By Jo Caine. Last Updated 27th June 2023. One of the most frightening methods of suffering a personal injury is via electric shock. It happens quickly, without warning and can have devastating effects. Electric shocks can happen at work, at home or in any public place and can lead to serious injuries which take a long time to heal. Advice.co.uk can help with any electric shock compensation claim, whether it be for a minor electric shock to a more serious long-term injury. If you’d like us to start a claim for you today, call us on 0161 696 9685 and let one of our specialist advisers walk you through the claims process.
If you want to know more first, please carry on reading.
Select A Section
- A Guide To Electric Shock Compensation Claims
- What Is An Electric Shock?
- Electric Shock Injury Compensation Payouts
- What Can I Claim For After Suffering An Electric Shock?
- What Occupations Are Most At Risk Of Electric Shock Accidents?
- Common Causes Of Electrocution And Electric Shock Accidents
- Electric Shock And Electrocution Injury Symptoms
- What Long-Terms Effects Can An Electric Shock Have On You?
- Electric Shock Workplace Accident Claims
- Public Place Electric Shock Accident Claims
- Time Limits For Making An Electric Shock Compensation Claim
- Electric Shock – What To Do Afterwards
- No Win No Fee Claims For Electric Shock Injury Claims
- How We Can Help You Start Your Electric Shock Injury Claim
- Contact Us
- Advice For Victims Of Electric Shocks
Electric shock injuries range in severity, from minor burns through to death by electrocution. Any electric shock comes as a surprise and it can be this lack of warning that proves the most traumatic aspect.
The main problem with electricity, when compared with other utilities, is that it can’t be seen. The first sign of a problem with an electrical device or component is when somebody receives a shock. There is usually no visual warning, smell or noise to let you know the accident is about to happen.
This guide is going to explain the different types of electric shock accidents that could happen, what injuries could be sustained, the amount of compensation you might expect to receive and how Advice.co.uk can help you to begin a claim.
What Is An Electric Shock?
Electric shock, by definition, is a sudden discharge of electricity through any part of the body. There are several types of accidents and injuries caused when the body is subjected to electric shock, including:
- Burns: When the body is subjected to electric shocks there are two types of burns which can occur. The first is a thermal burn which can be caused by electrical discharge or arc flashes. The other is an electric burn.
- Falls: A fall can happen when somebody is shocked and reacts with a sharp movement away from the electrical source. The fall can be worsened if the victim, such as an electrician or builder, is working at height on a ladder or scaffolding, for instance.
- Electric Shock: This is the injury caused by the discharge of electricity through the body. It usually starts at the hand or other body part that touches the defective wiring or device and travels through the body. Even a minor shock can lead to serious complications as the electricity passes through internal organs. It is important, following any electric shock, that you seek medical advice as soon as possible.
- Electrocution: the difference between electric shock and electrocution is that electrocution causes the death of the victim.
Other injuries can happen as a consequence of an electric shock and Advice.co.uk can help with any injury that you have sustained if the accident was caused by the negligence of somebody else.
In legal terms, an electric shock can lead to a compensation claim if:
- The defendant owed you a duty of care;
- They breached their duty, which led to an accident (deliberately or accidentally);
- And, because of the breach, you sustained injuries.
The first part is generally covered if you’re in a workplace or public place as we’ll discuss later in this guide.
Electric Shock Injury Compensation Payouts
If you make a successful personal injury claim following an electric shock from a plug in the UK, you will be awarded general damages. This head of claim compensates you for the pain and suffering your electric shock injury has caused you.
When legal professionals, such as solicitors, value this head of claim, they could refer to the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) to help them. This publication provides guideline compensation brackets for a range of injuries at different severities.
We have created a table below with some figures from the 16th edition go JCG. Please only use these figures as guidance.
Type Compensation Guidelines Info
Scarring to Other Part of the Body Likely to exceed £104,830 Burns to the body. How much is awarded will be affected by factors such as the percentage of the body effects and the cosmetic impact.
Scarring to Other Part of the Body £7,830 to £22,730 Multiple noticeable laceration scars or one disfiguring scar to the hands, legs, arms, back or chest.
Scarring to Other Part of the Body £2,370 to £7,830 A single noticeable scar or multiple superficial scar to the hands, legs or arms with some minor cosmetic deficit.
Facial Disfigurement - Very Severe Scarring £29,780 to £97,330 Applicable to younger claimants in their teens to early 30s where the scarring has caused a severe psychological reaction and is very disfiguring.
Facial Disfigurement - Less Severe Scarring £17,960 to £48,420 The scarring causes a substantial disfigurement and the psychological reaction is significant.
Facial Disfigurement - Less Severe Scarring £9,110 to £30,090 The worst effects would be improved by plastic surgery but there is still some cosmetic disability.
Facial Disfigurement - Less Severe Scarring £3,950 to £13,740 Multiple small scars or one scar that does not majorly affect the person's appearance.
Facial Disfigurement - Trivial Scarring £1,710 to £3,530 Only minor effects.
To learn about other damages you could claim, please read on. However, if you have questions about what to do after an electric shock in the UK, you can contact our advisors.
What Can I Claim For After Suffering An Electric Shock?
In the last section, we considered one aspect of a compensation claim known as general damages. This is designed to compensate you for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity inflicted by your injuries. It’s also possible to claim special damages. This aspect of compensation is designed to cover any financial losses or expenses incurred as a result of your injuries. Some things you can claim for include:
- Medical Expenses. You can claim back any medical expenses, such as prescription costs, that you’ve paid for due to your accident.
- Travel Expenses. When you’ve been injured and have to travel to and from doctors or hospital appointments, you can claim back any travelling and car parking costs. Travel expenses could also include the provision of any special travel arrangements you have to make if you’re unable to drive as you normally would.
- Loss of Income. Whether you needed to take time off of work to recover or to visit the doctor, if your employer doesn’t pay full sick pay, you can claim any lost salary back as part of the claim.
Your personal injury solicitor will assess the effect the injuries have had on you now and in the future. This means, if you require further time off work in the future, the solicitor will include this in the compensation claim. Once a claim is settled, you can’t go back for any more compensation later, so having an injury specialist on your side should ensure you are covered for any future losses too.
With all special damages, including others not listed here, as they are financial losses it would be good if you could provide any receipts, bank statements or credit card statements that prove the expenditure. You will also need to justify how the costs were related to the accident.
What Occupations Are Most At Risk Of Electric Shock Accidents?
Accidents involving electric shock could happen in just about any type of work but, as you’d expect, there are a number of roles that are more at risk. These are:
- Electricians and electrical maintenance engineers
- Builders and other construction workers
- Hairdressers (because they work with electrical items and water)
- Catering workers
- People who work in theatre production
You can probably name other jobs that are at risk from electric shock and Advice.co.uk can help to begin a claim for any of them.
Common Causes Of Electrocution And Electric Shock Accidents
Here are some of the most common causes of electric shock and electrocution injuries:
- Exposed live electrical components
Any loose wiring in a plug, socket, light fitting or another electrical device should be isolated and repaired as soon as possible. If the live cable or component is exposed, then there is a high risk of electric shock if touched.
- Inadequate earthing
Earthing is provided in electrical equipment to discharge any electrical energy to a mass of earth. If the earthing isn’t in place or broken, then the whole device can become live and cause an immediate electric shock upon contact.
- Poorly maintained equipment
All electrical equipment should be tested regularly, especially in the workplace where PAT testing should be regularly undertaken. If a fault develops, an electric shock can happen. If no testing has taken place, then a victim could seek compensation.
- Fluids entering electrical equipment
All electrical equipment should be kept away from water at all times and equipment likely to be used near water should be specially sealed specific for that task. If water enters any electrical device, then the risk for the user is immediate and they should stop immediately.
There are many causes of electric shock, so don’t worry if you can’t see what caused your injuries. When you call our team, you can let them know exactly what happened and we’ll assess the claim with you.
Electric Shock And Electrocution Injury Symptoms
There are several symptoms associated with electric shock injuries. Not all of them will happen in all cases but they can include:
- Electrical burns – usually the biggest impact is at the point of contact and the point of exit as well
- Thermal burns
- Damage to the nervous system
- Muscle spasms
- Breathing difficulties
- Irregular heartbeat or a weak, erratic pulse
- Cardiac arrest
- Bone fractures
Other symptoms can exist, especially for secondary injuries. These are injuries which aren’t caused directly by the electric shock, but by falls or similar accidents that occur when your body reacts to the shock.
What Long-Terms Effects Can An Electric Shock Have On You?
There are some longer-term effects of electrical shock that can include:
- Recovery from burns may take many months or years
- Muscle twitches
- Muscle tightness
- Loss of sensation
- General muscle weakness
Any of these long-term effects can have an adverse impact on everyday tasks like walking, working and using equipment. Neurological concerns can include memory loss and hearing problems.
As part of the claims process, we would investigate the extent of the injuries by reviewing your medical records and would also arrange for you to see a specialist who would assess your injuries and provide a medical report detailing the harm and your prognosis for recovery.
Electric Shock Workplace Accident Claims
Any electric shock injury that occurs at work could lead to a compensation claim if it can be proven that the employer was to blame in some way.
Under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, employers have a duty of care to ensure their staff have a safe working environment.
Risk assessments of tasks and work processes should be undertaken, and any risks identified should be mitigated against by providing safety equipment, training and introducing health and safety procedures.
Any electrical equipment, machine or tool should be regularly maintained and checked for defects. If a fault is reported it should be repaired promptly or removed from service.
If you believe that an electric shock at work occurred because any of the above didn’t happen, you may be able to sue your employer to compensate you for your injuries.
For your information, an employer is not allowed to discipline you, or treat you any differently, because you’re claiming against them. By law, they should have employers’ liability insurance in place to protect them and you in the event of an accident, so you shouldn’t be put off from claiming the compensation you may be entitled to. If you do happen to lose your job because you pursued a claim for compensation, then you may be able to pursue a separate claim against your employer for unfair dismissal. This is something Advice.co.uk can help you with too. Call us on the number at the top of this page for more.
Public Place Electric Shock Accident Claims
While you’re visiting any public place, you are owed a duty of care by the business or organisation that operates the location.
They are bound by law to ensure that you are safe while onsite and should take adequate steps to make sure you remain safe.
If the duty of care is breached, and you suffer an electric shock, you could seek compensation against any of these types of establishments:
- Shops, shopping centres and supermarkets
- Restaurants, pubs and café’s
- Local council offices
- Airports, train stations and bus stations
- Any other public place that you are allowed to enter
If you’ve suffered any form of injury, including electric shocks, in any of these places, then you may be able to claim compensation if there was some form of negligence by the operator or their staff.
Please contact us if you’d like to clarify whether you can claim or not.
Time Limits For Making An Electric Shock Compensation Claim
All personal injury claims in the UK have time limits attached to them. If you fail to issue a claim within the specified time, then you may be time-barred from claiming.
The current time limits for injury claims are:
Claim Type Time Limit
Accident at work claim 3 years from the date of the accident.
Personal Injury Claim (accident in a public place) 3 years from the date of the accident.
When you have been involved in an accident you should contact a personal injury specialist, such as Advice.co.uk, as soon as possible to allow enough time for your claim to be prepared. This will include the gathering of supporting evidence such as witness statements, medical records and other assessments.
When you experience an electric shock, what you do after the accident is important.
Here are a few examples:
- Seek medical attention – You may need medical help following an electric shock. Injuries may not be obvious at first – this doesn’t necessarily mean that you haven’t sustained any.
- Gather evidence – For example, take photographs of the hazard(s) and/or your injuries. You can also look into the inspection records of certain pieces of equipment, if this is what caused your injuries.
- Seek legal help – It can be very helpful to hire a solicitor when making a claim. They can assist you with all areas of the process, including informing the person or body you intend to make a claim against.
Get in touch today if you want to know more about the steps you’ll need to take when making a personal injury claim after an electric shock injury caused by negligence.
Our panel of solicitors can give you the option of entering into a No Win, No Fee Agreement, also known as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). The CFA is designed to offer claimants financial protection and the confidence to pursue justice. If you sign a CFA with a solicitor from our panel, you will not have to pay any fees upfront, nor will you have to pay any fees during your claim either. And if your claim is unsuccessful, you will not have to pay any of the fees your solicitor has incurred in pursuing your case.
If your claim is successful, your solicitor may seek a small contribution towards their costs. This is known as a ‘success fee’ and would be deducted from the compensation awarded at the end of the claim. Don’t worry, the success fee is legally capped and will be set out in clear terms in the CFA.
How We Can Help You Start Your Electric Shock Injury Claim
The team of specialist advisers at Advice.co.uk are trained to help make your personal injury claim as straightforward as possible.
They are committed to ensuring that they understand your claim fully so that a solicitor from our panel can ensure you receive the right level of compensation for your injuries.
We offer a friendly and professional service and can provide free legal advice even if you’re not ready to begin your claim right away.
You provide details of your claim to our team. We assess your claim for you. If we confirm your claim is eligible, and you're happy, we'll begin your claim.
Now that you’ve read all of the information in this guide, we hope you’re ready to begin your claim with Advice.co.uk.
Our panel of specialist No Win, No Fee solicitors work across the UK. Our expertise lies in personal injury law, so know what’s required and what’s not, to begin a successful claim. If you’d like to use our service, please contact us by:
- Calling us on 0161 696 9685 and speak with a member of our specially trained team.
- Send us an email with details of your claim to [email protected]. We’ll call you back at a convenient time.
- Use our online claim form to begin the claims process.
When you get in touch, we’ll answer any questions that you may have and provide as much free legal advice as required. When you’re ready we’ll listen to the details of your claim, what injuries you sustained and how the accident happened. If we believe that you have a good chance of being awarded compensation, we’ll connect you with a personal injury solicitor from our panel who’ll begin your claim that same day.
Advice For Victims Of Electric Shocks
We hope this guide has given you enough information to decide whether you’ll begin a claim or not. Here are some more guides which you may find useful as further reading:
Electrical Injuries – Information from the Health and Safety Executive about electric shock injuries in the workplace.
NHS First Aid – A guide from the NHS about first aid following different accidents, including a section on electric shock type injuries.
Work Place Rights
Find out about your rights if you have an accident at work in this comprehensive guide.
No Win No Fee Claims
In this guide, you can find out more about making a no win no fee claim.
If you require any further information, please feel free to call one of our team who’ll be happy to help.
Guide by TE
Edited by DEG