Every construction worker in Chicago, IL, deserves to work in an environment that is safe and fit for purpose. Not only do construction workers deserve the peace of mind that their working environment is safe, but it’s required by law. The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, states that three important duties must always be performed by employers, they must:
- Guarantee the provision of equipment able to prevent the occurrence of fatal and non-fatal accidents.
- Provide a safe workplace without hazards that could cause fatal and non-fatal accidents.
- Ensure expected construction industry standards are always adhered to by the construction company in every practice.
However, year after year, there are still a staggering number of reported injuries in the construction sector, in Chicago and across America. In 2016 alone, there were 991 fatal construction accidents reported, which accounts for 21.1% of worker fatalities in that year. As well as the devastating number of fatalities, caused primarily by falls, being caught by equipment or struck by objects, and electrocutions, there were 197,700 reported construction injuries in the same year.
An injury on a construction site can cause devastating repercussions for both the injured party, and their close family and friends. The severity of injuries can range from those that mean a few days or weeks must be taken off work, to injuries that can leave an individual unable to work for months, years, or even the rest of their lives. In the worst cases, accidents on a construction site can be fatal.
If you have sustained an injury on a construction site, or you know somebody who has sustained a fatal or non-fatal injury, then it’s important to know that you may be entitled to receive compensation for the accident. A workers’ compensation claim and third-party claim can help to cover many associated losses that can occur after an accident, such as: medical bills, the recovery of lost wages, and compensation for your pain and suffering after the accident.
If you’re considering making a construction accident claim for compensation, then contacting a Chicago construction accident lawyer is a very important step to take. You can even contact our Chicago and south and southwest suburban accident attorneys on behalf of a loved one, if you believe compensation is due for a fatal or non-fatal construction injury.
Contacting a construction accident lawyer can help you to gain clarity about your claim, see where you may be eligible to get compensation, and gain advice on what compensation you might be able to claim. If you’re unsure where you stand with your eligibility for construction accident compensation, then contacting the team at William S. Wojcik, Ltd. in Oak Lawn, IL, should be just first point of call.
The Expected Standards of Construction Sites
Construction sites can be an incredibly dangerous environment to work in. To protect construction workers from the common risks associated with the unique environment on a construction site, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides a list of 28 regulation standards that are designed to provide a standard for the minimum health and safety that construction sites should adhere to.
These standards apply to all different areas of construction work undertaken in Chicago, including work that involves demolition, maintenance, and explosive use. Big construction projects and small construction projects alike, have a requirement to adhere to the regulations to provide a safe working environment for employees. The 28 standards that a construction sites must adhere to, include:
- General Interpretations
- General Safety and Health Provisions
- Occupational Health and Environmental Controls
- Personal Protective and Life Saving Equipment
- Fire Protection and Prevention
- Signs, Signals, and Barricades
- Materials Handling, Storage, Use, and Disposal
- Tools – Hand and Power
- Welding and Cutting
- Fall Protection
- Helicopters, Hoists, Elevators, and Conveyors
- Motor Vehicles, Mechanized Equipment, and Marine Operations
- Concrete and Masonry Construction
- Steel Erection
- Underground Construction, Caissons, Cofferdams, and Compressed Air
- Blasting and the Use of Explosives
- Electric Power Transmission and Distribution
- Rollover Protective Structures; Overhead Protection
- Stairways and Ladders
- Commercial Diving Operations
- Toxic and Hazardous Substances
- Confined Spaces in Construction
- Cranes & Derricks in Construction (Including Standard Hand Signals, Assembly/Disassembly, and Operator Certification)
There are numerous subcategories outlined in each sector of the OSHA regulations, providing extensive and in-depth regulations for all types of construction environment. These range from sanitation regulations under General Safety and Health Provisions, to accident prevention signs and tags, under Signs, Signals, and Barricades.
What Are the Common Construction Site Accidents?
Accidents on a construction site can happen in a multitude of ways, resulting in injuries both minor and severe, and in the worst cases, fatality. Some of the most common accidents that can result in an injury being sustained on a construction site, include:
- Construction collapses: crane, platform, wall, hole, or ladder
- Lack of adequate fencing or guards
- Falls from scaffolding
- Trips and falls
- Defects in machinery or machinery accidents; such as forklift accidents
- Malfunctions of electrical equipment or wiring
- Equipment failure: such as during welding, using safety equipment, or other tools
- Falling debris from construction
- Accidents during loading or on an assembly line
- Accidents with explosives and demolition
Falls are classed as the number one most common accident to be suffered on a construction site, accounting for 384 of the 991 fatal construction accidents to have occurred in 2016, according to OSHA statistics. Accidents from falls could be the result of unsuitable safety equipment, unsafe environments at a height, or malfunctions in equipment.
If you have been involved in any of the common construction site accidents and believe that the accident was the fault of another, then it’s crucial to contact a Chicago construction accident lawyer as soon as possible. Whether your injury was minor, such as a sprain sustained whilst tripping in an unsafe environment, or serious, such as in the case of broken bones, then you may be entitled to claim compensation for your injuries.
What Injuries Can Be the Result of Construction Accidents?
Sprains and broken bones account for only a small number of the injuries that can be sustained on a construction site. The multitude of possible accidents that can occur, mean that there are numerous injuries that could be claimed for. Some of the most common construction injuries, include:
- Single or multiple bone fractures
- Burns or lacerations
- Concussions and comas
- Sprains and tears
- Single or multiple limb amputation
- Back and joint injuries
- Brain injuries
How Quickly Should You Make a Claim After an Accident in Construction?
In Chicago, IL, an individual has a period of two years in which to make a claim for a case of injury to person under civil law, as stated in the Illinois Civil Statue of Limitation Law. In the case of mental illness or injury to a minor, this limit of 2 years can occasionally be extended.
However, while the limit is two years to make a claim, it’s highly advised that you start the process of making a claim as quickly as you’re able to after a construction accident. This ensures that you get the support you need during your recovery, are better able to preserve evidence of your accident, and an attorney can gather the relevant information and accounts needed, while the incident is still fresh in everyone’s minds.
It’s vital to protect your rights after an injury sustained on a construction site. There are a number of actions you should take as soon as possible after sustaining an injury:
- Seek immediate medical attention
- Retain any evidence, including photographs of the injury and the location of the accident
- Ensure you have contact details for any witnesses
- File an injury report with your employer and make sure you personally note the report
Delaying your compensation claim case may hinder your ability to prove liability of the incident and prolong your access to compensation to cover vital expenses, like medical expenses and wage losses. If you’re worried about your eligibility for compensation, it’s important not to delay, but contact a Chicago construction accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Who Is Liable for the Injuries Caused by the Accident?
In the case of an accident in a construction site that has led to a fatal or non-fatal injury, there are multiple parties that could be liable. It may be possible to make a claim for compensation in Chicago, IL, against these different parties:
- Project Architects and Engineers
- Insurance Companies
- Property Owners
- Contractors (General, Prime, and Sub)
- Construction Companies
- Manufacturers of Products
- Engineering Companies
To help establish which party may be liable for your accident, either through negligence, faults, or malpractice, it’s crucial that you seek the advice of a professional construction accident lawyer. There is an extensive list of services that construction accident lawyers Chicago area wide can offer in the event of a construction accident.
What Can a Chicago Construction Accident Lawyer Do for You?
In 2016, there were 4100 recorded cases of injury and illness in the construction industry in Illinois. Of those 4100 cases, 2000 resulted in a job transfer, job restriction, or time having to be spent away from work.
If you have suffered an accident on a construction site, like thousands of residents of Chicago then construction accident attorneys can help. To get the compensation for a job site injury that you deserve, you can speak to a professional attorney, and discuss your case; how the accident occurred, and what you believe was the cause of the accident.
At William S. Wojcik, Ltd. in Oak Lawn, there are a number of key services that we can provide to help establish your ground for a compensation claim, as well as providing essential advice on what to do next. These expert services, include:
Advice on Legal Rights – Making a compensation claim for the first time can be very worrying, especially if you don’t know where you stand with your legal rights. At William S. Wojcik, Ltd., we’ll always ensure that you get professional, comprehensive advice on your legal rights, and all the information you need about pursuing a compensation claim against the liable party.
Construction Claim Evaluation – As well as the potential of pursuing a construction accident claim, at William S. Wojcik, Ltd. in Oak Lawn, Illinois, we’ll also assess whether it’s required to pursue a workers’ compensation claim, take product liability action, or file a premises liability claim. We will work with you to establish liability and explore all avenues of third party claims.
Construction Site Inspection – Once you contact William S. Wojcik, Ltd. to inform us of your accident, we will make sure that the construction site where the accident took place is fully inspected. This ensures that evidence of negligence, faults, or malpractice, is preserved to provide as evidence for your claim.
The highly trained and skilled construction accident lawyer team we have at William S. Wojcik, Ltd., will always make sure that you are kept fully informed and involved with your compensation claim. We’ll be with you every step of the way, ensuring that you have access to the best legal advice, and know exactly what you may be entitled to receive.
Receiving Compensation for a Construction Accident
The exact amount of compensation that an individual is entitled to will differ from case to case. Severe injuries will normally be awarded a much larger sum of compensation, especially in cases where there are ongoing complications that result in significant lifestyle changes. Whether you’re considering making a construction compensation claim for your own accident in Chicago, or a loved ones’, there are many areas of compensation to consider.
Four of the main areas that compensation claims can cover, include:
Medical Expenses – Compensation for medical expenses can cover all areas of medical care, including the emergency room costs, the cost of prescription medication, and physical therapy during rehabilitation.
Loss of Wages – It may be possible to recover all or some of your lost wages if you have needed to miss work due to your injury. With a third-party claim, this compensation can include past wages, future wages, and certain benefits, such as your insurance and retirement funds.
Pain and Suffering – This form of compensation can be very different from case to case but entitles an individual to compensation for the pain of their injury and the subsequent suffering.
Lifestyle Change Expenses – Serious injuries can result in major lifestyle changes, such as in the event of amputation. Above and beyond loss of wages in the future, this compensation can cover some situations like required home renovations and special transportation.
Compensation can be claimed in many different ways, beyond the four main areas stated above. With the help of one of the professional construction accident lawyers at William S. Wojcik, Ltd, you may be able to claim compensation for specific cases such as wrongful death or minor or severe disfigurement, caused as a result of the construction accident in Chicago, Illinois.
What Makes William S. Wojcik, Ltd. the Best Attorney Practice to Use for Construction Accidents in Chicago?
Sustaining an accident in the workplace, and especially on a construction site, can be a terrible experience. It can be incredibly stressful when you don’t know where you stand with claiming for construction accident compensation, when faced with loss of wages and mounting medical expenses.
This is where William S. Wojcik, Ltd., in Oak Lawn, IL, can step in to provide help and guidance during your injury recovery. Our expert team of construction accident attorneys will help you with every stage of your compensation claim. From investigating your workplace and helping to discover who is liable, to informing you what you may be eligible to receive and filing your claim, we can help you every step of the way.
The Law Firm of William S. Wojcik, Ltd. has years of experience in construction accident law, in and around Chicago and Oak Lawn, Illinois. Over the years, we have represented tradesman in all areas of construction, including:
- Steel Workers
- Structural Workers
- Sheet Metal Workers
Our cases have covered a vast range of injuries, such as injuries sustained as a result of falling debris in the workplace. We have also successfully represented plaintiffs who have suffered from fractures, and those that have required surgical intervention to recover from serious injuries.
No matter if your injury is big or small, William S. Wojcik., Ltd are on hand to provide legal advice and guidance throughout your recovery. If you have suffered an injury on a construction site, or are representing a loved one, please contact us today to book an appointment with a dedicated construction accident lawyer at William S. Wojcik, Ltd.
At William S. Wojcik, Ltd., you’re always guaranteed a friendly face and expert legal advice.