New Orleans Electrocution Injury Attorney who Understands the NESC
The National Electrical Safety Code (NESC) is an important document for any personal injury case involving an electrical accident. The NESC contains the minimum standards that electric utility companies must follow in order to fulfill their duty to safeguard the general public. The Louisiana Supreme Court explained the relevance of the NESC to personal injury cases as follows:
“The avowed purpose of the NESC is to provide basic guidelines for safeguarding persons from hazards arising from the installation, operation, or maintenance of overhead electric supply lines, and its requirements reflect the minimum provisions considered necessary for the safety of employees and the public.”
The NESC contains technical guidelines regarding how utility companies must maintain all of their equipment ranging from lines to poles. The NESC contains specific requirements about how high a power line must be positioned over city streets, highways, bridges, railroad tracks, waterways, etc. The NESC also contains specific requirements about how close an electrical line may be positioned to certain structures such as buildings, signs, billboards, etc. The NESC covers a vast number of different scenarios and contains highly technical rules. There have also been a series of revisions to the NESC over the years. As such, the rules for different scenarios have changed over time.
When choosing an attorney to handle your electrocution case it is important to find an electrical accident lawyer that is familiar with the highly technical NESC. Electric utility companies pay “hired gun,” “expert” witnesses thousands of dollars to come to trial and twist the NESC in their favor.
Electric utility companies often try and claim that they are not at fault for a personal injury involving their equipment if the equipment complied with a certain version of the NESC. Electrocution cases are won and lost over expert witnesses offering opinions about which version of the NESC applied to the facts of a given personal injury case. The Louisiana Supreme Court has ruled that even if an electric utility company complied with the NESC it may still be responsible for a personal injury claim caused by an electrocution.
In addition to hiring experts to twist the NESC, electric utility companies often attempt to blame the personal injury victim. The company will attempt to persuade a judge or jury that the electrocution victim should not be allowed to recover their damages because the victim should have protected themselves from the danger of the electricity. However, the Louisiana Supreme Court offered the following explanation in one particular case why an electrocution victim’s general understanding of the dangers of electricity does not protect a negligent electric utility company from liability.
“Therefore, while he was generally aware of the danger of working around electrical power lines, he was not specifically aware of the immediate danger presented when he tried to turn the angle iron around. Obviously had he known that the angle iron would touch the line energized with 7620 volts of electricity he would have done otherwise. The fact that the far end did indeed touch the power line does not preclude his recovery for the injuries he sustained.”
Don’t be a victim to the electric utility company’s heavy-handed tricks.
If you have been involved in an electrical accident, learn about your legal rights from an experienced Louisiana electrocution lawyer by calling 504-581-4892 or by filling out our free, no-obligation case review form.