Child Shocked by Electrical Wire...

by Brandi
(Chadwick, IL USA)

I've been trying to find a lawyer that will actually help my daughter. She is 11 yrs old now. On August 1st of 2010 my daughter was outside playing in her yard with her siblings. They were chasing lightning bugs in the evening. My daughter slipped in the grass and fell on the guide wire hooked to the electrical pole in the corner of the yard.

She laid there and by the time I got over to her, one of her sisters had already knocked her out of the way. She just sat there and cried and shook. At first I thought she had cut her foot on it, but she had a pretty good red mark at the top of her foot.

I called 911 and they came out to see what was going on since we couldn't get her to calm down. The EMTs, police... nobody knew what was going on.

My husband had slapped the pole to see if it was hot and it about put him on his butt. The wire was live. The ambulance checked my daughter and then left, since she wasn't bleeding and nothing was open. They did see on her foot where the electrical current went in and they just assumed it came out her knee.

Later that night she started crying because her chest was hurting, her neck, stomach, back and legs too. So we took her to the emergency room and they checked her out.

They said that she could have lots of problems or none at all. The EMTs were at our home when we returned waiting for the electrical company to come out and fix the pole. It got fixed after 10pm and the next day the big boss people came out to look at my daughter and the pole with the wire.

They told us that the reason it happened was because the insulator was off the wire and they had no idea for how long.

They said it was indeed their fault and they have every intention of fixing everything and using newer cables and poles and everything else, as soon as possible. And they said they were sorry. They also told me I was lucky it was her and not one of the smaller children or they would likely not be standing here today! They did apologize.

Nine months later they finally came out to put new everything in. If that is as soon as possible as it gets, something is wrong. My daughter still cries and has these nightmares that she is being shocked. Listening to her cry at night and scream like she is in pain. Is very hard to deal with.

She still has pain in her foot and is always complaining about her leg hurting. When I took her to the doctor he thought maybe she had some nerve damaged from the shock.

I've been told by numerous people that I need to contact an attorney. The day that she fell she should have NEVER been shocked like that. Those wires should have been fixed. She still complains about her chest hurting, fast breathing sometimes and lots of tears. She complains of headaches when this happens too.

I just want to know is there anything we can do? Because even being almost a year later, she is still in pain. I was told by her doctor that we have 2 years to do something. I have talked to one lawyer once but he never got back to us and never made the attempt to answer his phone either. Please help me and my daughter. Thank you.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Child Shocked by Electrical Wire...":

Brandi (Chadwick, IL, USA):

What happened to your child is terrible. The mere thought of a child being electrocuted is quite upsetting.

When you talk about negligence there must be resultant injuries to substantiate a claim for compensation. Damages can include past, present, and future medical bills, out of pocket expenses, and lost wages. From the facts you present it appears you already have incurred medical bills from the emergency room and the pediatrician.

When the doctors said your child may or may not have future problems you should have inquired exactly what those might be. Additionally, we suggest you take your child to a neurologist. You want to be as sure as you can about the extent of the damages.

After speaking with as many doctors as you think necessary, you will have to decide whether the future problems will be serious enough to have a tangible adverse effect on your child's future. If you are confident the future problems are real you should pursue your claim for compensation, including a substantial amount for the pain and suffering your child has already endured and may endure into the future.

Contrary to popular thought a parent can not be awarded money for their pain and suffering vicariously for their child. Only in the rarest of circumstances would that ever be possible.

Because one attorney did not call you back is not sufficient reason for you to not continue to seek the advice and counsel of another attorney. Most will not charge a legal fee for sitting with you to discuss the case in their office.

You will have until August 2012 to either settle your claim or file suit. In the State of Illinois there is a 2 years Statute of Limitations for the filing of a lawsuit, so don't feel you have to rush.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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