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Construction Equipment Injuries

Heavy Equipment Operators Accidents & Chicago, IL Workers Comp Lawyers

Many industries have workers that run heavy equipment such as paving machines, earth moving machines, and other large equipment. These heavy equipment operators may be working on a commercial construction site, building roadways, or digging underground.

Due to the nature of their jobs, these workers are exposed to the risk of accidents both from the equipment they work with and the environments where they are needed.

Were you injured in a construction accident involving heavy equipment? Did you suffer construction injuries or lost a loved one from a preventable fatality?

The personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC represent injured victims harmed in hazardous conditions. Contact our construction accident lawyers today at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case. We represent clients throughout Illinois, including Cook County, Kane County, Lake County, McHenry County, Peoria County, Winnebago County, and others.

Chicago Construction Equipment Accident Lawyer

Types Of Heavy Equipment Used on Construction Sites and Other Industrial Environment

There are many different types of heavy equipment that require a skilled operator to run them. In 2010 there were over 400,000 workers that ran heavy equipment in the U.S.

These workers were almost all employed, with only 4% being self-employed. The top industries that employed these operators were:

  • Road and bridge construction
  • State and local government projects
  • Utility companies
  • Specialty trades

These workers may be driving and maintaining equipment such as: paving or asphalt equipment, cranes, backhoes, bulldozers, front end loaders, excavators, or pile driving equipment. These machines are heavy and have many moving parts, putting a significant risk on their operators.
If you or a family member was injured while working as a heavy equipment operator during a construction accident, you are likely entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Contact the construction injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC for more information and a free review of your legal rights and options.

Chicago Construction Equipment Accident Attorney

Dangerous Workplace Conditions: Injured Construction Workers

According to OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), more than 5300 workers died in a construction accident in 2019. On average, construction fatalities from accidents accounted for more than 100 every week, or fifteen preventable deaths each day.

Over 1050 workplace fatalities occurred that year in the construction industry, accounting for 20% of all worker deaths nationwide. The most common OSHA standard violations for that year included:

  • Failing to use fall protection on construction sites when working at any height
  • Fatal injury construction accident caused by scaffolding problems, including falling and collapses
  • Lockout/tag-out fatalities from failing to control hazardous energy
  • Failing to use adequate respiratory protection to avoid inhaling toxic chemicals
  • Falls from ladders, scaffolding, lifts, and other elevating equipment
  • Construction accidents involving powered industrial trucks
  • Fatal injuries involving machinery and machine guarding
  • Fatal injuries from not wearing face and eye protection

Statistically, worker deaths dropped by more than 40% in the last five decades from thirty-eight deaths each day in 1970 to 15 deaths daily in 2019. The reduction of construction accident claims is likely due to improved safety regulations at the work site.

Heavy Equipment Operator Injuries

When operating heavy equipment, the operator must be concerned with their safety and the safety of others. These large pieces of machinery can be deadly to both those operating them and those working on the same site.

Some common causes of heavy equipment accidents are:

  • A Tip or rollover construction injury accident. According to a 2006 study by the Journal of Safety Research, over half of heavy equipment operator deaths are from rollover construction accidents
  • Collision or backup injuries. A significant source of injuries involving heavy equipment involves backing up into or hitting workers that are on the ground.
  • Repetitive motion injuries. As heavy equipment operators often work controls for several hours a day, repetitive motion injuries are common to muscles and tendons.
  • Hearing loss. The constant excessive noise that is associated with many types of heavy equipment can cause hearing damage.

Highway and street construction is one of the leading employers of heavy equipment operators. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this construction results in an average of 100 fatalities a year and over 20,000 construction accident injuries. Of all these injuries, 30% involve heavy equipment operators.

Chicago Construction Equipment Accident Lawyers

Injured Chicago Construction Workers: Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim

Nearly every construction worker is eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits when involved in a construction accident in the workplace. In Illinois, the worker’s compensation “no-fault” system is a monetary benefit program paying benefits to employees injured on the job until they heal sufficiently to return to work.

An injured employee harmed on the job does not have to prove that someone else’s negligence led to their work injuries. The employee only has to prove that they suffered a construction injury and that it happened during the scope or course of their employment.

Nearly every employer and general contractor must carry workers compensation insurance to pay out on any construction accident injury claim for an employee injured at the work site to cover their:

  • Hospitalization costs
  • Emergency room expenses
  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages from time away from work

Future lost earnings due to a temporary/permanent partial or total disability

For validation purposes, the worker must document that their injuries from the construction accident are real. To receive workers’ compensation payments, the injured employee must agree not to sue their employer unless the employee can show that the employer’s negligence was egregious or intentional.

Our construction accident lawyers know that many families have unanswered questions about filing and resolving an injury case involving construction site negligence. Our law firm has answered some of those questions by clients below. Contact the construction accident attorney now at (888) 424-5757 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case. We are here to help.

Chicago Construction Equipment Accident Law firm

Additional Construction Worker Benefits: Filing a Third-Party Claim

In addition to receiving worker’s compensation benefits, the injured employee might be entitled to file a civil lawsuit or claim against a third-party person or entity. Typically, third-party claims might involve subcontractors, vendors, architects, suppliers, engineers, on-site visitors, equipment manufacturers, heavy equipment rental companies, or others.
A construction accident lawyer working on behalf of injured victims might be able to prove a case against a third-party following Illinois law that includes:
  • Someone else or another company had a duty to act reasonably and safely to prevent a construction accident
  • The third-party failed to perform that duty leading to negligence or intentional act, and victims were injured as a result of the third party’s negligence.
Common construction accidents involving a third-party might involve the situation including:
  • The victim fell from scaffolding because it was improperly erected
  • A truck driver or heavy equipment operator drove recklessly, leading to a construction accident
  • The construction accident involved defectively designed safety equipment, including fall protection and harnesses, leading to the worker’s injury
  • Defective equipment led to an electrical shock through faulty or exposed wiring
  • The victim suffered repetitive motion injuries
  • The injury was the result of bad decisions or faulty equipment leading to spilled or leaking hazardous chemicals/toxins like asbestos
  • The victim was injured due to an improperly built barrier trench that collapsed
Sometimes, the victim is injured due to equipment malfunction due to substandard manufacturing or faulty design. A personal injury attorney can file a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer, designer, or supplier in these cases.

A product liability lawsuit is a civil action that must be proved in court. These construction accident cases are built on proving elements, including:

  • The piece of equipment or tool that injured the employee was unreasonably dangerous
  • The designer, manufacturer, or supplier allowed the sale of the dangerous piece of equipment
  • The victim was using the equipment or tools in the manner of its design
  • The dangerous defect caused the equipment or tool to injure the victim
Severe construction accident workplace injuries include head trauma, spinal cord injuries, severed limbs (amputation), deep cuts, lacerations, internal organ damage, and crushing injuries.

Construction Worker Injuries FAQs

Our Chicago construction accident attorneys know that many families have unanswered questions concerning filing and resolving an injury case or Worker’s Compensation claim. Our law firm has answered some of those questions below.

Contact a personal injury lawyer at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case. A construction accident lawyer is ready to help.

What is the Most Common Injury in Construction?

More employees suffer a construction site injury from falling on the job than any other type of harm in the workplace. A construction accident can occur from working at any height, while on a scaffold or ladder, or from a slippery surface.

Nearly all construction site accidents involving falling are preventable if the employer provides fall protection equipment and follows safety procedures. Construction companies could be held legally liable for a worker injured in a construction accident, paid through the Worker's Compensation program, or from an insurance company policy.

How Do Construction Workers Die?

Construction accidents in Chicago happen every day, where workers suffer traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord damage, broken bones, and wrongful death. Typically, the worksite is extremely dangerous, placing every worker at risk of injury in a construction accident.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, two construction workers lose their lives each day nationwide in a construction accident. A construction accident can occur when safety regulations are violated by the worker, foreman, subcontractor, or general contractor.

More men die each year in construction accidents than women. Some of these accidents are the result of defective tools from the equipment manufacturer or supplier. Other fatalities involve falling, electrocution, being struck by an object, or crushing injury when caught between objects.

What are Significant Injuries that Can Occur on a Construction Site?

Any Chicago construction accident could result in serious harm when the worker experiences:

  • Fractures and broken bones
  • Fatal electrocution or electrical shock
  • Severed or amputated limbs
  • Burns from explosions or exposure to fire
  • Abrasions, lacerations, and cuts from building material, machinery, and tools
  • Suffocation from collapsing trenches
  • Exposure to hazardous material
  • Repetitive motion injury
  • Exhaustion from overexertion
  • Heatstroke

Is Construction the Most Dangerous Industry?

According to OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), nearly one in five worker fatalities in 2019 occurred during a construction accident. That year, over 1000 construction employees lost their lives in a construction accident.

One-third of those deaths occurred by falling from an elevated height including on a scaffold, ladder, or platform. Family members who lost a loved one could file a civil lawsuit using construction accident representation to ensure a successful outcome.

Contact Chicago Construction Accident Lawyers With Experience Prosecuting Heavy Equipment Injury Cases

There is a significant risk for injury on the job for those who operate and work close to heavy equipment on a construction project. Employers have a duty to their workers to maintain a safe work environment and provide adequate protection from injury.

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a heavy machinery accident, you need a law firm experienced with construction accidents to advise you on your legal rights.

The Chicago construction accident attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC are ready to work with you to get the best financial compensation your case deserves. Our construction accident law firm accepts all personal injury cases and wrongful death lawsuits through contingency fee agreements, meaning you will pay no upfront fees until we have secured financial compensation for your family.

Call a construction accident lawyer at (888) 424-5757 to schedule your free consultation. We can help ensure the value of your personal injury claim is maximized under Illinois law to provide for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain.

Our Chicago construction accident lawyers represent clients across the United States and in Illinois, including Cook County, DuPage County, Lake County, McHenry County, Peoria County, Sangamon County Will County, and Winnebago County.

Resources for construction accidents:

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