A tragic tale out of Tampa, Florida reminds us all of the danger that surrounds almost every building in America. A 22-year-old young man heard a loud boom, looked outside to find the fence was on fire, and rushed out to try to keep the fire from spreading while his grandmother called for help. There was no way he could know there was a downed power line in the neighbor’s yard, and that standing water would carry the current to where he was standing. He was pronounced dead as soon as he reached the hospital.
So many of our modern conveniences are reliant upon electricity, and we tend to take it for granted without realizing just how dangerous it can be. We know to plug our outlets so that toddlers can’t be hurt, and we know to be careful when working with our fuse boxes. But the constant danger of the power lines overhead are less appreciated, especially how easily a storm or accident can cause one to topple.
Car accidents are one of the most common causes of downed power lines, but there are many others, including:
- Ice buildup on the lines causing structural failure
- High winds blowing the electric poles over
- Flooding eroding the base of the pole, causing structural failure
- Lightning strikes
Many of these issues are actually preventable with proper maintenance. If the power company monitors the structural integrity of their equipment and builds it properly to withstand ice and wind, there is little risk to people or structures.
If you or a loved one has been injured and killed in an electrical accident, be it downed power lines or other exposure to large amounts of electricity, it is important that you find out whether proper maintenance was being done. Oftentimes the only way to do this is to put pressure on those in power to provide answers, and this will likely require a professional. Contact an experienced attorney to help you get those answers.