If there’s one thing everyone can agree on, it’s that modern society can’t function without electrical energy. Of course, these days, we don’t just get it from a plug in a wall; electrical energy can now be provided to us through solar panels, batteries, and, as the technology develops, even wirelessly broadcast through a room to constantly power devices built to accept broadcast energy!

However, it should also come as no surprise that with an energy source this powerful, it can also be harmful if not handled correctly or treated with respect. Electrical injuries can occur just about anywhere, and here’s what you should know about them.

Electrical injuries fall into three common categories:

Electrical Fires

One of the most forms of injury is indirect. Electrical fires occur if there is a short circuit or other malfunction with wiring or circuits that ignite nearby combustible material. For example, old insulation or untreated wood is quite flammable. Should a spark from old wiring occur in an area like this, it can cause a fire that eventually results in conventional injuries related to that electrical fire.

Electrical Burns

Electricity is energy and therefore can burn people. However, due to how electrical current travels, electrical burns can occur in two ways. External electrical burns are where the energy manifests on the skin, resulting in burns similar to a fire.

However, electrical current can also travel into the body, not just the surface of the skin. This means that electrical burns can occur in deep tissue, such as bone or muscle, and may be much more severe and complex to treat.

Electrical Shock

Last but certainly not least, there may be actual damage from the electrical current itself, known as a shock. The severity of the injury depends entirely on the strength of the current the victim made contact with. A low current shock doesn’t even hurt and feels like a tingle. A medium-grade shock can be a sharp, painful sensation that may even cause involuntary muscle twitching.

However, a high-level shock is the most dangerous. The nervous system itself operates on neuroelectrical impulses sent to regulate things like breathing and the heartbeat. A sufficiently strong shock can interfere with these autonomic functions and disrupt them in addition to causing burns.

How Malfunctions Occur

Of course, accidents can sometimes happen, but how exactly do electrical accidents occur? In some cases, there is simply no way to prevent or predict it from happening. People caught out during a flash thunderstorm and struck by lightning, for example, have no way to protect against that.

Other instances, unfortunately, may be due to negligence. This might be on the part of the property owner not taking care of a building adequately, or it may be carelessness on the part of contractors doing shoddy work that eventually fails faster than it should have.

Some ways that electrical malfunctions can occur include:

• Old wiring that is neglected and allowed to erode instead of being replaced.
• Electrical sparks that occur near flammable materials
• Frayed electrical cords that are run under rugs or carpets
• Substandard wiring installation
• No implementation of modern grounding devices, such as three-prong outlets.

What You Can Do

If you have been the victim of electrical injuries through negligence, you can get legal help. Electrical injuries caused by carelessness fall under premises liability and personal injury. In such cases, you’re entitled to compensation from the property owners that let it happen. Talk to a personal injury lawyer experienced in premises liability and electrical injury. You can find out what you need to do to move forward and get the compensation that’s owed you for what happened.