Construction Accidents
Serving Cook and DuPage Counties

Construction Accidents and Your Legal Rights

Construction is a dangerous occupation and if safety regulations are not followed, work sites can quickly become a place where accidents occur and workers become injured. As with any personal injury case, the first step in seeking compensation is to prove negligence and determine whether it was due to the actual site and safety conditions, faulty equipment, or if it was caused by a reckless employee.

Victims of construction site accidents in Chicago can file a personal injury lawsuit against the individuals or companies responsible for the accident. A personal injury lawsuit will allow the victim to get compensation for his or her injuries, including:

  • Medical cost
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of future income
  • Pain and suffering

If the accident resulted in death, surviving family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit against those responsible. A wrongful death claim will allow the family to get compensation for the loss of a loved one.

Common Causes of Construction Site Accidents

Construction sites are some of the most common areas for injury accidents. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the construction industry is one of the most dangerous industries in the United States, with a fatality rate higher than the national average. The most frequent hazards and safety citations by OSHA in the construction industry include:

  • Scaffolding
  • Fall protection
  • Excavations
  • Ladders
  • Head protection
  • Hazard communication
  • Electrical wiring, design, and protection

Our Chicago construction accident attorney Peter Wachowski, Partner at Bellas & Wachowski Attorneys at Law, can fight for what you deserve and there are no attorneys’ fees until you receive a proper settlement. Peter has over 25 years of experience in representing extremely complex cases. For example; Peter achieved a $950,000 settlement for a victim of an accident caused by a scaffold.

Peter Wachowski can help with cases involving all sorts of issues, including:

  • Scaffolds or ladders falls
  • Construction equipment that is faulty or fail to perform
  • Accidents due to power tools
  • Building materials that are dangerous
  • Exposure from chemicals
  • Negligent supervision
  • Injuries caused by cranes dropping objects

Get Full Compensation For Construction Accidents

Almost every construction site will have a mix of various contractors and employers. This can make it extremely difficult to determine who was directly responsible for the injury or death. Because of the complexities associated with construction accidents, it is advisable to hire a Chicago construction accident attorney who can help identify responsible parties and therefore recover compensation, even if an employer has begun paying workers’ compensation.

Examples of those who could be held liable for construction accident injury or wrongful death include:

  • Property owners can be held liable for an accident that occurs on their property. Under “premises liability” laws, property owners and occupiers owe a duty of care to others to keep the property safe from dangerous conditions. The duty owed is based on the type of visitor to the property.
  • Some construction accidents are caused by a faulty or defective product. Under product liability laws, whoever designs, manufactures, or sells a defective product is strictly liable for injuries caused by that product. The designer, manufacturer, or seller is liable even if that person or company was not negligent.
  • Construction site accidents can be caused by negligent employees of the construction company. The negligent employee could be held liable for their actions. However, under “Respondent Superior” laws, an employer can also be vicariously liable for the employee’s negligence.
  • Construction companies, contractors, and subcontractors can also be held liable for accidents if negligence is proven.
  • If an architect or engineer failed to meet required safety standards during design or at the point of construction, they can also be held liable for any accidents that cause injury or unlawful death. Contractor or subcontractor

Secure Maximum Recovery for Construction Injury Claims

If you have been injured in a workplace accident, there are a few things you can do to help secure workplace compensation as well as strengthen any claim to additional recoveries you may have:

  • At the scene of the accident
    • Medical Review: Request medical attention immediately even if your injury seems minor. Not only is it important to understand the extent of your injuries but will also help you to understand the cost associated with full recovery. If you’re not comfortable with the company doctor, get your own physician for a second opinion but you must do so immediately. Waiting any amount of time can severely impact your case.
    • Take Photographs: Photos of the area will be very important in helping to identify anything that potentially contributed to the accident including equipment, tools, etc.
    • Find Witness: A witness can add an unbiased accounting of what happened at the site so it’s important to find anyone who may have witnessed what occurred, have them sign a statement (if possible), and get their contact information.
    • Document What Happened: Write down everything that happened while it’s fresh in your mind. The information will become critical when you need to make a statement about your claim multiple times.
  • After the accident
    • Report your injury: Workplace injuries need to be reported in a timely manner and keep your supervisor or manager updated on all developments. If your doctor has diagnosed an injury that was not immediately evident at the time of your initial report, you must let your supervisor know.
    • Get a written report of the accident: Your employer must make a report of the accident and you are entitled to a copy as well.
    • Contact an attorney: Even if you plan on going through workers’ compensation, contact an attorney to help ensure you are receiving fair compensation.

Construction Workers Compensation vs Personal Injury Claims

If someone is injured on the job in a construction accident, their injuries may be covered by workers’ compensation. However, depending on who was injured and who was responsible for the accident, the injured worker may also file a personal injury lawsuit. Lawyers make a clear distinction between workers’ compensation and “third-party” construction accident cases.

Many construction and industrial accidents are covered by workers’ compensation. And by carrying workers’ compensation, employers can not be sued for a workplace injury and, in turn, injured workers will receive compensation for medical bills and wage replacement. However, there are many people on construction sites who are not part of the same company such (sub-contractors and general contractors) who will not provide those injured with workers’ compensation and may be sued. Often, these lawsuits (known as third-party lawsuits) can bring significantly more compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Experienced Construction Accident Injury Lawyer

Having an experienced Construction Accident Lawyer who understands the difference between workers’ compensation and personal injury lawsuits is critical in order to achieve full compensation for your injuries.

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