Electrical Accidents FAQs

Q. Who may bring a lawsuit for an electrical accident?

A. Any child or adult who suffered a burn injury or electrocution, or the survivors of a family member killed by an electrical accident that was caused by someone else's negligence may bring a lawsuit.

Q, What remedies do I have against a utility or power company?

A. Electrical companies have a high standard of care because of the risks of serious injury, or even death, associated with electrical accidents. You may be able to recover compensation for your injuries or death if you're able to show that the utility company failed to meet the standard of care for electrical operations. Examples include the failure to properly maintain power lines, electrical lines installed too close to the ground or other obstructions, and lines that were not sufficiently insulated.

Q. If my child was electrocuted when he came in contact with power lines. What must I prove to be able to win my case against the power company?

A. You will have to prove that the power company was at fault. Examples of fault include: electrical lines that were either installed or maintained without proper insulation, electrical lines without enough clearance from the ground, buildings or combustibles; or, lines that were improperly guarded.

You may be able to establish liability against the power company if you can show that the power company failed to conduct thorough inspections of its lines and failed to keep them safe from natural deterioration, foreseeable uses of the underlying or adjacent property, or changed conditions that made the powerlines hazardous.

Q. Are there special rules and regulations pertaining to power companies, and if so, how do they affect my injury or wrongful death case?

A. Local, state and federal governments heavily regulate power companies. Regulations include the necessity of establishing sufficient clearance of an electrical line above the road, sufficient clearance of an electric line above the ground, maintenance of insulation material; specified markings on poles carrying high voltage lines; and, duties to raise a line once the power company knows or should have known that it was too low.

Q. What if I'm injured at work?

A. Depending on the nature of your injury, you may file a worker's compensation claim against your employer. If the accident was a result of faulty electrical equipment or machinery or improperly maintained powerlines, you may have a claim against the product manufacturer or power company. See Workers' Compensation.

Q, What damages may I recover?

A. You are entitled to recover damages for past and future medical treatment, loss of income, and impairment of future earning capacity. If the plaintiff dies, his or her survivors are entitled to recover full compensation for their economic losses that result from the plaintiff's death as well as emotional distress damages which stem from the loss of society, care and comfort of the decedent. See Wrongful Death.

Q. How soon after my accident do I need to file my case?

A. Under Louisiana law, you have one year from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit against the responsible party.

Q. Do I need to hire an attorney?

A. It's a good idea to hire an attorney to help establish who may be at fault and conduct a full investigation into the facts and circumstances surrounding your case.

Q. Will my case settle?

A. Many cases settle out of court. Whether a case settles depends on the facts and circumstances of the case and the willingness of the parties to reach a resolution.

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