Construction sites remain some of the most hazardous work environments for laborers and tradespeople. Construction site injuries may arise due to the negligence of another worker on the site or perhaps due to an oversight by a general or sub-contractor.
Complex business relationships, different theories of recovery
When a construction site injury does occur, the injured worker may have a workers compensation case against their employer. A second cause of action may also arise if the injury was attributable to the negligence of an employee of another company, or perhaps an oversight of a different company working on the site.
Recovery from a third-party (not the direct employer)
Sometimes, a cause of action pursued against a company — separate from the employer — gives rise to different legal rights than the rights afforded an injured worker under the terms of workers compensation alone. This is known as a third-party claim.
Because a claim against a third party is usually based on negligence, an injured worker can pursue the following benefits that are usually not covered by workers compensation:
- Past and future lost wages
- Past and future medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death
Establishing legal responsibility for an injury
Because construction sites are frequently busy places that are usually off limits to the general public, it is of utmost importance that an investigation into a construction injury be initiated as soon as feasible, in order to secure evidence that may help establish the fault of a party.
Construction’s “Fatal Four”
Construction injuries and fatalities comprise a large portion of all the serious work related injuries every year. OSHA attributes 17.5% of all the fatalities in private industry in 2011 to the construction field. Of these fatalities, there is what is referred to as the “fatal four” causes that accounted for nearly 3 out 5 deaths of construction workers.
- Falls. It is no surprise that falls are at the top of the fatal four, as falls in general contribute to the most overall accidental deaths besides motor vehicle accidents. In construction fatalities, falls were responsible for 35% in 2011.
- Struck by object. The 2nd highest killer for workers were those struck by an object, which made of 10% of the fatalities. This could be equipment, fall debris or other objects sustaining fatal injuries on impact.
- Electrocution. A close third behind being struck was electrocution at 9%. With high voltage being used in construction projects and the proximity to power lines, there is a constant danger of electrocution.
- Caught-In/Between. The last of the fatal four is due to the worker being crushed between objects or equipment.
OSHA estimates that 410 lives a year could be saved if the fatal four were eliminated. Some of these also correlate with some of the top ten OSHA standards that were violated and cited in 2011, including scaffolding regulations, fall safety, electrical methods, ladders and machine guarding.
Illinois is also has a high rate of construction worker injuries. In a report issues by the Department of Health of Illinois, construction workers were in the top job classifications for work injuries. It was estimated that 1 out of 25 workers were injured each year in the construction field, making it a high-risk occupation for injury. Below is a sampling of some of the skilled workers our job-site accident attorneys have represented:
- Bricklayers / tuckpointers
- Heavy Equipment Operators
Construction injury lawyers working for you
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers knows the emotional strain and financial uncertainly that impact both the injured worker and his or her family. Given the lasting significance that accompanies construction injury cases, our Chicago construction accident attorneys frequently draws upon experts to assist in both proving fault and establishing damages. Experts in the following fields have been used on our construction injury cases:
- Vocational Counseling
If you or a family member was injured on a construction site in Illinois, we welcome the opportunity to discuss your available legal options at your home, in your hospital room, or at our office. Our work accident attorneys have recovered millions of dollars on behalf of workers like you. Let us investigate your case for you and insure that you and your family recover maximum damages for your injuries.