Each year, construction accidents claim hundreds of lives and injure thousands more. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1,034 workers died in construction fatalities in 2016. The rate of injury was also 3.2 per 100 workers, meaning over 3% of construction workers will suffer an injury or illness on the job. If you have been injured, or if a loved one has died, then you need an experienced Rockford construction accident lawyer.
Common Construction Accidents
Construction workers can be injured in many ways. However, there are four leading causes of injuries, which the government calls the “fatal four”:
- Falls. A worker can fall from scaffolding or an upper level on a construction project.
- Electrocution. A worker’s machinery can contact a power line, or the worker otherwise contacts a live wire. Electrocution can lead to death, brain damage, and internal organ injuries.
- Getting struck by objects. Heavy loads of equipment can swing out and strike a construction worker.
- Being crushed or caught in-between. Workers can be crushed by collapsing scaffolding or caught between two heavy objects.
In addition to death, construction workers can suffer head injuries, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, broken bones, and burns. These injuries require thousands of dollars of medical treatment and can keep a construction worker off the job for months.
What Happens to the Victims of These Accidents?
In most cases, the victims are abandoned and frustrated, unable to fend for themselves while dealing with the pain of their injuries. Most victims are left unable to earn a decent income anymore.
A lawsuit offers victims a lifeline as they can pursue worker’s compensation, and receive their due benefits. As much as the benefits only cover part of your medical bills or lost wages, it’s never enough to cover your damages. Having a reputable Rockford construction accident lawyer is an invaluable resource in your efforts to get back on your feet. Let our experienced lawyers at Tuite Law help you pursue justice for your personal injury compensation resulting from the construction accident.
How Do These Construction Accidents Happen?
Working in the construction environment has many risks from different dangerous scenarios. The construction worker is always working in different places like on scaffolding or a ladder or on the ground, where they operate heavy equipment. This equipment poses dangerous threats to your well-being in the event of a malfunction.
Many construction accidents have similar characteristics that are common in the injuries workers sustain. The cause of the injuries is:
- Falling objects like tools, general debris, or building materials.
- Falling from a scaffold or ladder, cranes, or any other elevated places.
- Exposure to corrosive or toxic substances
- Malfunctioning equipment like power tools, excavators, or backhoes.
- Fires and explosions
- Slip and fall accidents or electrocutions.
What to Do After a Construction Accident
Rockford construction workers should be covered under their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. As a result, you must take the following steps:
- Notify your employer as soon as possible that you have been injured on the job
- Receive prompt medical attention. Tell the doctor you were injured on the job
- Follow your doctor’s advice. If you don’t, you might make your injuries worse
- Write down exactly how the accident happened. Were you working with a tool or piece of machinery that malfunctioned when you were injured? Did you trip and fall because of a hazardous condition at the job site?
- Hold onto all medical bills and receipts
- Calculate how much time you have missed from work
- Illinois also now requires e-filing for all documents. So you can’t just walk over to the courthouse and file a claim with the clerk like you used to. Representing yourself is now much harder with e-filing so it’s important to have a Rockford construction accident attorney who is well versed in the processes to file your claim; and
- Be prompt with your claim. If you’ve been hurt, you’ve got a very short window to file a claim, so it’s important to get representation early.
Your construction accident lawyer will find all this information helpful when determining what legal action to take if any.
Workers’ Compensation and Injured Workers
Illinois’ workers’ compensation system is a “no-fault” system, meaning you do not need to show your employer was careless or reckless to receive benefits. Instead, you qualify simply by being injured on the job.
However, one trade-off of the workers’ compensation system is that you give up the ability to sue your employer for your injuries. Your employer is immune even if they flagrantly violated government safety rules and regulations. Furthermore, workers’ compensation benefits are often inadequate and do not fully compensate workers for their injuries.
Nevertheless, in certain situations, injured construction workers might be able to bring a third-party lawsuit against someone other than their employer:
- If a defective product or piece of machinery injured you, you might sue the manufacturer.
- If a vendor or client injured you, you could sue them for your injuries.
- If a member of the public injured you, then you can sue the person for compensation.
- If you’re a subcontractor, then you can sue the general contractor or vice versa. Just not your direct employer.
Third-party lawsuits allow injured construction workers to receive full compensation for lost wages and pain and suffering. To check whether you have a valid claim against a third party, meet with a Rockford construction accident attorney right away to review your case.
Are Construction Workers Eligible for More Than Worker’s Compensation?
The answer you will get when you start asking around is you only have worker’s compensation. However, this isn’t true. It’s what your construction employer or third party employer wants you to know to reduce their financial burden. This happens a lot if they owe you compensation for your construction accident.
The truth is that you are eligible for more compensation. Your eligibility for personal injury compensation depends on scenarios like:
Employer Doesn’t Have a Worker’s Compensation Insurance
It’s expected that your construction employer is paying for this insurance to ensure you can be compensated in case of an injury. If your employer doesn’t have this insurance, you can liaise with your lawyer and file a personal injury claim.
Third-Party Accident or Injury Causes
It means that your employer or you did not cause your injury on the construction site. You should name the third-party responsible for the personal injury claim. For instance, it may be a speeding vehicle that lost control and bumped into you on the construction site while working.
Exposure to Toxic Substances
For instance, there is a poisonous substance in the construction site that harmed you. You can pursue compensation from whichever company manufactured the substance.
You Are Hurt by a Malfunctioning Product
Equipment like jackhammer, loaders, saws can malfunction and cause severe injuries. The equipment manufacturers are under obligation to ensure their products are safe for use without causing construction accidents. In case this happens, you can consult your Rockford construction lawyer to file a personal injury claim against the manufacturer for your injuries due to that defect.
The Employer Is Intentionally Negligent
You can sue your employer for intentionally failing to provide protective gear while working in a dangerous environment. You have grounds for filing a personal injury claim for any injuries you sustain.
Contact a Rockford Construction Accident Lawyer
Your legal team at Tuite Law gets a clear picture of the injuries and how the injuries affect your life. These injuries have a direct impact on your claim value. Our qualified lawyers help you get due compensation or your damages which cover:
- Emotional trauma
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Medical expenses inclusive of future treatments
- Pain and suffering
- Reduce the quality of life
If you have been injured on a job site, we want to hear from you. At Tuite Law, we have helped many injured workers receive the compensation they deserve. Please contact us today to schedule your free consultation.