Shock to the System—When Electrical Injuries are Caused by Negligence

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Stoddard Firm

Atlanta, GA


Practice Areas: Auto Accident, Personal Injury, Trucking Accident, Wrongful Death

When it works well, electricity is at the root of most of our modern conveniences. Not only electric lights and air conditioners, but even the internet and our wonderful cell phones all depend on electricity. When it’s well-behaved, electricity can be a beautiful thing.

But electricity isn’t always well-behaved. Faulty wiring, poor maintenance, and poor design can all contribute to conditions where electric shocks are possible. This article aims to tell you a little about the potential electric hazards you may face, as well as how apartment tenants can protect their rights against a landlord who is negligent with the electrical equipment.

Common Causes of Electrical Injury

Electrical injuries come from a variety of causes. Sometimes faulty wiring can cause electric shocks from touching light switches or water taps. Most of the time these shocks are mild, but they have the potential to cause serious harm if the danger is neglected.

This kind of problem can be a result of poor grounding in the wiring system, causing feedback in the system and building up static electricity. In the case of water taps causing shocks, copper or other metal water pipes may be at fault. Replacing them with non-metallic pipes or with metal pipes coated in a non-conductive substance may solve this problem sufficiently.

These changes are the responsibility of the property’s owner. If you are an apartment tenant, your landlord is responsible for ensuring that your water and electrical fixtures are safe and that the electrical system for the whole building is well-grounded. A landlord who has been informed of these problems can be found negligent if they cause serious injury.

Electricity and Fire Hazards

One of the other major hazards posed by faulty electrical systems is the possibility of fire. Every year, faulty extension cords cause about 3,300 fires—but this is only a fraction of the number of electrical fires that occur every year nationwide.

Frayed wires, electrical overloads, and aging of the electrical system can contribute to a high probability of fire breaking out. Bad wiring can be a major fire hazard, leading to fires in individual apartments or even threatening to set entire buildings ablaze.

Burns are the most common type of injury in apartment fires. Brief contact with the hottest part of the fire could cause a third degree burn—leading to long-term damage and making it necessary for the individual to seek medical help. If these burns are sustained as a result of a wiring problem the building owner knew about or should have known about, they may be liable for any injuries their tenants sustain.

What if You’ve Been Injured?

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in an electrical shock or in a fire caused by electrical wiring, the first thing to do is seek medical help. You need to make sure you and everyone involved is in stable condition. Burns and shock injuries can cause lasting damage that takes serious medical care to remedy.

Once you’ve taken care of your medical needs, you should consider your legal options. If you are a tenant on another person’s property and your injuries came as the result of faulty wiring, you may be eligible for a premises liability case. If found negligent, the property owner will be liable for any medical costs and lost wages, and possibly a range of other costs as well.


Get in touch with a trusted attorney to see if you have a case. Many attorneys offer a free consultation, so you can explore your options without committing to suing anyone.