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  • FIRST POST
    • jude_pmc
    • By jude_pmc 7th Feb 18, 5:36 PM
    • 10Posts
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    jude_pmc
    Non-fatal electrocution compensation
    • #1
    • 7th Feb 18, 5:36 PM
    Non-fatal electrocution compensation 7th Feb 18 at 5:36 PM
    I want to advise a friend on how much compensation she should receive from UK Power Networks. Any info you can give me would be great.


    Story so far..
    Bought her bungalow June 2016 and had the electrics checked by her electrician.
    Began to get shocks in summer 2017 but she doesnít understand electricity so she thought it must be strangely strong static electricity.

    December she had severe shock when in the shower so called out a plumber, who called in her electrician for her as she was so shaken.

    Electrician arrives and tells her it is the mains.

    UK power network arrives, plugs her house into the house next door over Christmas, digs up her hedge and fixes the disconnected lead. They told her that the small trees in her hedge probably caused the damage.


    She asked for compensation and they immediately gave her the money she paid to the plumber and to her electrician.


    I think they should give her much more.

    A large amount of her hair has fallen out and the doctor has put her on anti-depressants. She is now very frightened of her home and yesterday got her electrician to check everything in her house (she says she is going to send this bill to UK Power Networks). I donít know if this will reassure her, she is saying she intends to move although she has no savings to pay a move costs.

    Please can you advise me how much compensation she should ask for or whether she has received all she has the right to?
Page 1
    • molerat
    • By molerat 7th Feb 18, 5:52 PM
    • 17,950 Posts
    • 12,216 Thanks
    molerat
    • #2
    • 7th Feb 18, 5:52 PM
    • #2
    • 7th Feb 18, 5:52 PM
    So her hedge damaged the power cable and UKPN somehow are responsible ?
    www.helpforheroes.org.uk/donations.html
    • flashg67
    • By flashg67 7th Feb 18, 6:10 PM
    • 2,365 Posts
    • 1,550 Thanks
    flashg67
    • #3
    • 7th Feb 18, 6:10 PM
    • #3
    • 7th Feb 18, 6:10 PM
    As above, frightening to get a shock whilst showering but not sure how the power network is responsible? They've paid for her 'out of pocket' costs which seems fair to me.
    • Typhoon2000
    • By Typhoon2000 7th Feb 18, 6:27 PM
    • 812 Posts
    • 387 Thanks
    Typhoon2000
    • #4
    • 7th Feb 18, 6:27 PM
    • #4
    • 7th Feb 18, 6:27 PM
    Seems more than fair if it was her hedge that caused the problem.
    • Risteard
    • By Risteard 7th Feb 18, 6:59 PM
    • 729 Posts
    • 255 Thanks
    Risteard
    • #5
    • 7th Feb 18, 6:59 PM
    • #5
    • 7th Feb 18, 6:59 PM
    I can't see how she's entitled to any compensation.

    Incidentally, there is no such thing as "non-fatal electrocution". Electrocution is a contraction of "electrical execution" which was coined for the electric chair. As such, electrocution is always fatal.
    • keithdc
    • By keithdc 7th Feb 18, 7:06 PM
    • 260 Posts
    • 500 Thanks
    keithdc
    • #6
    • 7th Feb 18, 7:06 PM
    • #6
    • 7th Feb 18, 7:06 PM
    So her hedge damaged the power cable and UKPN somehow are responsible ?
    Originally posted by molerat
    And... she chose to do nothing for six months about a series of events that were causing her psychological distress
    • rach_k
    • By rach_k 7th Feb 18, 7:17 PM
    • 1,124 Posts
    • 1,899 Thanks
    rach_k
    • #7
    • 7th Feb 18, 7:17 PM
    • #7
    • 7th Feb 18, 7:17 PM
    I think they've been very generous already. If her hedge caused the problem and they fixed it for free and haven't left her without electricity, that sounds fair enough to me. If they've also paid the plumber and electrician, I'd consider that a very good deal and be grateful for it. Not understanding electricity isn't a reason to ignore getting shocked. If she's scared, perhaps you could arrange for an electrician or somebody with a good general knowledge to come round and explain to her what is dangerous and what isn't and what she should do if she ever suspects a problem again, as well as explaining how unlikely that is. I would expect her (not UKPN) to pay for their time if they charge, or perhaps you could pay it.

    Regarding moving, having had everything checked over recently and the problem outside fixed, her house is probably as safe, if not safer, than any other house.
    • Warwick Hunt
    • By Warwick Hunt 7th Feb 18, 7:19 PM
    • 1,092 Posts
    • 520 Thanks
    Warwick Hunt
    • #8
    • 7th Feb 18, 7:19 PM
    • #8
    • 7th Feb 18, 7:19 PM
    I can't see how she's entitled to any compensation.

    Incidentally, there is no such thing as "non-fatal electrocution". Electrocution is a contraction of "electrical execution" which was coined for the electric chair. As such, electrocution is always fatal.
    Originally posted by Risteard
    Depends on who is defining electrocution. Some define it as death or serious injury.
    • Jonesya
    • By Jonesya 7th Feb 18, 7:41 PM
    • 1,378 Posts
    • 843 Thanks
    Jonesya
    • #9
    • 7th Feb 18, 7:41 PM
    • #9
    • 7th Feb 18, 7:41 PM
    I don't think anyone here can give you an easy answer because while there's set compensation for things like a power cut due to a network fault, this isn't a normal or typical event.

    You friend needs to establish what their electrician found and exactly what type of fault they believe had occurred, and was it just on the supply or were there problems on your friends home installation as well. I.e. was it entirely the networks fault, or were there faults on your friends installation as well.

    But if the electric shock was due to the distribution network fault, then it may well have been a reportable health and safety incident under The Electricity Safety Quality and Continuity Regulations - ESQC Regs.

    The hedge is added confusion which no one here can really answer, but of course, if they/you mean she'd had a hedge planted recently, or if the cable was damaged by the digging for the hedge planting etc then I'd expect that would change things, as it would be due to an another party, your friend or her contractors, damaging the network's equipment at some point.

    If it was entirely the network's fault then I would imagine it might warrant some compensation, but you'd need to consult a lawyer on that issue.
    Last edited by Jonesya; 07-02-2018 at 7:43 PM.
    • Risteard
    • By Risteard 7th Feb 18, 7:45 PM
    • 729 Posts
    • 255 Thanks
    Risteard
    Depends on who is defining electrocution. Some define it as death or serious injury.
    Originally posted by Warwick Hunt
    Well, not really, because that is the only correct definition. If it's non-fatal it is electric shock, not electrocution.
    • Warwick Hunt
    • By Warwick Hunt 7th Feb 18, 8:20 PM
    • 1,092 Posts
    • 520 Thanks
    Warwick Hunt
    Well, not really, because that is the only correct definition. If it's non-fatal it is electric shock, not electrocution.
    Originally posted by Risteard
    The Oxford English Dictionary says youíre wrong.
    • DUTR
    • By DUTR 7th Feb 18, 8:21 PM
    • 11,181 Posts
    • 6,399 Thanks
    DUTR
    I want to advise a friend on how much compensation she should receive from UK Power Networks. Any info you can give me would be great.


    Story so far..
    Bought her bungalow June 2016 and had the electrics checked by her electrician.
    Began to get shocks in summer 2017 but she doesnít understand electricity so she thought it must be strangely strong static electricity.

    December she had severe shock when in the shower so called out a plumber, who called in her electrician for her as she was so shaken.

    Electrician arrives and tells her it is the mains.

    UK power network arrives, plugs her house into the house next door over Christmas, digs up her hedge and fixes the disconnected lead. They told her that the small trees in her hedge probably caused the damage.


    She asked for compensation and they immediately gave her the money she paid to the plumber and to her electrician.

    I think they should give her much more.

    A large amount of her hair has fallen out and the doctor has put her on anti-depressants. She is now very frightened of her home and yesterday got her electrician to check everything in her house (she says she is going to send this bill to UK Power Networks). I donít know if this will reassure her, she is saying she intends to move although she has no savings to pay a move costs.

    Please can you advise me how much compensation she should ask for or whether she has received all she has the right to?
    Originally posted by jude_pmc
    How much do you think they should give her?
    Money doesn't always cure things.
    And it doesn't change the past.
    • Risteard
    • By Risteard 7th Feb 18, 8:25 PM
    • 729 Posts
    • 255 Thanks
    Risteard
    The Oxford English Dictionary says youíre wrong.
    Originally posted by Warwick Hunt
    That doesn't make it correct.

    http://www.dictionary.com/browse/electrocution?s=t
    • Warwick Hunt
    • By Warwick Hunt 7th Feb 18, 8:38 PM
    • 1,092 Posts
    • 520 Thanks
    Warwick Hunt
    Originally posted by Risteard
    Nor does that link make you correct.
    • Risteard
    • By Risteard 7th Feb 18, 8:47 PM
    • 729 Posts
    • 255 Thanks
    Risteard
    Look, it's a widely accepted fact that electrocution refers to fatal electric shock. If you can't accept that then I really don't care. You're still wrong.
    • Heedtheadvice
    • By Heedtheadvice 7th Feb 18, 9:08 PM
    • 725 Posts
    • 355 Thanks
    Heedtheadvice
    Ok you two. You are you going way off topic with your 'discussion'
    But to help clarify....
    Electrocution is commonly referred to when the meaning is electric shock, by those not knowing any better. Much like the 'term' plug socket is used...does that mean plug or does that mean socket?

    Electrocution by definition by qualified engineers, the law, forensics and medicine means death by electric shock. Death is thus very pertinent to it's definition despite what some dictionaries may state!

    We all know what the OP meant even though the statement was not strictly correct but it is right tonpoint out the difference (as per Risteard's post) in case the claim is persued.
    • Ectophile
    • By Ectophile 7th Feb 18, 9:38 PM
    • 2,962 Posts
    • 1,836 Thanks
    Ectophile
    I would say no compensation at all, because the power company were not negligent. This was a completely unforeseeable fault, that they could not have prevented.

    I think they have been generous paying for the plumber and the electrician.
    If it sticks, force it.
    If it breaks, well it wasn't working right anyway.
    • Warwick Hunt
    • By Warwick Hunt 7th Feb 18, 10:16 PM
    • 1,092 Posts
    • 520 Thanks
    Warwick Hunt
    Look, it's a widely accepted fact that electrocution refers to fatal electric shock. If you can't accept that then I really don't care. You're still wrong.
    Originally posted by Risteard
    Itís widely accepted that itís death or serious injury and not just something Iíve made up.
    • EachPenny
    • By EachPenny 7th Feb 18, 10:28 PM
    • 4,611 Posts
    • 9,437 Thanks
    EachPenny
    If she wants to claim more then she will need to demonstrate that UKPN were at fault. What was the nature of the fault to the cable (allegedly caused by the hedge) which caused her to get a shock whilst using the shower?

    On the face of things, it is difficult to see how hedge roots alone could cause damage to an underground cable which would cause something in the shower to go live. There are certain types of failure on the distribution network which could cause a potentially dangerous situation to occur, but for this to have been caused by tree roots and to have gone on undetected for 6 months or more doesn't seem quite right.

    Up and down the country there are thousands of very large trees growing in very close proximity to underground supply cables, and your friend's case would be the first one I've ever heard of where roots have damaged a cable to the point it became dangerous. On the other hand, root damage to drains and sewers happens all the time.
    "In the future, everyone will be rich for 15 minutes"
    • Hermione Granger
    • By Hermione Granger 8th Feb 18, 12:14 AM
    • 825 Posts
    • 1,279 Thanks
    Hermione Granger
    Incidentally, there is no such thing as "non-fatal electrocution". Electrocution is a contraction of "electrical execution" which was coined for the electric chair. As such, electrocution is always fatal.
    Originally posted by Risteard
    Just because a word once had a certain definition doesn't mean that it always stays the same as words and the definition of words evolves over time.

    If someone looked at an electrical job you did and stated that it was awful, how would you feel?
    Well, "awful" originally meant that something was awe inspiring but this meaning has changed in the same way that electrocution is changing.
    This is known as an etymological fallacy.

    The assumption that the present-day meaning of a word should be/is similar to the historical meaning. This fallacy ignores the evolution of language and heart of linguistics. This fallacy is usually committed when one finds the historical meaning of a word more palatable or conducive to his or her argument.
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