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.
What Are The Fatal Four of Construction Accidents?
Out of 4,674 worker fatalities that occurred nationwide in 2017, nearly 1,000 of them (or roughly 20%) occurred in the construction industry. To put it another way, 1 in 5 occupational deaths each year happen 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:
Slips and Falls
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, work sites not being kept up 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 that happen on construction sites can cause serious injuries or even death. Electrical shocks can be caused by 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 taken, electrical shocks are easily avoidable. Unfortunately, most electric shocks are caused by negligence or a lack of care for workers.
Caught-in or Caught-Between Accidents
Caught-in and caught-between accidents occur when a worker is caught, crushed, squeezed, compressed or pinched between two or more objects. These incidents are commonly caused when using heavy machinery with moving parts and while using mobile machinery that has a possibility of tipping over. Being in a caught-in between accident can cause very serious injuries. In some instances, this type of injury can lead to death.
Aproximately 75% of all struck-by fatalities involve heavy machinery such as semi trucks or cranes. Struck-by accidents can also be caused by falling or flying objects and by falling concrete or masonry walls that are being constructed. Falling debris and tools, even when they aren’t necessarily that heavy, pose a major threat to construction workers. Wearing a hard hat on the job can help mitigate this risk. However, even with taking the necessary safety precautions, every year thousands of workers are injured by falling tools or building materials. 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% of worker deaths in the construction industry.
- Construction site falls account for 39.2% of construction accident deaths.
- Being struck by an object accounts for 8.2% of construction accident deaths.
- Electrocution accounts for 7.3% of construction deaths.
- Getting caught in between or crushed by two objects or vehicles accounted for 5.1% deaths.
Other Common Construction Zone Accidents
Struck-by Accidents in Work Zones
While not on the list of the fatal four of construction accidents, accidents in work zones are also very common. Workers may be struck by vehicles that are not adhering to the reduced speed limits or that are driving 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.
Malfunctioning Construction Tools and Equipment
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 piece of 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 types of accidents can cause a construction worker to accumulate enormous bills from medical treatment and lost wages. In some cases, injured employees may never be able to work in construction again.
Do Construction Accidents Cause Serious Injuries Often?
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 while at work may in fact be a serious, potentially life-long injury. Sometimes adrenaline masks injuries or they simply take time to develop.
In other cases, a routine injury may be aggravated or worsen during the course of treatment. For example, an infection developing during or after surgery, or a greater muscle tear occurring during rehabilitation.
Injured workers are protected in these events by the laws of Illinois but they are required to actively seek relief from their injuries. Speaking with a personal injury lawyer early can help protect your rights and enable you to recover your damages.
That being 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.
What Are The Top 10 Most Frequent Safety Violations at Construction Site?
The following is a list of the most frequent health and safety violations on construction sites. These violations can cause accidents and injuries that put workers’ health and lives in danger. Often these violations are found after an inspection of the worksite by OSHA.
OSHA publishes this type of 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
Should You Request a Free Construction Accident Case Consultation?
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 that was built 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 make sure that the bolts holding the scaffolding are secure, causing the scaffolding 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, 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 have been injured on the worksite in an incident where there was blatant disregard for your safety, it is in your best interest to get in touch with an attorney. The lawyers of Abels & Annes have experience handling many personal injury cases surrounding construction sites as well as other workplace injuries.
Who Can be Held Liable for Construction Accident Injuries?
As we mentioned above, an employer that carries workers’ compensation insurance is usually provided 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
Whether or not any of the above parties can be held responsible for your injuries and losses depends on the details of your case. Each case is unique and needs to be investigated to determine what happened and who can be held responsible. A qualified construction site injury attorney can help you with this investigation.
Statutes of Limitations on Construction Site Injuries in Illinois
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 was responsible for your accident (like your employer or a third-party, as mentioned above).
- If a local government, like the city, county, or school district is responsible for your injury, the Illinois statute of limitations is 1 year from the date of the construction accident.
- When a private person negligently supervises a construction project and you suffer injury, the statute of limitations is 4 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 2 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 2 years from the date of accident.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed as a result of a construction accident, an accident lawyer should be consulted 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.
In order to maximize your payout, it is in your best interest to consult an attorney familiar with these types of incidents. Some minor personal injury claims can be handled without an attorney, but it’s almost never a benefit to you to handle your case alone. This is especially true for complicated incidents like construction site injuries.
Dealing with a serious injury while taking on your own legal representation is not only risky, but it’s also taxing both mentally and physically. Let Abels & Annes work on your behalf to protect your rights and help you navigate through these difficult times.
Why Should I Contact a Construction Accident Attorney?
If you were injured while working on a construction site, it’s important to contact an experienced attorney to help with your injury claim. These cases are complicated and need to be handled 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, there are a number of third parties who 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 help to determine liability and the laws applicable to your claim through an investigation of medical records, the construction site, witness statements, and parties related to the incident. Without help, this is a monumental task to take on alone. And you risk being stuck with many of the damages you needed compensated in the first place.
Need Help But Can’t Travel? We Will Come to You
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 while you should be focusing on your recovery.
If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of 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.
Make sure your legal rights are protected by calling us today!
Construction Accident Attorneys in Chicago
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.
For a free Case Consultation, call (312) 924-7575 to speak with a personal injury lawyer now.
There is no obligation on your part for speaking with us. Finally, we will never charge a fee unless there is a financial recovery on your behalf.