When people think of serious injuries they often think of physical therapy sessions, body casts, wheelchairs and mourning. They rarely look into the future to truly weigh the extent of the damage: the lost income, the pain and suffering, the stress on family and friends. Tragedy is life altering for everyone it touches. It’s a rare accident where the doctors stitch up a wound and everyone walks back to into their routine.
An electrical accident in Maryland
This past June, an electrical accident at a newly opened casino severely injured a 7 year-old girl in Maryland. The girl grabbed a lighted handrail and was shocked, sending her into cardiac arrest in response. this day, she is unable to speak or move her limbs.
Her entire family is suffering from the incident; their lives irreversibly changed. With permanent brain damage the girl is unlikely to go to college, seek a fulfilling career, get married or live a normal life. Her mother quit her job to provide full-time care. There will be extra medical expenses throughout her life combined with reducing earning power.
Negligence and failure to meet code
The incident itself is sad and disturbing, and further investigation shows a pattern of neglect at the casino. Reports show sloppy, negligent electrical wiring that the resort let slide to speed their opening. Additionally, the railing itself wasn’t installed properly and a backup device meant to reduce voltage through the railing also didn’t work, causing such a powerful shock. Even after the initial incident, the resort could have minimized damages, but there was no emergency defibrillator onsite either.
Nothing can undo a catastrophic injury
The entire story is heartbreaking and illustrates how one event leads to another. Handrails are safety mechanisms, meant to provide stability and balance, not deadly consequences. When negligence in construction, maintenance or oversight lead to injuries it’s vital that you explore your options and seek to hold the responsible parties liable.
There are lasting damages after a serious injury, not just physical injuries that may or may not heal. There are painful emotional challenges and an altered future.