A work site accident in the north suburbs of Chicago killed Patrick O’Reilly – a Palos Park native – on December 26 at the Vernon Hills’ Westfield Hawthorn Mall. O’Reilly was killed at a demolition site when a piece of falling concrete struck him as part of a wall collapsed. The accident occurred around 11 pm as the work crew knocked down an exterior wall of a former restaurant.
While construction workers were removing an outer layer of brick, they were hit from concrete pieces that came from the top of the wall. O’Reilly was not the only person who suffered injuries, the concrete pieces hit three workers. As the concrete rubble covered the three workers, coworkers rushed to clear the concrete off their colleagues.
While it only took three minutes before Countryside Fire Protection District ambulances, the debris had already been removed from the three. Shortly after arrival at Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville, Patrick died from crushing trauma. One worker was treated for minor injuries while the third worker did not even go to the hospital.
No previous issues with the primary contractor
While the federal Occupational Health and Safety is still investigating the incident, they have come out that the worksite’s primary contractor (P.S. Demolitions) had no history of safety violations of any type. The website for the company lists them as fully bondable, insured, and licensed. Whether proper safety procedures were followed is still being investigated by federal investigators.
Construction and demolition is a dangerous job
It is important to remember that catastrophic personal injuries may occur with any type of construction or demolition accident. While a fatal accident is extremely tragic, serious bodily harm may also have a lasting impact. Medical expenses are going to continue to pile up as the injured party recovers. The afflicted party may be less able to cope with the financial hardship caused by their injuries because of their inability to work.
Remember that if someone is injured in a construction accident, his or her employer may do everything possible to prove that the construction company is not at fault. This is to the company’s financial benefit. Remember that if a company provides an unsafe work environment, they are already establishing that they are willing to break the rules in order to increase their overall profit.
Why it is imperative to seek legal counsel after a work-related accident
It is important to note that according to the Department of Health of Illinois, 1 out of every 25 workers injured in the state of Illinois work in the construction field. This means that it is a high-risk occupation. When it comes to filing litigation in the event that you or someone close to you is involved in a serious or fatal accident, you have to keep in mind that there may be several different factors to consider.
For example, the construction equipment manufacturer is responsible for maintaining and designing safe products. A construction accident may be attributed to dangerous or defective products. You need quality legal representation in order to get the compensation that you are entitled to.