Welcome to the Ehline Law Firm Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC webpage dealing with personal injury law. First of all, Los Angeles, being one of the most crowded cities in California, remains full of risks to consumers, workers, and visitors. With its aging infrastructure, poor roads and faulty underground transformer vaults, electrical accidents, and the risk of death are genuine.
I am a Los Angeles injury lawyer, Michael Ehline. Below I will discuss why I am an expert on the topic of electrical shock injuries and my law firm’s various qualifications. Next, we will discuss the specific risks and victims of electric shock in L.A. We also will cover how neglect can lead to a lethal electric shock.
Afterward, we will discuss the various legal remedies as far as compensation and who must pay, assuming someone else caused the injury or death. Before we get into any of that, first, let’s learn about Ehline’s experience as a trial lawyer, and helping victims of electrical shock right here in L.A.
To sum it up, enthusiasm makes the difference. Like our U.S. Marines, we treat all people with courtesy and respect. And we remain committed to our clients with unflinching loyalty. And we do things swiftly. We are all tired of calling on lawyers, only to be disappointed at how rude and abusive they seem over the phone? Our president, Michael Ehline, felt the same way after almost dying in a 55 freeway passenger vehicle rollover as a teenager.
The lawyers he dealt with were out of touch with the difficulties in making it out in the “real world.” Because of Ehline’s experiences as a Marine, Construction Worker, Legal Analyst, and Researcher, he hires people who identify as regular people. Let me explain.
First of all, our lead counsel, Michael Ehline, became a lawyer in Los Angeles by reading for the law in a law office. His story is that he started as a paralegal doing personal injury litigation. So what other traits make Ehline better situated as your counselor at law?
Ehline was a licensed C-47 contractor. Mike grew up in the Los Angeles and Orange County construction business with his father, a licensed B-1. So this means that Michael has advanced knowledge of electrical codes. And as an injury lawyer, he knows construction regulations on a state and local level. You can learn more about his achievements, and $100,000,000 plus results as a personal injury lawyer here.
Electrical shock injuries range from mild, severe, all way to deadly. Although there are no Los Angeles specific statistics dealing with electrocutions and deaths, we do know that L.A. has many old transformers and an aging power grid. And Los Angeles news channels are rampant with stories of horrific explosions and deadly currents hurting and killing consumers and workers at job sites, and public parks.
What is known is that on average, people living, working, or commuting through L.A. remain at a higher risk of most types of injuries than the national average. And nationwide electric shock injury statistics are alarming. Of particular concern to L.A. workers, workplace electrocution has become the fourth leading cause of nationwide occupational injuries and death.
Old, poorly maintained power lines, out of kilter electrical apparatus, cracked, and even ungrounded wires lead to around 350 yearly deaths in the construction industry alone. And this doesn’t even begin to cover L.A. City and County’s neglect of our above ground and underground power-lines.
According to CBS News Los Angeles, the decedent’s survivors in a Valley Village Electrocution sued the L.A., DWP, for wrongful death. The facts show their loved ones were ” fatally electrocuted following a crash in Valley Village last year.” So, in that case, the survivors sued the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.
Because the DWP is responsible for maintaining the power-lines and water, they are the proper L.A. agency to sue. After all, the allegations are that water mixed with power, causing death to two female pedestrians. (Source).
So the above case named the government as a civil defendant in the lawsuit. The allegations were that DWP exercised poor care and management of electrical power and water. So this case is distinguished from a construction accident on a private job site. Because the actors are usually private, there are other issues of insurance, who and how to sue.
Also, the statutes of limitations problems significantly differ when suing a non-governmental agency. Anyways, I discuss government claims over here, where I discuss how they are far more challenging to deal with for survivors.
EMT personnel and bystanders are super important to identify right away. Hopefully, the LAPD or Airport Police will jot down the names, addresses, and telephone contact info of all the witnesses for you. These are all pieces of the puzzle. Each one of them can shed light on who did what and when.
In a perfect world, your lawyer can order the police report and send a private investigator or law clerk to take bystander witness statements. Next, the lawyer will transcribe and create declarations. Finally, the lawyer or his apprentice will travel to these witnesses and have them sign these affidavits under penalty of perjury. And that is under optimal circumstances.
As we say in the Marines, no plan survives the first contact, which is to say, once you are in the battle, things never go by the book. So sometimes we need to play gumshoe and pull a Perry Mason. Consequently, our investigation, we would seek out the names of the first responders and try and interview them. We would try and jar their memories as to vital clues, such as identifying the features of people at the scene. We would order 9-1-1 transcripts to try and interview whoever reported the incident.
Clue gathering plays a major role in preparing a personal injury case analysis. So our deep-dive might include going back to the scene of the electrocution. There, we will conduct our special investigation with our engineers and accident recon people. For example, we will seek out people who may live or work nearby and see if they saw or heard anything. Heck, someone may have already complained about a loud, zapping, irritating frying sound.
You better believe it. Maybe it was an ambient noise or something a resident may recognize from personal experience as a retired construction worker, for example? Perhaps this local jogger’s dog was spooked, and the resident recalled the abnormal axial and radial vibration coming from the windings of a faulty transformer?
Or maybe someone smelled ozone and nitrogen dioxide in the air that we would typically associate with a stormy lightning strike? Anyways, this is all evidence that Los Angeles City or County had notice of the danger and did nothing to make it safe.
A good lawyer would lock this evidence down IMMEDIATELY. An impersonal lawyer may telephonically reject your case out of hand. I know, because I have taken on many cases turned down by another office or where a client fired their lawyer. And even though we arrived late on the scene, my staff and I pulled victory from the jaws of a lousy lawyer.
Like sales, you have to get out and hits the streets as a catastrophic loss investigator. It’s a lot of rejection, and it takes thick rhinoceros skin to be a gumshoe lawyer.
Typically, the first people at the scene after calling 9-1-1 will be the Los Angeles firefighters. The LAPD or CHP will also redirect vehicle traffic, and set up a security perimeter until nullification of the public threat. But before the victim’s triage, firefighters and police must obviate their direct risks of electrocution.
After all, they are arriving at a scene where people may have been mauled or killed by a transformer on the fritz, or a broken and exposed electric cable sending out live current. So obviously, emergency and fire need to take special precautions to avoid injuries to themselves.
First of all, let me start by saying that this is not professional advice. What the police and fire do, as discussed above, is illustrative as to what you may need to do as the first lucid person on the scene. Most of all, remaining calm is the order of the day. You need to keep it together and provide a soothing voice for any wounded personnel.
Call 9-1-1 if possible. If you can’t, then you are the first responder. But you’ll need guts and determination to make that subtle, winning difference in saving lives.
Some of the steps our heroic first responders take may help guide you in accident scene precautions involving electrical shock and fire injuries. It appears the primary goal is to remove the victim from the danger zone while remaining electrically grounded, as discussed below. How to triage and treat a burn depends on the classification of the burn itself and other factors discussed here.
During an active live wire event, LAFD will have their firemen wear rubber gloves to insulate and ground themselves from live current. But often, a live-wire could be flopping around like an active water hose.
Because of this, firefighters will use a long, non-conductive pole to try and pull motionless victims away from the threat. But if there is a broken water line present, The Department of Water and Power or fire chief must find a way to shut off the water supply.
Because water conducts electricity, the firemen could become part of the circuit and die. And then there is the issue of stopping a flood of water at the break without shutting down flow to the fire hydrant, for example.
So you can see there can be unique scenarios. And even the best trained professional can’t be prepared for every encounter. So hats off to the first responders in improvising on the spot to save lives.
For whatever reasons, landlords in Los Angeles are responsible for some nasty stories involving electrocution injuries to children and adults due to dangerous conditions on their property. Shock injury is something every parent with a newborn child must be show awareness and precaution. It seems like children and infants can’t help but stick their fingers or tongues into light sockets.
Because of their curious nature, they might grab and poke at electrical outlets. So the dangers of suffering an electrical burn or death at home are continuous.
But bad landlords and their maintenance people often cause or create additional dangers to kids, such as failing to replace light socket covers. It’s much easy for a child to poke a metal spoon or their fingers into this new thing to explore. But there could also be exposed wires due to rats chewing through the circuit box outside.
What if your kids are out playing with the hose, and they spray some water in that direction? Voila, you have a circuit and a charred offspring, or worse.
Electricity is as dangerous for a grown-up as it is for kids. But threats at home pale in comparison to outdoor high voltage power lines and power sources. Construction workers and vehicle operators broken down in stormy weather remain common victims. But building inspectors, first responders, and others who visit accident scenes become faced with the same risks almost every day.
With high voltage lines, disfigurement is the least of your worries. Remarkably, the risk of incineration remains a real threat In these cases. Lucky is the victim who escapes with just scorched lungs in those situations.
For this reason, regulatory agencies like OSHA and Cal-OSHA have promulgated various rules. So these institutions have regulations for dealing with safety training and observance. Also, this can include things like mandatory tailgate safety meetings.
Furthermore, training classes and the provision of specialized equipment and protective gear gets considered. So landlords who rent out their residential homes have minimum electricity compliance safety standards. Of particular interest, this may include rules like covering wall outlets with wall plates.
The fact is that electricity comes to an increased risk of serious injuries. Also, this is true despite all the efforts of the government and caretakers. Hence, getting shocked is the #4 leading cause of fatalities for people who work. So this figure includes people like building and construction workers, manual laborers, etc. (See U.S. Board of Labor Statistics (2005).)
The legal minds at Ehline Law Firm stand on the side of parents, kids, and fried workers. Often these injuries were due to lax rules. Often they happen from inattentiveness in keeping those people safe. The psychological effects alone are simply devastating. So our firm thinks that irresponsible people should account under California tort law.
Our commitment is assisting bereaving families left behind. We do this with compassion, understanding, and integrity. Also, you may not know that workplace accidents cause at least twenty percent (20%) of shock deaths.
So if you or your loved ones had to deal with wrongful death electrocution, you should consult a local attorney. It is probably the best choice you could make. You must get legal assistance before the statute of limitations expires. You cannot let unscrupulous employers get away with this behavior.
Electrical injuries can happen when a victim’s body becomes integrated into a circuit. The victims get trapped in a localized electrical arc. Consequently, this includes things such as a lightning strike or arc welder injury. The construction industry is known for unsafe environments like this.
These typically occur when an electrical conductor or an object that conducts electricity touches high-voltage power lines. But it can also happen when a conductive low-voltage source of energy gets bitten by a baby. So even a D.C. power cord bite could kill or harm nerve function for life.
An electrical arc is known to cause flash burns. Because it can create a flash of high-temperature heat, people standing in proximity can suffer severely. An electrical arc or explosion remains only one way you can get nailed.
For example, thermal contact burns happen from contact with hot surfaces or even overheated electric conductors. So this can include a conduit or other types of energized equipment in or near your house, or job. And all of these types of harm can occur in the same incident.
Electric shock injuries can be indirect or secondary. For example, it could be an involuntary muscle reaction from an electric shock. So in this type of incident, the tissue reaction can cause bruising, fractures, and broken bones. But the current could also fry your nerves. And that may contribute to accelerated death.
Electrical burns are due to high voltage electricity exposure. Typically burns cause injury from the current flowing through the body. This type of injury leaves a severe exit wound on the body. Also, in some cases can travel through the heart, causing it to stop.
The physician can track the path the electricity traveled in the body. Also, the body area where the electricity enters is almost always marked with an entry wound. Sadly, the current can cause damage to muscles, veins, and arteries. So medical treatment is a must.
Electricity Does Not Discriminate and it Has Many Associated Life-Altering Conditions
There is no accurate info on all causes and victims of electric shock. However, there are hundreds of laborers and blue-collar folks who had their health negatively impacted due to electricity-related problems. So usually these less severe, on the job injuries go unreported.
These may include conditions like brain injuries, neuropathy, and burned nerve endings. But it could consist of melted skin, foot drop, heart arrhythmia, loss of lung control or breathing abilities, chronic pain, or even inability to feel pain.
Also, the lengthier the circuit running through a body, the more damage and frying there will be to your internal human circuit board, the nervous system. Your loved one could even be in a comatose if the exposure were lengthy.
You bet it does. And sometimes it is negligent not to make inspections, or to not train employees in taking safety precautions. Education and awareness of dangers remain the surest way to minimize or obviate electrical injury. The law requires employers to take preventative safety measures. Also, failure to do so could lead to a severe and willful civil action lawsuit.
The following info is essential to know to understand your rights in shock accidents:
At any given time, a worker may be repairing a bridge, or digging into a trench with buried high voltage lines. He could be adjacent or near, or dangling from a helicopter to work on a high electrical transformer. Hence, he is at risk of severe injury or death.
Also, the threats of death or disability to these men and women often remain understated. “These construction zones” are a prime example of a “high risk” area for being shocked. As homes and structures initially get thrown up, alternative power line services get installed to provide power to the job sites.
Sometimes these power boxes are in areas with public access. If there is an accident, such as a crane or tractor banging the power box, dangers can follow. For example, exposed and open wiring harnesses are a real threat to bystanders.
Also, the main power equipment boxes can become damaged or compromised. But the most common damage is due to construction vehicles and equipment.
Sometimes mere inclement weather can ruin electrical wiring on rotted or dilapidated sections of a power grid, for example. And a downed power-line in the rain can spread the current and electrocute you. Never forget that rainwater falling on asphalt and concrete is an excellent conductor of electricity.
A Contractor or Boss Taking Short Cuts Can Kill. Despite all the hoopla and safety controls, many general contractors and subs will take shortcuts to save money. So they are putting their workers at risk. Our accident attorneys know that no amount of regulations in the industry can force a profiteer to carry out the order. Immoral and selfish people who hire workers will only say “damn the torpedoes.” So they will barrel through the various rules to meet the bottom line.
Sometimes employee safety is ignored. For example, sometimes, there are no tailgate safety meetings. So employees may fail to receive appropriate instructions regarding safety guidelines. Hence, they are left to fend for themselves. Such things like helmets and first aid kits may not even be present in the general vicinity.
Employers who create unsafe work environments, or who allow their workers to conduct job operations with old, defective, or worn equipment, or worse, no safety measures at all, are responsible for multiple killings. They caused these horrible injuries today workers and unionized employees alike.
Electrical injuries do not discriminate. Employees need to be trained in evasion and means of escape when a power line is severed, or fallen. But when this does not happen, the bodies may hit the floor and never get back up.
When this type of tragic event takes place, there may be multiple parties on the risk for liability, insurance, self-insurance, underinsurance, or even excess insurance claims. And if it’s a case against the City of L.A., for example, you have to deal with their City Council to approve any settlements. So there could be several avenues of payment by several potential defendants available to pay.
It may have been the negligence of another that caused the fatal loss. Hence, you may become entitled to sue for loss of consortium, as well as the loss of the primary source of income. In other words, this would have been tangible financial contributions your dearly departed would have earned and delivered your family.
Ultimately, you will need an award of cash to cover the suffering or death of the victims and their grieving families. Whether an accident injured you, or you lost a loved one from an electricity injury, Michael Ehline and his team stand ready to help. Call a compassionate California lawyer now at (213) 596-9642.
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