Electrocutions kill about 1,000 people each year in the U.S., and they severely harm thousands more. Railroad workers have suffered electrocutions on the job, sometimes from:

  • contact with exposed parts of electrical wiring, whether onboard a train or in a rail yard
  • electric arcs from high-voltage power lines
  • lightning hitting the train or a worker

Electrocution is a severe electric shock that causes electricity to flow through the body. This may result in no injury, or in a significant but temporary injury, or in debilitating injury or in death. If you or someone you love has been electrocuted while working as a railroads employee, our FELA attorneys may be able to help you recover compensation for your medical bills and suffering. To learn more, contact us to schedule a review of your case.

How Does an Electrocution Damage the Body?

The electric current is able to cause injury in three ways:

  • tissue, muscle and/or nerves are destroyed by the electrical current passing through them
  • cardiac arrest (the heart is stopped by the current)
  • contact with the electrical source causes thermal (heat) burns

Symptoms of Electrocution

An individual's electrocution may not have been witnessed by anyone, so it's good to know the symptoms of electrocution if you encounter a coworker with any of the following:

  • burns — the most common outcome of electrocutions
  • arm numbness and/or weakness (on one side)
  • breathing problems or lung failure; shortness of breath
  • broken or dislocated bones — from being thrown by the shock
  • changes in consciousness
  • chest pain
  • coma
  • confusion
  • fainting
  • hearing loss
  • heart attack; irregular heartbeat
  • leg numbness and/or weakness (on one side)
  • muscle aches, spasms and pain
  • numbness or tingling
  • palpitations
  • problems with vision, swallowing, or hearing
  • seizures
  • skin burns
  • tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • vertigo (dizziness)

An individual who suffered electrocution may not show symptoms immediately, at all.

Tests and Diagnosis

The tests administered to a person who may have suffered electrocution will probably include:

  • complete blood count
  • an ECG to check the heart
  • a urine test to check for muscle damage
  • X-rays to check for bone fractures and dislocations
  • CT scan

Electrocution Treatment

The most severe damage from an electrocution requires hospitalization and extensive treatment. For example, burn treatment may entail skin grafting. The most severe burns may require surgery or amputation to remove destroyed muscle.

FELA Compensation for Electrocution

The Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) works to protect the rights of railroad workers who are injured on the job, including those who have suffered an electrocution. Talk with a FELA lawyer today.

Learn more about other types of railroad injuries and dangers: