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The Dangers of Electrical Accidents in Florida and How to Stay Safe

Personal Injury

Electrical accidents can be devastating to one’s life. Depending on the severity of the incident, injuries can range from a minor shock, to severe burns, to death. Understanding how to protect yourself against, and avoid, such accidents can be life-saving. It is also important to understand your rights if you have been electrocuted. This article will discuss each of these issues in turn.

Types of Electrical Accidents and Keeping Yourself Safe

Types of Accidents

There are many different types of accidents which result in electrocution. Some of the more common situations where an adult or a child can be electrocuted include:

  • Using electrical items near water – Kitchen appliances, hair dryers, curling irons, and several other items are often used in close proximity to a sink. If these items get wet while plugged in then they can cause electrocution. These types of accidents can occur in places other than your home. Many hotels, for example, provide hair dryers and have electrical outlets which are quite close to the room’s sink. The risk that this creates is obvious.
  • Frayed cords or other malfunctioning items – Frayed electrical cords or malfunctioning items can create sparks and can be dangerous to even touch in some circumstances. This is especially true if they are in a room with carpet and static electricity builds up as a result of you walking on the floor. 
  • Faulty or aged electrical wiring – Most people who own a home or lease some type of commercial space typically cannot tell you how old the wiring is. Also, few conduct a full inspection to make sure that their wiring is up to code when they rent from a residential or commercial landlord. In addition to creating a fire risk, faulty wiring can result in someone being electrocuted when they plug an item in, when they flip a switch, etc.
  • Failing to child-proof a building – If it is foreseeable that children will be in a home or other building then it should likely be childproofed. This includes putting protectors in electrical outlets, ensuring cords are out of reach, etc. If a child sticks their finger, or worse a metal object, into an unprotected socket then the risk of electrocution is obvious.

Safety Tips

There are several steps you can take in order to protect yourself and your loved ones from the risk of electrocution. These steps include:

  • Ensure adequate space between electrical cords and water – If you are using an item such as a hair dryer then it is suggested that you utilize it near a mirror that is not next to a sink. Simply keeping electrical items away from water is one of the best possible safeguards. If you are in a facility such as a hotel, and have no other option for an outlet or mirror, then ensure that the cord is folded and away from the sink. Also ensure that the sink is dry and that the water is not running.
  • Replace frayed cords or other items – It can be common practice to wrap a frayed cord in electrical tape. This tape, however, can easily come off. Also, it is common for people to continue to use electrical items which are not operating properly. Rather than trying to get a little more life out of a cord or an appliance, it is best to replace them.
  • Have an electrician inspect the wiring – If you are renting or leasing a residence or commercial space then ask for documentation showing the last time that the wiring was inspected. If it has not been inspected recently, or if the previous inspector was not a licensed contractor, ask your landlord for a fresh inspection.
  • Proper child proofing – Ensure that any place which may conceivably be exposed to children has covers on the electrical outlets. Also, make sure that there are not easily reachable metal objects near any outlets. Finally, to the extent possible, make sure the areas with in-use electrical plugs are blocked so children cannot unplug items and plug them back in.

You Have Rights If You Were Electrocuted 

If you have been the victim of an electrical accident then you may be entitled to compensation. If the accident occurred on someone else’s property then the property owner may have breached their duty to provide a safe environment for their invitees. As a result, you may be able to bring a premises liability action against them. If you were electrocuted in your own home, while using an appliance or electronic items as it was intended to be used, then you may be able to file a product liability case. The type of claim you may be able to bring, and whom you will file it against, will always depend on the specifics of the situation. 

The first step in protecting your rights is to seek immediate medical care. It is also important to document as much of what has happened as possible. This can include taking photos of where the incident occurred, writing down your memory of what happened as soon as possible, and asking those who witnessed the event to write down their account of it. If you were injured by an appliance or other item then it is strongly suggested that you keep and preserve it. You should then consult with an attorney as soon as possible. Counsel will take steps to demand that the responsible party preserve all available evidence. Your representative will also contact the insurance companies so that he or she may deal with them directly. This will allow them to focus on your case while you focus on regaining your health.

Call a Florida Personal Injury Attorney Today

If you have been injured in an electrical accident then you should contact a lawyer as soon as possible. Our firm is dedicated to protecting the rights of injury victims and we will work quickly to identify the possible defendants in your case. We understand that this is a serious time in your life and we will give your case the attention it deserves. Call us today at 800-780-8607 or contact us online to speak with a Florida personal injury lawyer.

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