Idaho Electrocution Attorney
We have all been electrocuted at one time or another by an outlet, a cord, or perhaps a battery. But what happens and what is the law regarding a serious electrocution with severe injuries? This is a complicated area, but Racine Olson has taken on these types of cases before and has helped injured people have success. Racine Olson has been around since the 1940s and enjoys having experienced attorneys in this, and all areas of personal injury. Whether your accident occurred in Boise, Idaho Falls, Pocatello, Twin Falls or some other area in Idaho, we’ll be there to help.Standard of Care
If a person is severely electrocuted, who is to blame? Is it the injured person who got too close to the electrical source? Is it the person who exposed the source? Is it the electrical company? Let’s first talk about the electrical company.Electrical Company Liability
In Idaho, the law is clear and unambiguous. First, the power company owes a duty to the injured party to act as a reasonable person would under the circumstances. Second, it must be shown that the electrical company did not meet or satisfy that standard. Third, the injured person must show the connection between the electrocution and his or her injuries. Fourth, the injured party must establish the nature and extent of his or her injuries. Alegria v. Payonk, 101 Idaho 617, 619, 619 P.2d 135, 137 (1980) (citing Brizendine v. Nampa Meridian Irrigation Distr., 97 Idaho 580, 548 P.2d 80 (1976))
With electrical companies, the requirement goes even further than the common law negligence definition set out above. The Idaho Supreme Court has stated that a company that is engaged in either the generation or the transmission of electricity must exercise the highest degree of care. Orthman v. Idaho Power Co., 126 Idaho 960, 962, 895 P.2d 561, 563 (1995). This does not mean that the electric company is liable in every circumstance, but it does mean that they have to guard against all reasonable possibilities. Id. This puts a heavy burden on companies that generate electricity and those that transmit it.Comparative Fault
In Idaho, the mere fact that the electrical company is at fault does not mean that the injured person will recover. Idaho has adopted what is known as the Comparative Negligence Doctrine. This means that if the plaintiff was also negligent in causing his or her own injury, then the verdict is reduced by that percentage. In other words, if the power company is 80% at fault and the injured person is 20% at fault then the award from the jury is reduced by 20%. If the verdict from the jury were $1,000,000 then the plaintiff would recover $800,000 instead of the full $1,000,000.
During the case, potential fault of all the parties needs to be carefully analyzed and re-analyzed. It will likely be necessary for the plaintiff to show that his or her own actions were reasonable under the circumstances and that he or she was not negligent.Injuries
Injuries as a result of electrocution can be severe. In the Orthman case that was cited above, Mr. Orthman was severely electrocuted and lost the use of his legs as well as his hands and sustained internal injuries. Obviously this completely changed his life. He was not to work at his prior job any longer. He lost past and future income, had past and future medical expenses, and suffered losing the use to his limbs. This is something the jury would consider as it represents loss of enjoyment of life and pain and suffering.
These types of cases are serious and we want to help. Racine Olson has handled these types of cases all over the state of Idaho. Whether in Boise, Twin Falls, Pocatello, Idaho Falls, or maybe a farm far away from the city, we know what to do because we’ve done it before. We know the experts that need to be hired. We have the financial backing to be able to hire the best expert witnesses in the field.
We’ll be there with you. We’ll address the problem with you, talk with you, and help you feel at ease. Give us a call. Problem Solved.