CHICAGO CONSTRUCTION ACCIDENT LAWYER
Life After A Construction Injury Can Be Tough. Get An Advocate On Your Side.
At Curcio Law Offices, we recognize that construction is one of the most dangerous occupations in America right now due to heavy machinery, falling objects, power lines, and so much more. Because of how dangerous they are, it’s important to be aware in a construction zone. That’s why injured workers need the best legal support behind them when they seek compensation for their construction injuries. Our attorneys have handled hundreds of workplace accident claims and intently pursue all possible sources of recovery for construction site accidents. If you or someone you love is suffering from a construction site injury, you need a Chicago construction accident lawyer on your side. Call Curcio Law today at 312-321-1111 for a free consultation.
Can an Injured Construction Worker Receive Workers Compensation Benefits in Illinois?
Yes, an injured worker can receive workers compensation due to injuries sustained at a construction site. Illinois in particular has a no-fault workers compensation program. Basically, this means that construction workers can receive workers compensation coverage for medical bills and lost wages. It’s important to note though that the Illinois Workers Compensation Act won’t cover these types of injuries:
- Injuries that occurred while an employee was committing a crime
- Self-inflicted injuries
- Injuries that happened while the employee wasn’t at work
- Injuries that occurred while an employee was violating company policy
Unfortunately under Illinois’ workers compensation law, a construction employee can’t sue their employer or construction company no matter how serious their injury is. However, they can file a third-party claim if desired.
What is a Third-Party Claim for Construction Site Injuries?
Third-party claims are legal claims made against a third party who was entirely or partly at fault for your injury. These types of claims aren’t made against an employer. Instead, an injured construction worker could file a claim against any responsible parties (a person or a company) whose negligence contributed to the serious injury.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer for Construction Site Injuries in Chicago?
It’s important to remember: never speak with an insurance agent or insurance company prior to contacting an experienced premises liability attorney. Insurance companies often try to blame the person injured for his or her injuries.
Attorneys who work on premises liability cases frequently work with investigators to establish cause and fault in these cases and establish liability. It’s imperative that if you have been injured on someone else’s property, or have been involved in an accident on a construction site, that you speak with someone who can represent your rights before speaking to any insurance agent so that your interests are protected instead of negotiated.
What are Common Accidents on Construction Sites?
According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, accidents in construction sites and construction industry deaths comprise more than a fifth of all work-related fatalities occurring on U.S. soil. Construction’s Fatal Four caused almost 60% of those construction worker fatalities, suggesting that industry employers must do more to eliminate associated risks for construction workers, such as providing better fall protection equipment. Listed below are construction’s fatal four injuries.
- Construction site falls
- Objects falling or striking
- Collapsing structures
Most Common Causes of Construction Accidents
Almost anyone or anything could cause a construction accident, resulting in serious injuries or even a wrongful death claim. Listed below are the most common causes of construction accidents that Chicago attorneys see.
- Lack of training or poor training
- Poor safety precautions
- Crane malfunctions
- Hoist malfunctions
- Harness malfunctions
- Collapsing structures
- Using equipment improperly
- Compressed gases
- Mechanical hazards
- Exposure to toxic substances
- Falling from tall structures
- Defective equipment
- Falling objects
- Welding malfunctions
Most Common Construction Site Injuries
Unfortunately, construction related accidents can result in a multitude of injuries. If you or a family member is suffering from a construction injury listed below, it’s crucial to seek immediate medical attention. Then, call an experienced construction accident attorney at Curcio Law.
Construction sites naturally pose a huge fire and explosion risk due to dangerous chemicals, exposed wires, leaking pipes, and more. Fires and explosions can cause major burn injuries.
Construction accidents can cause all sorts of head injuries, ranging from a minor concussion to a severe traumatic brain injury. These injuries can occur from heavy, falling objects like tools and debris. Hard hats can protect workers’ heads from this type of construction injury.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries are obviously incredibly dangerous and life-threatening because they can cause paralysis and brain damage. Construction accidents like falling from tall structures can cause these potentially fatal injuries.
Cuts and Scrapes
Construction accidents can also cause cuts and scrapes on the skin due to defective tools or even loose nails on the ground. If these injuries aren’t treated promptly and effectively, they can lead to serious infections. Infections can also occur if the object that cut a worker was rusty, dirty, or exposed to dangerous chemicals. Even if cuts and scrapes from construction projects appear minor, it’s important to receive medical treatment anyway.
Crushed or Broken Bones
The frequent use of heavy machinery can occasionally lead to severe cases of crushed or broken bones. Any type of equipment that isn’t used or secured properly can lead to severe injuries.
Similarly to broken bones, any kind of misused equipment can also lead to the loss of arms, legs, fingers, or toes. This type of injury could also happen at construction sites if any kind of heavy object falls on and traps a worker. Severely crushed hands or fingers could potentially lead to amputation as well.
Compared to the majority of other construction site injuries, hearing loss generally happens gradually rather than suddenly. Long-term exposure to loud machine and equipment noises can really take a toll on the quality of a worker’s hearing. Luckily, this issue can be generally prevented by wearing earplugs on the job every day. The only time hearing loss can happen suddenly is when a worker is hit in the head or on the ear by equipment or debris.
Construction workers can potentially suffer partial or complete vision loss from prolonged exposure to dangerous chemicals or gases. Similarly to hearing loss, workers could also lose their sight from getting hit in the head or the eyes with heavy or sharp objects.
Stress injuries generally refer to injuries caused by repetitive movements such as lifting, bending, twisting, and more. Unfortunately, some stress injuries can cause lifelong pain even with appropriate medical treatment.
Construction is a year-round necessity for our society. Roads always need fixing and houses always need building. This means that construction workers have to keep working no matter what the weather looks like. So a common injury, especially in the summer, is heat stroke from overexertion and sun exposure. Heat stroke typically begins with lightheadedness, nausea, and fainting. If a worker doesn’t seek immediate medical attention, they can suffer major brain, heart damage, or even death.
What to Include in a Construction Accident Report
It’s important to understand what to do after a construction accident. If you or someone you love suffered construction injuries, you will likely have to fill out some kind of accident report. In order to prevent any kind of speculation about how the construction accident happened, it’s important to include as many details as possible, including:
- All injuries sustained and a very specific description of what caused them
- All necessary medical treatments for the injuries
- The location where the construction accident happened
- The day and time of the accident
- Name of the injured person
- Names of those who watched the injury happen
- Witness statements about the construction accident
- Names of those involved in the construction accident
- Pictures and videos of the construction accident scene
The details involved in this report are crucial, especially if you decide to contact construction accident lawyers at Curcio Law. The more information and solid evidence we have to defend you, the better.
How to Improve Construction Site Safety
Because construction industry deaths comprise more than a fifth of all work-related fatalities in America, many construction companies face increasing pressure to improve safety while employees are at work. Listed below are some of the best things that construction companies can do to keep their employees safe.
Make Safety the Number One Priority
One of the best ways to prevent construction accidents is to make safety the number one priority for everyone. When safety comes first, fewer accidents happen which reduces costs and employee time off due to injuries.
If more employees are properly trained to use dangerous equipment, fewer accidents will happen. Construction workers should undergo consistent training throughout their careers as equipment and construction methods naturally change.
Create a Safety Committee
A set safety committee can formulate a safety plan that’s specific to all construction projects and sites. This safety committee can ensure proper execution of the plan every day, therefore reducing construction accident cases.
Hold all Employees Accountable
Every construction worker is responsible for protecting themselves and others. If one worker is consistently careless about safety protocols, construction companies should hold them accountable to reduce serious injuries.
Reward Employees Following Safety Protocols
Construction companies should also reward workers who consistently follow safety protocols, such as wearing all protective gear, reporting close calls, attending training and safety meetings, and more. This will encourage employees to be more careful on the job every day.
Conduct Frequent Construction Site Inspections and Safety Meetings
It’s important for job sites to undergo frequent inspections. This way, managers and employees are constantly aware of dangerous tools lying around as well as damaged equipment that needs fixing.