Twenty years ago, in January of 1998, Upstate New York was hit with a massive ice storm that halted the area. The damage to the landscape and homes was astounding as many citizens were without power due to the weight of the ice and snow on power lines. When it comes to the winter season, many New Yorkers are cautious about the road conditions after a storm. However, it is easy to forget the effect that the season has on a power line and the danger of electrocution if you were to encounter one.
What Can Cause Downed Power Lines in Winter?
Ice and snow can be very dangerous to a power line during the winter season. The weight of the ice can force distribution lines lower to the ground and to have shorter spans. Just a half-inch of ice can cause a one-foot drop to the power line. Ice on power lines can lead to broken power poles or other electrical equipment. Furthermore, ice on nearby trees may cause branches to fall on the lines, another cause for loss of electricity.
What Types of Injuries Are Caused by Power Lines
Power lines can be incredibly dangerous to individuals not taking proper safety measures. Injuries caused by power lines may include:
- Electric shock
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Internal injuries
When Down Power Lines Cause Injury Who’s Liable?
When it comes to an electrocution accident or an incident involving a power line, someone may be responsible and held liable. If a line is down, the power company must respond as soon as they are aware of the damage. Sometimes an accident may occur after the power company was already notified and should have handled the hazard. In these cases, a skilled personal injury lawyer will be able to help represent you and your case to fight back against insurance companies who do not want to pay for your damages.
What to Do If Your Car Encounters Downed Power Lines
Say the roads are slippery one evening and your car slides off of the road and into a power line. Your immediate instinct is to exit your vehicle, but unless you are in immediate danger, you should stay put. In an accident, your vehicle may act as a path for the electrical current to travel to touch the ground. You are safer in your car at this point. Also, never assume the power line is dead, the electrical current does not always turn off even if the line is down or showing no signs of life. If others try to approach you, warn them to stay away as they may be at risk of electrocution if they enter the area. If you must exit the vehicle, usually only in the event of a fire or other emergency, do not touch the ground and your vehicle at the same time. Exit the vehicle by jumping away and keeping your feet together. Experts recommend hopping away from the scene. If you are able, call 911 immediately so they can address the damaged power line and get you the help you need.
If you have been injured in a car accident, contact The People’s Lawyer for a free consultation. You should not have to pay the price for someone else’s carelessness. Contact our office today so we can help get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
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Tags: Car Accidents