe enough, they can kill people. (MedlinePlus, 2015)
This is why there are so many rules and regulations associated with electricity, and nowhere do they become more important than when they apply to a maritime setting. After all, if electricity is already dangerous, the addition of water makes it even more so. As a conductor of electricity, it multiplies the danger of electrical injuries in the maritime setting.
Anything from an electrical short or exposed connection to malfunctioning gear or basic electrical work can expose a worker to threats of serious injury. However, there should already be every possible protection in place, to prevent electric shock injuries from occurring. Not only standard electrical guidelines, but also the different safety rules that are meant to reduce workplace dangers should also be guaranteed.
Should someone in the maritime industry find himself or herself exposed to an electrical current, they may be burnt, lose consciousness, experience organ damage, go into heart arrhythmia, cause a fire or explosion, or even perish. An accident leading to electric shock injury can spread farther than a single person, and create a true nightmare situation.
Naturally, because there are so many safety measures in existence around electrical work and systems, this just shouldn’t happen. Sadly, it does, and when you have suffered such an injury, or lost a loved one in the maritime industry, you should pursue compensation that is guaranteed to you under the laws of your trade. Federal rulings, like the Jones Act and other laws are meant to provide you with compensation, as well as maintenance and care.
To be sure your employer or the vessel owner is being held fully accountable, you will need to get in touch with a knowledgeable and experienced maritime lawyer. They will know the steps to take in order to pursue your case. After all, there could be some challenges in proving just who is to blame.
Consider that it is not uncommon to experience a lot of finger pointing when major problems occur, and rather than accept that someone on the crew did something wrong, or be identified as having done something wrong, be certain that it is not the negligence of the employer or owner. For example, were all safety standards being upheld? Was the vessel or equipment kept up to date and in proper operating order? Was the entire crew trained in using gear or performing duties?
Any of those questions could easily identify the owner or the employer as the responsible party, and that would lead to their being required to uphold their obligations to those injured. Yes, it doesn’t seem like you should have to pursue the guilty for compensation after electric shock injury, but it is not uncommon to need legal support and to pursue a claim.
Don’t try to tackle any electric shock injury claims on your own. Leave the hard work to the legal experts. They will know how to explore the entire situation, determine who is liable for the incident and show you the next steps to take to resolve the situation.