Chicago Ironworker Injury Lawyer
Many of America's largest human-made structures were made in part by ironworkers, including bridges and skyscrapers.
In 2015, there were approximately 56,100 iron or steelworker jobs in the U.S., 85% of which were in the construction industry. These hard-working individuals have physically demanding jobs that are also at a high-risk for injury or even death.
The Chicago, IL personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC can help you pursue a construction accident lawsuit, workers' compensation benefits, and justice to hold these companies accountable for everything you and your loved ones have endured.
Learn more about how we can help to file a personal injury lawsuit and workers compensation claim on your behalf. Arrange a free consultation with an experienced Chicago ironworker injury attorney at no cost or obligation.
Iron Worker Duties
There are many different jobs and duties classified under iron workers. In general, these workers install iron or steel beams, girders, and columns that make up buildings and bridges' structural support. Some of the duties an iron worker might perform include:
- Cutting steel. Ironworkers weld, cut, and bend steel for the structures they help build in the field.
- Position beams and girders. Ironworkers align and position the beams, girders, and columns as hoisted into place in the field or worksite. The job involves standing high up on a structure, guiding the iron or steel piece into place.
- Connections. Ironworkers will use bolts and welding to connect the iron and steel structures and hold them in position.
- Crane operation. Large cranes are often used to lift these heavy beams. An ironworker might operate the cranes or signal the crane operators to direct the positioning of iron or steel structures.
If you or a family member suffered injuries in a construction accident while working as an ironworker, you are likely entitled to workers compensation benefits. Contact the workers compensation attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC for more information and a free review of your legal rights and options.
Ironworkers must contend with many dangers of their occupation. Heavy lifting, welding hazards, and fall risks are just a few of the possible causes of serious accidents that ironworkers face.
The occupation is one of the highest risk jobs for fatal and non-fatal injuries and illnesses, ranking consistently in the top 10 in several injury areas. In 2008, ironworkers ranked as the fourth most dangerous job in the U.S., with a fatality rate of 46.9 deaths per 100,000 full-time workers.
- Falls. Ironworkers are ten times more likely to incur a fall-related death on a construction site than any other construction job. Often workers balance on beams only a few inches wide, several stories or more above the ground, leading to severe accidents.
- Amputations. Ironworkers use dangerous equipment to weld sharp objects that increase the potential risk of severe cuts and severed limbs. Many catastrophic amputation injuries are the result of using malfunctioning power tools.
- Severe burns. The intense heat generated by welding equipment and flying sparks while working can severely damage the ironworker's eyes, leading to vision loss. Without proper protective equipment, including gloves, clothing, and goggles, the welder can suffer life-altering harm.
- Cancer risk. In a NIOSH study on 13,000 ironworkers over seven years, the study group had much higher instances of lung cancer and mesothelioma than the rest of the U.S. population.
- Welding hazards. Ironworkers are ranked second in jobs that have exposure to harmful fumes and radiation associated with welding.
- Hit-by injury. An ironworker's work environment is extremely hazardous, where the worker can be struck by objects from a great height, including metal components, rebar, and other construction materials falling from above.
- Impalement. Welder's work in an unsafe environment around sharp objects, rebar, and other metals could impale the ironworker who slipped and fell, causing impalement.
- Exertion injuries. Due to the heavy materials and equipment ironworkers’ handle, they are at high risk for back injuries and musculoskeletal disorders, such as ruptured discs, tendonitis, and carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Non-fatal injuries. Ironworkers rank second overall in non-fatal work injuries with 392.7 injuries per 10,000 workers per year. The non-fatal accident in average in 2008 for all industries was 113 per 10,000 men and women.
OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) documents the contributing factors leading to catastrophic harm on a job site. Many injured ironworkers suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome, knee bursitis, elbow injury, lower back pain, and rotator cuff damage. Most injured workers were harmed getting caught in between something, struck by something, or falling.
Filing a Third-Party Claim
Injured workers can file an Illinois Workers Compensation claim to receive benefits awarded without proving who was at fault for causing the accident. However, in some injury cases, the employee can file a personal injury liability claim against others that might involve a subcontractor, vendor, maintenance crews, or property owner.
Third-party claims are often the result of someone else’s involvement in construction site accidents other than the employer. Typically, compensation claims resolved through a negotiated settlement or jury trial verdict do not involve coworkers, supervisors, forepersons, or management.
Instead, a personal injury claim might involve a design or manufacturing defect that led to a construction accident causing harm. For example, an employee working with defective machinery could suffer severe injuries or death.
In this example, the injured ironworker or surviving families could file a Workers Compensation claim to pay for hospitalization costs, medical expenses, and lost wages.
However, if it is determined that other parties were involved, an additional personal injury claim would provide additional compensation to pay for other damages, including:
- Funeral/burial costs,
- Loss of consortium,
- Loss of enjoyment of life,
- Mental anguish, pain, and suffering
In a different example, a worker might slip and fall on a slippery restroom floor moments after an independent janitorial company left the area without posting wet floor warning signs.
In some cases, the injured worker can file a liability claim against others involved in the accident that caused them harm. However, to successfully resolve a personal injury claim, the claimant (injured employee) must prove that the other party was negligent.
The proof might involve:
- Another individual, business, or entity owed the injured worker a duty of care,
- Another individual, business, or entity breached their duty of care to the injured victim,
- The breach resulted in the victim’s injuries or wrongful death,
- The injuries lead to monetary damages.
The need to prove wrongful act, omission, fault, or negligence can be complicated, showing a connection of how the victim suffered injuries by another's actions. Typically, the victim will hire trial lawyers who specialize in liability compensation claims.
Contact us today for a free consultation with one of our Chicago, IL trial lawyers who can advise you of your legal rights and options.
Taking the Case to Trial
Third-party claims filed in the State of Illinois are personal injury cases that follow civil tort law. When the plaintiff and defendant cannot reach an amicable resolution through a negotiated settlement, the case is moved to court for trial.
In these incidents, trial lawyers will present their evidence in front of a judge, resolving the case by a jury’s verdict. While the plaintiff might have asked for $1 million or more to pay for their workplace-related damages, jurors decide how much the injured worker will get through a verdict award.
A Chicago court may decide the extent of the damages based on how the defendant’s negligence led to a lack of workplace safety, causing the worker’s harm.
Contact A Chicago Ironworker Workers' Compensation & Injury Law Firm
Have you or a family member suffered injuries during a construction site accident?
Contact our lawyers to discuss your situation with us free of charge. Our Chicago workers compensation attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC will advise you on your best financial options and whether you could be entitled to damages by pursuing a workers compensation or personal injury claim.
Our lawyers can help you file a case against the job site's general contractor or various entities who might have contributed to the dangerous condition. Our attorneys never charge a fee unless we can secure a financial award for you in your case.
Families who lost a loved one through a preventable death can file a wrongful death lawsuit for all damages, including medical bills, lost earnings, loss of consortium, funeral and burial expenses, pain, and suffering.
Contact our Chicago, IL law firm today at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) or through the contact form to schedule a free consultation. All discussions with our law office remain confidential through an attorney-client relationship.
Our practice areas include construction accidents, car crashes, premises liability, medical malpractice, nursing home abuse, product liability, and wrongful death. Our attorneys currently represent injured clients throughout the State of Illinois in Cook County, Lake County, Peoria County, Will County, Sangamon County, Winnebago County, Chicago, Joliet, and Schaumburg, Waukegan, and Aurora.
Our Chicago legal team currently follows Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Covid-19 social distancing guidelines to ensure everyone's safety.