It is difficult to imagine what we would do without utilities. In another few decades, there will be few, if any, people in the U.S. who remember what it was like to live without electricity, cable television, cell phones, or the internet.
However, to have the convenience of utilities in our homes and businesses, we must have utility wires running to the structures, either overhead lines or buried lines. Unfortunately, utility wires can cause severe and life-threatening injuries. A New Jersey personal injury attorney can help you determine if one or more parties are liable for your damages if utility wires caused your injury.
Determining Fault and Liability When Utility Wires Cause Injury
It is typically assumed that the utility company is responsible for all injuries sustained because of utility wires. While utility companies have a very high standard of care to protect the public from injuries and the risk of harm, a utility company may not always be liable for injuries caused by utility wires. Other parties may be liable for injuries or partially liable for injuries, depending on the facts and circumstances of the case.
For example, you were injured after exiting your vehicle in a parking lot by a utility line lying on the ground near your vehicle. You were unaware that the line lying on the ground was a utility wire or that it was “live.” The utility company could be liable if a failure to maintain equipment or conduct inspections were the reason the line was on the ground. However, if a construction company working nearby caused the line to fall and remain on the ground because of negligence, it could be liable for your damages. On the other hand, if the owner of the parking lot knew about the utility line falling from the power pole, but did nothing to warn customers or contact the utility company to report the downed line, the owner could have some liability for the injury.
In other words, the facts and circumstances surrounding the accident are the keys to determining who is responsible for utility wire injuries. The first step for an attorney is to investigate the matter thoroughly to determine how the injury occurred. The attorney must then identify all potential parties who might have played a role in creating a dangerous situation. It is crucial to link the cause of the utility wire injury to the party or parties who had a direct role in causing the situation that led to utility wire causing injury. Otherwise, you cannot receive compensation from that party for your damages.
You Need a New Jersey Personal Injury Attorney to Help You with a Utility Wire Claim
Injury claims involving utility wires are complex cases. Even if the utility company was the only party involved in creating the circumstances that led to the accident, suing a utility company is a massive undertaking. A utility company has a higher standard of care because of the dangers associated with utility lines, but you must still prove negligence or other wrongdoing to recover compensation for injuries.
An experienced New Jersey personal injury attorney understands the elements of negligence and the evidence required to prove negligence. An attorney also understands the legal grounds required to prove cases under various areas of personal injury law that may apply in a utility wire injury claim. Therefore, the best step you can take to protect your right to recover fair and just compensation after being injured by a utility wire is to contact a New Jersey personal injury attorney today.