Your home is a safe place, full of things that make you happy. But no matter how innocuous they might seem, those things can also cause you harm.
Whether it’s cooling the interior on a hot day to powering the TV in the evening, most modern conveniences require a stable supply of electricity. In fact, if you were to take an X-ray look inside your walls, you’d find clusters of cables running through the skeleton of your home, all with the aim of making you more comfortable in your living space.
All of that wiring can be just as dangerous as it is necessary. Some of the most common causes of shocks in the home environment include:
- faulty or defective household appliances
- damaged or worn extension leads and cords
- electrical appliances that are allowed to come in contact with water
- improperly installed or deteriorating wiring
- high-voltage power lines that have been downed
- electric fencing or other security measures that have been tampered with
- inadequately maintained public transformers and generators.
Who is at fault for your electric shock injuries?
Electric shocks can cause serious injuries. While low-voltage shocks are not considered hazardous, exposure to a dose of high-voltage electrical current can cause serious personal injury, including severe burns, muscle and nerve damage and even heart attack.
The liability of any party for electrical injuries will depend on the source and nature of the shock.
For example, if you or someone in your family suffered injuries after a shock caused by a defective household appliance, you may be covered by the terms of the Consumer Protection Act. This Act enforces the duty product manufacturers and retailers carry to ensure the items they provide are safe, in good working order and properly marked.
Let’s look at another example. If you or someone you love was hurt after coming into contact with a faulty or improperly installed electrified security fence, you may want to consult the Electrical Machinery Regulations of 2011 for information on whether to make a claim.
The regulations stipulate the proper installation of security fencing. Among other criteria, an electric fence must:
- feature yellow warning signs at all access points
- not cause hazard or entanglement to people or animals
- allow a person to safely open and close the gates, without being shocked.
In the event that the electric fence that caused your injuries was illegally installed, you may have a case against the property owner.
Avoiding electric shock in the home
To reduce the risk of being shocked in your own home, take these simple precautions:
- ensure the electrician in charge of your home’s wiring is experienced and certified
- never use frayed or damaged extension cords and leads
- keep your electrical kitchen appliances far away from wet spots
- ask an electrician to install a safety switch
- insert child-proof safety plugs into all your power points.
How to make an electric shock claim
If you were injured due to electric shock by a faulty or unsafe appliance, or due to an unsafe installation in a public area, you may be able to claim damages.
You may also have a personal injury claim if you were injured as a result of contact with an electrified security perimeter fence that was installed in an unsafe or even illegal manner, or that is missing appropriate warning signs.
To pursue a claim, the first step is to contact a suitably experienced personal injury attorney.
How DSC Attorneys can help
We can assess your claim, help prepare supporting evidence and represent you in legal proceedings, giving you the best chance of receiving the compensation you deserve. We work on a no win, no fee basis.