Imagine sticking your hand onto the surface of the sun. Hot? The surface of the sun is considerably cooler than the temperature generated in a typical arc flash explosion. Arc flash explosions can be triggered when a voltage spike occurs during an electrical measurement taken with a handheld multimeter. The resulting plasma arc forms inside the multimeter or in the air, causing an explosion.
Unfortunately, arc flash explosions are far from uncommon – they send one or two people to the morgue every single day in the U.S. and Canada, and they kill about one in five people who are injured in the explosion. Victims are typically electricians using multimeters to troubleshoot electrical systems, but may also include bystanders. If you have been injured in such an explosion, you need to take legal action immediately and contact one of our Atlanta multimeter accident attorneys.
Multimeter Product Defects
Defective multimeters typically fail – and cause an arc flash explosion – when they are not designed to withstand voltage spikes that are common on industrial electrical systems. Consequently, the fuse cannot interrupt a fault current that results from an internal failure, and an explosion results. A legal issue arises when the explosion can be traced to a defect in the multimeter.
Georgia Product Liability Law
Georgia product liability law allows someone injured by a defective product to file a claim against the manufacturer based on strict liability or negligence. Strict liability is often preferable since it does not require you to prove that the manufacturer was at fault. According to our Atlanta multimeter accident lawyers, three types of defects can be alleged:
- a design defect;
- a manufacturing defect; or
- a warning defect (inadequate product warnings).
Although the defect in a multimeter that triggers an arc flash explosion could be characterized as a design defect, it is perhaps better characterized a warning defect if the product’s information failed to warn that the multimeter was not suitable for use with industrial electrical systems. If you are not sure if the manufacturer could be at fault for the explosion you suffered, speak with one of our experienced Atlanta multimeter accident attorneys. We will help you determine the circumstances at fault.
Georgia Worker’s Compensation Law
The worker’s compensation system is designed to compensate employees for workplace accidents. In Georgia, an injured worker cannot seek pain and suffering damages, which can amount to much more than damages for medical expenses. Fortunately, worker’s compensation does not apply to claims against a product manufacturer, at least when the claimant is not an employee of the manufacturer. Our Atlanta multimeter attorneys are well-versed in worker’s compensation. If your injury happened at work, contact our law firm to find out how it is best to approach a lawsuit.
What kinds of injuries do arc flash explosions produce?
Arc flash explosion injuries can be horrific. Injuries can include:
- Clothing melted into the flesh
- Loss of hearing
- Brain damage
- Blindness (caused by the brilliance of the flash)
- Blunt force trauma (when the explosion hurls debris throughout the affected area)
What do I have to prove to win a strict product liability lawsuit against a multimeter manufacturer?
You must prove that:
- The product is defective;
- The product was defective when it left the manufacturer’s hands;
- The defendant manufactured the product; and
- The defect in the product caused your injury
What are my legal options if the victim died in the explosion?
If the victim was your spouse, you can file a wrongful death lawsuit. In some circumstances, a child, a parent, or the personal representative of the victim’s estate can file the lawsuit.
Is there a deadline by which I must file a lawsuit?
Yes. In a personal injury claim, the general deadline is two years after the accident. For a wrongful death claim, the general deadline is two years after the victim’s death.
You Only Pay If You Win
We know that when you file a personal injury claim you seek victory, and victory means money in the bank. Our Atlanta multimeter accident attorneys are fine with that since we win well over 90 percent of our cases. Consequently, we won’t charge you a dime in legal fees unless we secure compensation for you. Even then, you won’t owe us anything until after the money actually arrives.
The Sooner You Act, the Better
The longer you wait to pursue a Georgia product liability claim, the weaker your claim gets. This is because:
(i) the evidence tends to deteriorate over time (including witness memories), and
(ii) the statute of limitations deadline approaches, allowing less time to prepare an effective case.
For your free, no-obligation case consultation, call our Atlanta multimeter accident attorneys at (855) GA-INJURY or (404) 991-5950; otherwise, fill out our online contact form so that we can schedule a meeting to discuss your case.