He is an attorney who has handled many kinds of cases involving serious electrical injury and death.
Chris has published about the civil action arising from accidental electrocution. And, he has the key resources with experts for litigation throughout the nation.
Defendants tend to blame the accident on the victim. Using an attorney like Chris can make a difference in a case. At the start, he can evaluate a case to determine the possible role of others in a mishap.
Chris is adept at using the development of national electrical safety standards to show their violation. He focuses on the key parts of evidence in an electrical accident. He uses the best interpretation of that evidence by the right electrical experts.
Chris is licensed to practice law in Maryland. In other states where he is not admitted, he can apply with the local court to appear for clients in each case and work with local counsel if the matter has to be litigated. Whenever an issue comes up in the claims stage he will also consult if invited by local counsel to do so.
Chris has been involved with cases involving all four major causes of electrical hazards as described on this website:
* Use of defective equipment and lines
* Failure of contractors to follow safe work practices
* Use of wet electrical equipment
* Failure to ground equipment
Call or meet Chris
To work in this field of law, attorney Chris Beard travels because he uses various recognized experts in the country. He is available to appear with special permission in state or federal court anywhere in the United States.
Navigating an electrical accident case to obtain and to evaluate evidence can be complex. It is essential to focus on the key points.
We hope that you will find the information on these pages helpful. Feel free to call Chris’s firm at the start for the benefit of his experience and insight regarding your case.
Evaluating a Case for You
Since 1994 Chris has handled a variety of cases involving electrocution and serious electrical injury from negligence. Examples include the electrical shock of a technician doing troubleshooting at a local water treatment plant who had to be resuscitated. He represented family members of the victim of an electrocution by a short circuit from an decorative fountain light outside a bar when the victim came into contact with the fountain, which lacked a required ground fault circuit interrupter, a safety device that would shut down current rapidly.
Chris also handled cases of injured workers on construction sites including a worker electrocuted while jackhammering for a contractor at a busy airport who contacted a highly energized underground duct bank at an unmarked site when he was instructed by a subcontractor. He also had the case of a laborer who was shocked in a incorrectly marked area while digging to locate a utility line in the area of a newly constructed residence.
He represented the family of a painter electrocuted while working at a private residence who came into contact with old electrical wiring surrounding a metal light cover that became energized. In addition, he represented a cafeteria worker who was shocked when she contacted an electrified stove when there was a water leak from an adjacent refrigerator.
Insight about Key Evidence
It is essential for attorneys in electrocution cases to have various experts at their disposal. The experts chosen must have well respected qualifications for court for the various aspects of the case for a successful outcome. Being familiar with them is important to have the right one for the needs of the case.
The role of the attorney at the outset is also a vital one to recognize the various issues that need to be addressed in an investigation by the different experts. In these cases the client depends on the attorney to evaluate what is necessary by several experts including the nature and extent of testing by them at the scene.
For example, in a case where a defect in the degraded wiring is suspected as the source of a fault current, an insulation resistance test, by an instrument such as a Megohmmeter (Megger) may show where the current has left its intended path to some other thing that became energized that led to the accident.
Electrical Current’s Behavior in Each Case
All electrical current must make a complete loop. If a person is placed in this series within that loop, even on the neutral side, that person will be electrocuted. Electricity wants to return to its source and will take all available paths to get there. When electricity finds its way out of its intended path, things get dangerous.
Ground wires provide an alternative path around an electrical system. Such safety devices as a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) are designed to interrupt dangerous current when the device detects that the current is not flowing through its intended path, such as a human or water.
Factors Contributing to an Accident
When current does not follow its intended path, the cause is sometimes described as a short, stray, or errant current. Electrical equipment or wiring can have an “overload” when the amount of current exceeds the rating for the equipment or it can have a “ground fault.” A finding in these simple terms is only part of the information necessary for learning about the circumstances of an electrical shock event.
The cause of the accident can be understood by knowing why the current left its intended path and how it found its most convenient path to ground by conditions at a site. Various parts of equipment and its insulation can become degraded with usage over time causing failure of the system.
Focus on Control of the Site
Equipment that is not maintained properly or upgraded as necessary poses an increased risk of that failure. An electrical system is unsafe if not inspected regularly for a dangerous condition. For some pieces of equipment, overcurrent protection devices can detect a short circuit before a catastrophic accident happens, but such inexpensive devices may not be installed.
An owner or manager of property can take steps prevent unsafe conditions, but at times those precautions are overlooked in regard to electrical equipment and wiring. For example, a warning sign about an electrical hazard may not be posted. Even with a warning sign installed at a site, however, it may be ineffective alone to prevent electrical injury.
Before doing work at a site, a laborer may not be given clear instructions by personnel in verbal or written form for working around electrical energy. When work is ongoing, a contractor may fail to arrange for underground utilities at times to be marked for identification while excavation is undertaken at the site.
Cases in point in Chris’s practice have found one or more of these deficits to be substantial factors contributing to an electrical injury or death.
Actual Conditions for Current Leaving its Intended Path
Preserving the evidence of the mishap is necessary as the first step to be able to know about an electrocution. Many medical examiners limit their findings to the manner and cause of death. Although it is important to have an autopsy of the body, in these cases you need an autopsy of the scene. Private experts are necessary to determine the amount, duration and path of the current, among other unaddressed issues.
The next step is identifying the one in control of the property at the time of the incident and other responsible parties for the conditions at the scene. The focus will then be the appropriate standards of care for their conduct.
The standard of care for a cause of action for negligence is found through legal preparation using the most persuasive expert analysis. It is essential to consider safety codes formulated by groups nationally as adopted in the local jurisdiction. Chris works to find the strongest evidence from witness observations at the scene along with the physical and other kinds of evidence.
Experience has shown that interpretations of the evidence can diverge. A defendant has the tendency to deny responsibility for a horrible event. The initial response of a defendant may be to search for ways to blame the victim. Unlike the defendant, the victim is likely one who lacked particular knowledge of any risks of danger associated with property.
A Helpful Resource for You
The big insurance companies and defense firms will use resources, including national experts and talent from across the country in their approach and defense to these cases.
Chris Beard has practical knowledge and “hands on” litigation skills in preparing and pursing actual cases of electrical accidents causing severe injury or death. Chris has handled a variety of electrical accidents by tradesmen and workers in different occupations.
He has represented victims and family members with causes of action for cases — ranging from high voltage incidents at work sites to defective house wiring. He has traveled for depositions from Florida to Pennsylvania for litigation after finding some of this country’s leading experts in their scientific fields, which level of demonstrated expertise can vary in this area of law.
Chris can speak with you and meet you at the start to give you the benefit of his experience. He is willing to travel if needed to “capture” evidence. Preserving evidence is critical before evidence becomes unavailable due to site changes, equipment repair, or the loss of records. He is available to provide representation in court in any state with permission for a case under the special rules.
Call anytime for experience and insight.
Chris Beard is an attorney with a concentration in civil litigation, handling a variety of cases involving electrocution for the past two decades. When you consider Chris for a case, he will work with other well-respected attorneys in a local firm. Combining their familiarity with the local court system with Chris’s talent will provide you with the most effective representation at no additional cost to you for two firms. For more information, the reference for those special rules is Pro Hac Vice Admission.
Send Christopher L. Beard an Email
Choosing the right attorney
For more than two decades, Chris has handled electrocution and shock cases in particular. Liability for electrocution and its cause of action is not an area for a general practice civil attorney.
Electric shock cases are special in many ways and require in-depth experience. Strategies and proven techniques developed over many years of experience are key for these types of cases.
Plaintiff attorneys who lack experience in representing those whose family member has suffered a loss of life do not understand the importance of mounting an aggressive investigation after an electrical shock incident. It is critical to know that an electrocution case is very different from general civil litigation. Only an attorney who handles these cases as an integral part of his practice should be considered to undertake such representation.
Obtaining the right result
You are looking at our national website because you know someone who has been the victim of the unexpected or the horrific loss of a loved one from an electric shock or death by electrocution.
The hope is that this website will identify some of the issues that confront someone who might have a legal case and relieve the feeling of being lost in the quagmire. The cause of the accident is a mystery in the beginning with the information that is given. Our work is about finding the answer.
Preparation and research are vital to a successful outcome for the attorney handling this unique area of the law. As one learned practitioner once noted, there are areas of the law where experts know the body of science for their field better than an attorney does, but the lawyer has one advantage, knowledge of all aspects of the case.
By utilizing the principles that apply to an electrocution case and developing the case through his experience, Chris Beard can be an effective advocate for a client. Understanding the nature of the case and the kinds of defenses is key when examining the evidence and interviewing witnesses. An experienced electrocution lawyer like Chris knows the areas of law and the particular aspects of proof that will arise in these type of cases. Call or text Chris at (888) 300-0585 for a free consultation.
Review By John B.
Strongly Recommend Him
Mr. Christopher Beard is a great attorney and a wonderful human being. From the moment he took on my difficult case [unrelated to electrocution] until he won a settlement, Mr. Beard has been there every step of the way advising me on the best ways to tackle any problems. Chris made the stressful process go about as smoothly as can be imagined. I highly recommend Mr. Christopher Beard to anyone looking for a well-respected, tough but fair attorney.