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 from 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 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 jobsite?,
- 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 efiling so it’s important to have an Rockford construction accident attorney who is well versed in the processes to file your claim;
- 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’ compensations system is “no fault,” 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.
Contact a Rockford Construction Accident Lawyer
If you have been injured on a jobsite, 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.