Chicago Construction Worker Injury Lawyer
Construction workers have one of the highest risks of injuries on the job. When a worker is injured on a construction site, he or she can file a workers’ compensation claim to recoup the costs of the injury. Injuries sustained on construction sites are often severe, and typically require extensive medical treatment. Victims who don’t pursue financial recovery put themselves at risk of facing additional hardship long-term.
Construction sites pose many hazards for workers. Consequently, workers in the construction industry file hundreds of thousands of workers’ comp claims each year. A construction worker injury lawyer can help injured victims mitigate the risk of financial hardship by filing a claim with the liable party.
If you suffered construction site injuries, call an experienced Chicago construction accident lawyer at Ankin Law for a FREE consultation today. 312-600-0000.
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Table of Contents
Why Hire a Construction Worker Injury Lawyer at Ankin Law?
Workers who are injured on a construction site may have a third-party personal injury claim against the general contractor, in addition to a workers’ compensation claim against their employer. Determining fault for construction accidents can be complex and fact-intensive. The Chicago construction accident attorneys at Ankin Law understand the complex laws, regulations, and legal theories that are involved with construction accident claims.
Our team will conduct a thorough investigation of the construction accident to assess liability and pursue all possible causes of actions. Through tenacious legal representation, our attorneys will help you recover all the damages for which your case qualifies.
Types of Construction Worker Injuries
Construction accident injuries can range from minor to catastrophic. There are some types of serious injuries that are more commonly seen in construction accidents. These include back injuries, injuries to joints, amputations, burns, broken and fractured bones, sprains and strains, and head, neck, or spinal cord injuries. The type of injuries a worker sustains largely depends on the nature of the accident.
What Are the Most Common Types of Construction Accidents?
Construction workers face a variety of hazards unique to the industry. When these hazards give way to construction site accidents, victims suffer serious, and sometimes catastrophic, injuries. Some accidents are more prevalent than others in construction accident injury claims.
The most common types of construction accidents that result in a workplace injury claim include:
Struck-by accidents occur when falling or moving objects or equipment come into contact with a worker’s body. In some cases, workers may even be struck by cranes or forklifts while on the job site. A top cause of construction site fatalities, these types of accidents are especially common, and OSHA has labeled them one of the construction focus four.
Caught Between Objects
Another inclusion in the focus four, caught-between or caught-in accidents cause significant injuries to victims. This category can include a wide variety of accident types, such as cave-ins, being pulled into machinery, and compression between two moving or rolling objects. To determine whether a victim has suffered a struck-by or caught-between accident, the cause of the injury is examined. Injuries that are due to impact with an object are classified as struck-by, whereas injuries caused by crushing are classified as caught-in or between.
Slips, Trips, and Falls
Any object or situation that can cause a worker to lose his or her balance, or any height above four feet, is considered a fall risk. Falls are a top cause of injury among all demographics, and workers in the construction industry are no exception. Because of this risk, construction workers are required to wear fall protection when working at heights of six feet or more. Construction site falls can happen while performing a number of work-related duties, such as using makeshift scaffolding, working on rooftops, or moving about a cluttered construction site.
Rounding out the focus four as a top cause of construction injuries is electrocution. Electrical hazards include any workplace condition that exposes the worker to electrical burns, electrocution, shock, arc flash or arc blast, and explosions. Burns are a common injury sustained from electrical hazards, and can occur through any contact with electricity. Shock injuries occur when the worker’s body becomes a part of the electric circuit, allowing the current to enter and exit the body. Electrocution is the fatal result of lethal exposure to an electrical circuit.
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Damages in a Construction Worker Accident Claim
Injured construction workers can recover damages through the Illinois workers’ compensation program. This is a state-mandated insurance policy purchased by employers to cover the costs of a workplace accident. Victims of construction accidents who are direct employees of the company can recover the associated costs through this system. However, independent contractors and other non-employee construction accident victims are excluded from workers’ comp insurance coverage.
If a construction worker’s injuries are the result of a third party’s negligence, such as the actions by other contractors or companies on the job site, a Chicago construction accident attorney can help the victim file a personal injury claim in addition to, or in place of, a workers’ comp claim. The type of claim an injured victim files will determine the type of damages he or she is awarded.
In third-party claims, victims recover the same compensatory damages traditionally available in personal injury claims against the at fault party. These include non-economic and economic damages. While injured employees can recover these costs as benefits in a workers’ comp claim, they can also recover career support benefits. Surviving dependents of fatal workplace accident victims can recover death benefits either from the liable party or through workers’ compensation. The Chicago construction accident lawyers at Ankin Law can review your case to help you pursue maximum compensation.
Types of Workers’ Compensation Benefits
There are four primary types of workers’ compensation benefits. Each type of benefit focuses on a primary area of loss that workplace injury victims often suffer.
Medical Expense Reimbursement
Medical bills, including long-term care costs, initial treatment expenses, prescriptions, medical equipment, and other affiliated expenses are compensable through workers’ compensation claims. Insurers may, however, deny medical treatment if it is not provided by an approved doctor, or it is deemed medically unnecessary for the injuries in question.
Wage Replacement Benefits
Injured construction workers can recover the wages they lost during recovery through workers’ comp. These are referred to as wage replacement benefits, and they take four primary forms. The type of wage replacement benefits your claim is eligible for will depend on the extent of your injuries and the duration of your recovery.
Wage replacement benefits can be permanent or temporary. This addresses the duration of the injured worker’s impairment. For each of these categories, benefits can also be classified as “total” or “partial.” This is tied to the severity of an injured worker’s impairment. For example, a victim who is temporarily entirely unable to work will qualify for temporary total disability benefits, whereas a victim who’s working capacity is forever reduced, but not eliminated, can recover permanent partial disability benefits.
Career Rehabilitation Support
If an injured worker sustains injuries that forever prevent him or her from working in the same field, or a field that he or she is trained in, career rehabilitation may be available through workers’ compensation. Workers’ comp benefits cover the cost of pursuing further education, training, or certification that would allow an injured victim to return to the work force in a reasonable capacity.
Death benefits are available to dependents of victims of fatal workplace accidents. These benefits compensate claimants for expenses incurred as a result of the accident prior to death, funeral and burial costs, loss of financial support, and, in some cases, loss of mentorship or consortium.
Find out how much your claim may be worth. Call a construction worker Injury lawyer at Ankin Law for a FREE case evaluation.
Third Party Construction Accident Cases
While workers’ compensation law prohibits employees from suing their employers for workplace injuries, injured workers may have a personal injury lawsuit against other parties who share responsibility for the accident. These are called “third party causes of action.” If you are injured on the job, but someone other than your employer is totally or partially responsible for the accident that caused your injury, you can file a third party claim in addition to bringing a workers’ compensation claim.
Construction worksites are a flurry of activity, with general contractors organizing and coordinating all the projects and subcontractors working on the site. Because general contractors are in a position to recognize hazards, repair them or warn others about the condition, they may be negligent if they fail to do so. Negligence by general contractors, other construction companies, or other parties working on construction projects, for that matter, can result in slip and fall accidents, scaffolding accidents, and building collapse.
Under regulations and requirements of Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), the general contractor of a work site is required to maintain safe working conditions. If the general contractor fails to comply with OSHA requirements or negligently fails to secure the premises, he or she may be liable for any injuries that occur on the work site in a third-party personal injury lawsuit.
The Clock Is Ticking on Your Illinois Construction Accident Case
Construction accident victims a limited time to file a workplace injury claim. This deadline is referred to as the statute of limitations, and it generally begins on the date the accident or injury occurred. For victims of cumulative injuries or illnesses, the statute of limitations is initiated when the victims knew, or should have discovered, the condition.
In Illinois, victims have three years from the date of the construction accident to file construction injury claims with workers’ compensation insurance companies, or two years from when the last worker’ comp payment was received – whichever is later. Cases involving incapacitated victims may be tolled, however, which means the clock will not start ticking until the victim is reasonably able to file a claim.
Although workers who are injured on the job have three years to initiate a workers’ comp claim, employers require injuries to be reported under a stricter deadline. Reporting your injury and filing your claim as soon as possible helps to preserve your right to pursue compensation.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Workplace Injury Lawsuits
Can Construction Workers Sue an Employer for a Workplace Accident?
Injured workers in Illinois forego the right to sue an employer for workplace accidents. This is due to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, which creates the legal obligation of employers to carry insurance for work-related injuries. Within this act, injured workers are afforded the opportunity to recover the costs of a workplace injury through an insurance claim in lieu of suing an employer.
How Much Is My Construction Accident Claim Worth?
The value of your construction accident claim depends on the severity of the injuries you suffered and whether a third party contributed to your accident. The severity of your construction site injury will determine what damages or benefits you can claim. Catastrophic injuries will yield higher medical expenses and longer recovery times, racking up a greater cost and paving the way for a higher settlement award.
What if You Were Injured on a Construction Site, But You’re Not a Construction Worker?
You can still recover damages if you were injured on a construction site, but were not an employee. However, your claim will not be filed through workers’ comp. Instead, your case will take the form of a premises liability claim or a personal injury claim, depending on the circumstances. You will still be able to recover the costs of sustaining an injury on a construction site, just like you would in a workers’ compensation claim. However, you will be entitles to pain and suffering damages, and you’ll work with a premises liability attorney or personal injury lawyer, rather than a workers’ comp attorney. At Ankin Law, we handle all three types of cases.
Helpful Resources for Injured Workers in Chicago
Construction and mining, rubber manufacturing, agriculture, and forestry have the highest workplace cancer risk in Chicago, Illinois. The same risk applies to building demolition, firefighting, brake repair, asbestos milling, and naval service jobs.
The symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease are similar to lung infections like pneumonia. You may experience a headache, fever, shortness of breath, diarrhea, or muscle aches.
When injured on the job as an employee, you will rely on workers’ compensation insurance to cover damages, such as your medical bills. However, the