Some jobs are inherently more dangerous than others—construction being one of them. It’s not uncommon for injuries to happen to those who help construct the buildings, roads, and infrastructures in Chicago and throughout the rest of Illinois. When a worker is injured because of someone else’s negligence, a Chicago construction accident lawyer from Thomas Law Offices can help them recover compensation for their losses.
As a construction worker, you may be aware of your right to workers’ compensation benefits in the event you are injured at work. If those benefits are not sufficient, however, or you believe the at-fault party should be held responsible for the harm they caused you, you have the right to file a personal injury claim.
At Thomas Law Offices we believe that injured construction workers have the right to the compensation they need to make a full recovery and reestablish order in their everyday lives. We understand how challenging filing a claim can be while you’re focusing on recovering physically, which is why our Chicago attorneys are prepared to provide you with the legal representation you need to file a successful claim.
Construction Accidents and Personal Injury Claims in Chicago
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of February 2020, there were 161,400 workers employed in construction in the Chicago metropolitan area and its component. Depending on the line of work and what the project is, workers could be plumbers, electricians, pipefitters, carpenters, equipment operators, or construction laborers.
Every year, nearly 5,000 workers lose their lives in workplace accidents. Approximately 20% of those fatal accidents occur in construction. If you’re injured in an accident, it’s important to understand the type of accident you were in. This will make it easier to discover why it happened in the first place. In the event you’ve lost a loved one in a construction accident, our attorneys can help your family file a wrongful death claim.
Types of Construction Accidents
Construction laborers are often tasked with working in extreme conditions, including high temperatures, towering heights, and with powerful machinery. When negligence results in someone else’s injury, it’s important to determine why the accident happened. To do so, you first need to conclude what type of accident you were in. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the most common accidents include the following:
- Transportation incidents. The majority of construction accidents are related to transportation. Whether workers are struck by a vehicle on the job site or a piece of equipment hits them, transportation accidents usually result in broken bones and crushed limbs.
- Violence by persons or animals. There’s the potential for construction workers to be around hostile people or animals. Injuries can be serious if someone tries to harm a worker or an animal attack occurs.
- Contact with objects and equipment. When a construction laborer is near equipment that’s being operated improperly, they are at risk of getting stuck in between objects.
- Slips, trips, and falls. While any slip or trip can result in serious injuries—especially to the back, spine, neck, or head, the most dangerous fall accidents happen from significant heights. When working on roofs or scaffolding, the workers need to have access to the proper safety equipment to keep them from falling.
- Exposure to harmful substances or environments. It’s not uncommon for construction workers to be exposed to dangerous chemicals. If this happens over a long period of time and they do not have the right protection, they could develop an occupational disease.
- Fires and explosions. When working with wiring or any situation where flammable substances are involved, it’s important for all workers to understand what precautions to take to avoid starting a fire or getting burned.
What to Do If You’ve Been Injured at Work
If you suffer injuries on a job site from a fall, structural collapse, electrocution, or any other construction site hazard, there are steps you should take to protect yourself and your future. First, it’s imperative to seek a medical evaluation. Do not refuse medical care if it’s offered at the job site. Whether you receive treatment at the job or not, you should still go to the hospital to ensure all injuries are properly documented and you know what your treatments and recovery will look like.
You’ll also want to report the accident to the construction site supervisor. They will file a report and the company will have an official record of the accident that their insurance company can refer to. The report could also be used to determine what the company needs to do in the future to ensure worker safety.
Once you’ve sought medical treatment and reported the incident to your supervisor, you’ll want to get in touch with an attorney and have them fully explain your legal rights and options. Depending on who was at fault, you may file a claim with the insurance company. That is typically your first outlet for recovery.
When you follow the steps outlined above, you’ll improve your chances of receiving full and fair compensation for your accident-related losses. Once you get in touch with a Chicago construction accident lawyer from Thomas Law Offices, we can begin the investigation process and determine who to hold accountable for your accident.
Determining Liability for a Construction Accident in Illinois
Because construction accidents arise from different factors, there’s a possibility that multiple parties could be held accountable for your injuries. When you work with a Chicago construction accident lawyer, they will conduct a thorough investigation to determine who caused your accident and why. Some of the most common liable parties include:
- Construction companies
- General, sub, and prime contractors
- Property owners
- Insurance companies
If you were able to preserve any evidence from the accident or know of a witness who is willing to speak on your behalf, we’ll use that information to begin determining who to hold responsible. It’s likely your claim will also rely on the rules and regulations your construction company is supposed to abide by.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration Regulations
OSHA is the government agency responsible for protecting construction workers and workers in other industries from unsafe conditions. The agency has a series of specific regulations pertaining to commonly and uncommonly performed tasks on small and large construction projects.
OSHA keeps track of violations and citations when someone is injured or a report is made. Common violations include lack of fall protection, hazardous communications, dangerous scaffolding, improper respiratory protection, inadequate control of hazardous energy, and improper use of machinery and machine guarding.
If you’ve been injured on the job and believe your construction site violated an OSHA regulation, you have the right to file a confidential safety and health complaint. OSHA inspectors will visit the workplace to determine if the hazard is real and what should be done in response.
Seek Legal Representation From Thomas Law Offices
If you’re ready to get your life back in order after an accident on the job, contact a Chicago construction accident lawyer from Thomas Law Offices today. Depending on your situation, we may be able to help understand your workers’ compensation rights and collect additional compensation for future medical bills or lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Schedule a free consultation with our office today to learn more.