The construction profession is inherently one of the most dangerous occupations in Chicago. Every year there are thousands of worker injuries and fatalities in Illinois due to construction site accidents. Construction injuries can be some of the most painful and severe.
Further, with a long road to recovery, you and your family may need substantial compensation from those at fault. These damages might include loss of income, costly medical bills, pain and suffering, and more.
If you or a family member suffer injury in a construction accident in Illinois, contact the Chicago construction accident lawyers at Abels & Annes for a free case consultation.
Out of 4,674 worker fatalities that occurred nationwide in 2017, nearly 1,000 of them (or roughly 20 percent) occurred in the construction industry. To put it another way, one in five occupational deaths each year happens on a construction site.
These are scary statistics, and they point to a serious problem when it comes to construction accident injuries and deaths.
The leading causes of worker deaths in the construction industry are:
Falls are one of the most common types of accidents on construction sites. Every year, thousands of construction workers sustain severe injuries from a fall at their job site. The main causes of falls on construction sites are the many different obstacles to navigate around, worksites that companies do not maintain to a safe standard, and materials and tools left lying around. Unsturdy scaffolding and ladders are also common causes of construction site falls. These hazards leave construction workers at risk for injury due to the negligence and carelessness of other workers, construction companies, and site managers.
Electric shock injuries on construction sites can cause serious injuries or even death. Electrical shocks can happen due to overhead power lines, damaged power cords, defective tools, lack of ground-fault protection, improper wiring, and improper use of extension cords. These electrical shocks can cause burns, muscle pain, numbness, and decreased mobility of limbs. When the proper precautions are in place, electrical shocks are easily avoidable. Unfortunately, most electric shocks result from negligence or a lack of care for workers.
Caught-in and caught-between accidents occur when a worker is caught, crushed, squeezed, compressed, or pinched between two or more objects. These incidents commonly happen when using heavy machinery with moving parts and while using mobile machinery that can tip over. Caught-in between accidents can cause serious injuries. In some instances, this type of injury can lead to death.
Approximately 75 percent of all struck-by fatalities involve heavy machinery such as semi-trucks or cranes. Struck-by accidents can also occur due to falling or flying objects and by falling concrete or masonry walls that are mid-construction. Falling debris and tools, even when they aren’t that heavy, pose a major threat to construction workers. Wearing a hard hat on the job can help mitigate this risk. However, even after taking necessary safety precautions, every year, falling tools or building materials injure thousands of workers. These injuries include broken bones, spine injuries, and traumatic brain injuries.
These common causes of construction accidents and injuries are known as the Fatal Four.
These causes are responsible for nearly 60 percent of worker deaths in the construction industry.
- Construction site falls account for 39.2 percent of construction accident deaths.
- Being struck by an object accounts for 8.2 percent of construction accident deaths.
- Electrocution accounts for 7.3 percent of construction deaths.
- Getting caught in between or crushed by two objects or vehicles accounted for 5.1 percent of deaths.
While not on the list of the fatal four construction accidents, accidents in road work zones are also very common. Drivers can hit workers when they do not adhere to the reduced speed limits or drive while distracted in work zones. These incidents can cause serious injuries to roadside construction workers. There are many safety campaigns to address this ongoing issue. In addition to criminal penalties, when a driver hits a worker, there will typically be a civil claim as well.
Another common cause of construction site injuries is malfunctioning heavy equipment and machinery. These tools are already dangerous, but they become even more dangerous when there are defects in their design or manufacturing. A defective tool or equipment can cause severe injuries or a fatality in even the most experienced construction worker.
When a large piece of machinery malfunctions, both the worker operating the machinery and other workers in the nearby area can suffer serious injuries. These accidents can cause a construction worker to accumulate enormous bills from medical treatment and lost wages. In some cases, injured employees may never work in construction again.
Many different construction projects - from new builds to repairs - require scaffolds. These temporary structures allow workers to work high up on platforms where they can bring their tools and materials. Unfortunately, along with the many benefits of scaffolding comes the risk of many accidents and severe injuries.
Scaffolding might collapse, causing workers to fall from heights, and the scaffolding can come crashing down and crush people below. Workers might drop tools from high scaffolding platforms, and these tools can hit people on lower levels or the ground.
Too often, people skip safety steps when erecting scaffolding, which can lead to accidents. Other construction workers fall from scaffolding due to improper safety measures or defective equipment. Whatever the reason, scaffolding accidents can result in many serious traumatic injuries.
In some instances, the true effects of an accident may take time to reveal themselves. Some injuries get progressively worse as days and even weeks pass. What may seem minor may develop into a serious, life-long injury. Sometimes adrenaline masks injuries or they take time to manifest.
In other cases, a routine treatment may aggravate or worsen an injury—for example, an infection during or after surgery or a muscle tear during rehabilitation.
Injured workers have protections following these events under the laws of Illinois, but they must actively seek relief from their injuries. Speaking with a construction accident lawyer early can help protect your rights and enable you to recover damages.
That said, construction accidents can cause serious or catastrophic injuries, such as:
- Fractures requiring surgery
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Spinal cord injuries that cause a worker to become a paraplegic or quadriplegic
- Eye injuries that result in permanent vision impairment or blindness
Our construction accident lawyers in Chicago are here to help you get compensation, and we provide our services at no cost unless we win.
The following lists the most frequent health and safety violations on construction sites. These violations can cause accidents and injuries endanger workers’ health and lives. Often these violations are found after an inspection of the worksite by OSHA.
OSHA publishes this information to help prevent injuries, illnesses, and deaths on job sites. These incidents are easy to avoid when you follow safety regulations.
The ten most common construction violations are:
- Failure to use fall protection equipment.
- Failure to communicate hazard material information
- Dangerous scaffolding
- Lack of respiratory protection
- Hazardous power or energy supply on-site
- Dangerous ladders
- Industrial trucks not following regulations
- Not following fall protection guidelines
- Ignoring machinery protection guidelines
- Lack of proper eye and face protection
Under Illinois law, an injured worker has the right to file and collect workers’ compensation benefits for injuries on the job.
In addition to workers’ compensation benefits, an injured construction worker may also have a third-party negligence claim. The case could be against a contractor, subcontractor, equipment manufacturer, or other person or business. There can be a third-party claim as long as the at-fault party is not the employer or co-worker of the injured or deceased person. Generally, these types of lawsuits involve either general negligence in maintaining safe working conditions or products liability for negligently maintained or designed equipment or vehicles.
For example, if a construction fatality or injury is due to a crane with faulty or recalled parts, the manufacturer of the crane could be liable. Here, victims can seek compensation to pay for their damages with a third-party lawsuit.
Another example of a construction site injury third-party claim would be: a subcontractor erects scaffolding which another company’s worker will use to perform his work. Further, the subcontractor fails to secure the bolts holding the scaffolding, causing it to collapse. If the worker sustains an injury in this type of construction accident, the subcontractor can be liable for the worker’s injuries. This is because the worker was not an employee of the subcontractor.
When basic safety measures are not in place, there is a chance for a devastating accident to occur. If you suffered injuries on the worksite in an incident where there was a blatant disregard for your safety, it is in your best interest to get in touch with an attorney. The construction accident lawyers of Abels & Annes have experience handling many personal injury cases surrounding construction sites and other workplace injuries.
As we mentioned above, an employer that carries workers’ compensation insurance usually has immunity from a personal injury lawsuit. But you can seek compensation from third-party companies if they were fully or partially responsible for your construction site injury.
Besides your employer, the following third parties may be held responsible for your construction site injury.
- Construction Site Owner
- General and Subcontractors
- Prime Contractor
- Architects and Engineers
A thorough investigation must determine what happened and whom you can hold responsible. A qualified construction site injury attorney can help you with this investigation.
According to Illinois Law, there are time limitations from the date of the accident to file a construction negligence lawsuit.
These time limits vary depending on who caused your accident (like your employer or a third party, as mentioned above).
- If a local government, like the city, county, or school district, caused your injury, the Illinois statute of limitations is one year from the construction accident.
- When a private person negligently supervises a construction project, and you suffer injury, the statute of limitations is four years from the date of the construction accident.
- If the reason for your construction injury is more general, like unsafe working conditions, then the statute of limitations is two years from the date of the construction accident.
Typically, to be safe and avoid any issues, a construction injury attorney in Chicago will file a lawsuit within two years from the date of the accident.
If you or a loved one sustained injuries or passed away in a construction accident, consult an accident lawyer as quickly as possible to evaluate your case and to protect your rights. Your Chicago construction accident lawyer will investigate the cause of the accident, the extent of injuries, and the responsible parties.
If the facts of your construction accident case do not call for a third-party negligence claim, you or your family still have a right to collect workers’ compensation benefits.
To maximize your payout, consult an attorney familiar with these incidents. Never handle your case alone. This is especially true for complicated incidents like construction site injuries.
Dealing with a serious injury while representing yourself is not only risky, it’s also mentally and physically taxing. Let a construction accident attorney from Abels & Annes work on your behalf to protect your rights and help you navigate through these difficult times.
If you were injured while working on a construction site, contact an experienced attorney to help with your injury claim. These cases are complicated and we approach them tactfully to ensure that you receive maximum compensation for your damages.
There are various state and federal laws concerning personal injuries and construction sites, which may or may not be applicable in your case. That’s why you need an attorney to sort out these laws and apply them to your situation. Additionally, different third parties may be liable for your injury, in addition to your employer. Because workers’ compensation laws make this more complicated, it is best to have legal guidance while navigating your injury claim.
A construction site lawyer can determine liability and the laws applicable to your claim through investigating medical records, the construction site, witness statements, and parties related to the incident. This is a monumental task to take on alone. You risk missing out on compensation. You may need to pay for many costs on your own.
When injuries are too serious to travel after a construction accident, we offer free in-home and in-hospital consultations. We do this so that you do not have to worry about traveling and can focus on your recovery.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries or died in a serious construction accident, do not let your injuries be the reason you don’t seek legal representation. Our team will work to pursue maximum compensation on your behalf for both present and future expenses brought on by your injuries.
Protect your legal rights by calling us today!
The personal injury lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. have represented many construction accident victims over the years.
We are ready to help you if you have injuries. Lawyers are standing by 24/7 to take your call whenever you need answers.
There is no obligation on your part to continue working with us beyond your free consultation. Finally, we will never charge a fee unless there is a financial recovery on your behalf.