Liability for Falling Power Lines

It is inconceivable for most Americans to live without electrical power on demand. Some make do with generators or have adopted an Amish-like lifestyle that has nothing to do with electrical appliances, but in most cases having no electricity in the home is a big problem.

Most people are aware but spare little thought for the fact that electricity is piped to the home by way of electrical power lines that are stretched overhead. That is, until something happens that brings it to our attention—such as falling power lines. This can happen during a storm, when a branch or tree falls, or when sagging lines snag a passing truck. When this happens, not only will whole neighborhoods lose power, but it has the potential to create an electrical fire or to electrocute people in the vicinity. When this happens, it is highly possible that the utility company will be liable for any property damage or personal injury.

Electric utility companies are considered public service companies even if they are privately owned, and most states have adopted the guidelines set under the National Electrical Safety Code (NESC). While strict liability does not apply for any injuries or damage done by falling power lines, the NESC does set strict standards for electrical utility companies to avoid foreseeable danger to the public. When these standards are breached, they can be held liable.

The NESC has been adopted in some form by all US states with the exception of California, so a Houston Lawyer, Ali Mokaram, will have recourse to 5 or so state laws governing liability for falling electrical lines rather than the NESC. A Louisville personal injury lawyer who will refer to the Kentucky Revised Statutes Chapter 278.042.

If you have suffered serious personal injury from unintentional contact with falling power lines because of some negligence on the part of the electrical power company, you may be eligible for compensation. Contact a personal injury lawyer in your state for a more thorough discussion of your legal options.

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