A Downed Powerline Can Kill

Rain drops on car glass with electrical pole- Visual concept for personal injury blog about incidents and injuries involving downed power lines.

Every year in the United States, more than 400 people are killed by electrocution, and more than 4,000 people suffer non-fatal electrical injuries. The most common cause of electrocution death is contact with a downed power line.

Death or injury caused by electrocution is tragic. When someone is injured or killed by a downed powerline, their family wants answers. The Ohio electrocution accident lawyers at the Robenalt Law Firm, Inc., can identify who was responsible for the downed powerline and hold them accountable for the harm they caused.

Common Injuries from a Downed Powerline

Coming in contact with a downed power line or anything the powerline touches can result in serious injuries or death. Common injuries suffered from contact with a downed powerline include:

  • Severe, sometimes fatal burns.
  • Amputation.
  • Hyperthermia, an elevated body temperature that occurs when the body absorbs more heat than it dissipates, often caused by thermal injury to body tissue.
  • Fluid loss.
  • Respiratory arrest, the cessation of breathing due to lung failure.
  • Metabolic acidosis, which occurs when the body produces excessive amounts of acid or when the kidneys cannot remove enough acid from the body.
  • Bradycardia, a slower-than-normal heart rate.
  • Ventricular fibrillation, which occurs when the heart muscles do not contract properly and quiver instead of circulating through the body.
  • Sepsis, which can happen when chemicals released into the body to fight infection trigger an inflammatory response.
  • Catastrophic injury to vital organs.

People who survive electrocution often experience severe traumatic brain injuries and lifelong intellectual, cognitive, and emotional disturbances.

If you see a downed powerline, don’t touch it or anything near it. The downed powerline could be carrying extremely high voltage, which could be fatal if you touch it. Keep yourself away from the downed powerline and call 9-1-1 immediately.

How to Avoid Injuries Caused by a Downed Power Line

Powerlines carry extremely high voltage, typically between 4,800 and 13,200 volts. To put this in perspective, the voltage used in the electric chair when someone has been sentenced to death is between 2,000 and 5,000 volts. Contact with a downed powerline can be deadly. If you see a downed powerline, assume it is live and carrying an extremely high voltage.

Avoid touching the downed powerline and stay clear of the surrounding area. When a downed powerline comes in contact with the ground, electricity can travel through the earth, energizing the entire area up to 100 feet away. If weather conditions are wet or rainy, the electricity could travel even further.

If you encounter a downed powerline:

  • Don’t touch the downed powerline or anything it is touching. Using an object like a stick, broom, or pole to move the powerline is not safe. Anything the powerline contacts could become electrified and conduct electricity into your body, resulting in serious injuries or even death.
  • Move to a safe location and report the downed powerline to the local electric company. Call 9-1-1 so the fire department can address the situation as quickly as possible.
  • As you move away from the downed powerline, shuffle instead of walking. If you run or take large steps, you could conduct electricity from one leg to another, increasing the potential for injury.

If you were injured or someone you love was killed by a downed powerline, you likely have questions. An electrocution accident lawyer at the Robenalt Law Firm can determine who was at fault for causing the downed powerline hazard and hold them responsible for the harm they caused.

How an Electrocution Accident Lawyer at the Robenalt Law Firm Can Help

Electrocution injuries are tragic. If your life was affected by an electrocution injury, you may need help understanding what happened.

Because of the unique nature of electrocution injuries, it is important to speak with an experienced electrocution lawyer who knows how to investigate the cause of the electrocution and has experience identifying who was responsible for creating the hazard.

The experienced electrocution accident lawyers at the Robenalt Law Firm can help you make sense of what happened and help your family obtain compensation for the financial losses caused by electrocution.

To learn more, contact us online or call our office at (216) 223-7535 to schedule a free and confidential consultation to discuss your situation and how we can help.

Categories: Personal Injury