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Chicago Construction Accident Lawyer

If you have been injured or have lost a loved one as a result of a construction accident anywhere in the state, you should consult with a Chicago construction accident lawyer at Duncan Law Group. You may have grounds for a third-party injury or wrongful death claim above and beyond workers’ compensation. Your attorney can investigate the circumstances of the injury or death to determine if any third-party negligence or wrongdoing occurred which should be pursued.

Chicago Construction Accident Lawyer

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How Can a Chicago Construction Accident Lawyer Help?

If you are filing a construction accident lawsuit or insurance claim, you need an attorney on your side. A Chicago construction accident lawyer from Duncan Law Group can provide several important benefits to your case, strengthening your accident claim and establishing a compelling argument for your right to compensation. Benefits of a lawyer include the following.

  • Your Chicago construction accident attorney can handle all negotiations with insurance companies on your behalf and advocate for your rights during these discussions.
  • Your lawyer can prepare your workers’ compensation paperwork and ensure that every form is correct and contains comprehensive information.
  • Your attorney can calculate the full value of your estimated award and help you avoid an insufficient settlement.
  • Your personal injury lawyer will have access to valuable resources, such as expert witnesses, that he or she can leverage to strengthen your claim.
  • Your attorney will have significant experience representing personal injury claims and will be able to take advantage of strategies, resources, and knowledge to guide you through the claims process.
  • Your lawyer can connect you with specialized medical treatment and other services that you may need to recover from your construction site injury.

What Damages Can I Recover in a Construction Accident Claim?

Construction accidents can result in serious, debilitating injuries that often require extensive medical care. You may develop permanent impairments, require long-term treatment, and miss weeks or months of work. In very severe cases, you may be unable to return to work at all. On top of the physical and financial hardship, the psychological and emotional impact of the accident can be difficult to bear. Through a construction accident lawsuit or workers’ compensation claim, you can recover monetary damages or benefits to recover from these losses.

Construction Accident Lawsuit

In an Illinois lawsuit, you have the right to recover compensation for the economic, or financial, damages you sustained, as well as your physical and emotional pain and suffering. Common damages available in a lawsuit include the following.

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Disability accommodations, such as mobility equipment and live-in care
  • Specialized treatment such as rehabilitation or physical therapy
  • Lost wages and loss of future earnings
  • Chronic pain
  • Permanent disability
  • Disfigurement and scarring
  • Emotional distress
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Depression and anxiety

Illinois Workers’ Compensation Claim

Through an Illinois workers’ compensation claim, you can recover benefits for medical treatment, vocational rehabilitation, and wage replacement. If you lost a loved one in a construction accident, you could recover death benefits and burial expenses. Illinois also provides the following types of disability benefits.

  • Temporary partial disability: These benefits are awarded if you are able to complete light-duty or part-time work while recovering from your injury. You can recover up to two-thirds of the difference between your pre- and post-injury wages.
  • Temporary total disability: You will receive these benefits if you cannot work during your recovery period. The value of this award will be two-thirds of your pre-injury wage up to a certain maximum amount established of state law.
  • Permanent partial disability: If you lose use of some part of your body, you can receive one of four types of permanent partial disability benefits. These include wage differential benefits, scheduled loss-of-use awards, unscheduled awards, or disfigurement benefits.
  • Permanent total disability: If you have developed a permanent physical loss or disability once you reach maximum medical improvement, you will receive these benefits for the rest of your life. Permanent total disability benefits will be the same amount as temporary total disability benefits.

How Long Do I Have to File an Illinois Construction Site Accident Lawsuit?

In Illinois, personal injury lawsuits are subject to a rule known as the statute of limitations. This law establishes a filing deadline for your claim. If you do not file your lawsuit in Illinois civil court by the appropriate deadline, the court will likely dismiss it—preventing you from recovering the compensation you deserve.

In most cases, you have two years from the date of your accident to file a construction accident lawsuit for a personal injury in Illinois. If your claim only involves property damage, not injuries, you have five years from the date of the accident.

There are certain cases where you may not discover your construction site injuries for a long time following the initial incident. This is common in cases involving underlying injuries or occupational illnesses that develop years after exposure to a toxic substance. The court will provide you with additional time to file your claim.

While there are certain exceptions to the statute of limitations, they are not common. In these situations, it is important to file your claim as soon as you realize that you may qualify for a lawsuit. Speak to a Chicago construction accident lawyer at Duncan Law Group as soon as possible to identify your filing deadline and initiate your claim.

Common Injuries from Construction Accidents

Construction sites are regulated by state and federal law. Nevertheless, an employer, general contractor, or others may ignore these mandated safety regulations thus creating dangerous working conditions, resulting in injuries or death. Other accidents can arise out of carelessness or through faulty machinery.

Common job site injuries and accidents include:

While safety can never be guaranteed, it can be protected. The national government has taken steps to eliminate the risks of such injuries and establish a safe environment in the workplace. You can rest assured that the law is designed to help injury victims and their families obtain restitution whenever possible.

Common Causes of Construction Accidents

There are many hazards and potential dangers on a construction site, all of which can contribute to serious injuries and potential fatalities. Some of the most common causes of construction accidents include the following.

  • Unstable scaffolding: Construction workers rely on scaffolding to perform jobs at tall heights. However, improper scaffolding setup or defects in the structure could lead to instability. These structures can easily collapse, harming the workers working on them.
  • Dangerous and defective machinery: Power tools, cranes, and other types of heavy machinery and equipment can contain dangerous defects. Construction workers can sustain serious injuries while operating this equipment.
  • Lack of fall protection: Construction workers require fall protection to prevent them from suffering serious injuries like spinal cord damage or broken bones. However, a lack of fall protection, such as harnesses or guardrail systems, can put these workers at risk.
  • Lack of trench support: Trenches are used to perform below-ground work, such as working on building foundations. They require significant support to prevent collapse. However, lack of trench support can lead to unstable trenches, posing a serious risk to workers.

Who Can be Held Liable for Construction Accident Injuries?

Depending on the circumstances involved in an accident, a number of parties may be held liable for the injuries that follow. Those directly involved in on-site work may be considered responsible for the negligence that leads to a construction injury. In certain circumstances, including incidents that involve faulty machinery, off-site parties may be found to have contributed to a given injury.

Any of the following may have contributed to your injury:

  • Coworkers
  • Construction site owners
  • Architects
  • Engineers
  • Contractors
  • Subcontractors
  • Construction managers
  • Manufacturers

If a third party is responsible for your injuries, you could file a lawsuit against the company or individual. For example, defective equipment could be the result of poor design or improper maintenance. Generally speaking, general contractors and subcontractors are responsible for keeping the construction site hazard-free.

In most cases, you will not be eligible to file a lawsuit against your employer unless certain circumstances apply to your case. For example, if your employer is required to provide workers’ compensation coverage but failed to purchase it, you can file a lawsuit against him or her. If your employer intentionally harmed you, you could also file a lawsuit against him or her.

While employers are exempt from injury liability unless they failed to pay workers’ compensation, any other parties may be liable for your injury. In a construction site liability case, the court will weigh the responsibility of each party to determine who is at fault for the accident. Injured workers have rights. Speak with an experienced Chicago construction accident attorney to explore your legal rights under the law.

What Should You Do Immediately Following a Construction Accident in Chicago?

If you have been injured on a construction site, it is important to remain calm and to seek help as soon as possible. Take the following steps after your accident to receive treatment, gather evidence, and prepare for your future claim.

  • Seek medical attention as soon as possible, even if you do not feel injured. You may have internal or underlying injuries that you are not aware of, and your medical records will be valuable evidence in your claim. Save all records related to your treatment and your injuries.
  • If you are an employee of the construction site, report the accident to your employer as soon as possible. Under Illinois law, you are required to notify your employer of the injury within 45 days of the injury. This will initiate your workers’ compensation claim.
  • If you are able, document as much evidence about your accident as possible. Take pictures and videos of your injuries, the area around the accident, and the object or circumstances that caused your accident, such as fallen debris or a defective piece of equipment.
  • If any of your coworkers or anyone else in the area saw your accident occur, speak to them and ask if you could collect their names and contact information. These individuals could provide valuable witness testimony in your claim.
  • Speak to a construction accident lawyer at Duncan Law Group as soon as possible. Your attorney can help you file your workers’ compensation claim or lawsuit. He or she can also evaluate your case and determine your optimal course of legal action, whether that be pursuing a workers’ compensation claim or holding a manufacturer accountable for a defective product.

Construction Accident Statistics

The construction industry has the highest rate of work injuries and fatalities in the country. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 11 out of every 100,000 construction workers lose their lives every year, making it one of the most dangerous occupations in America. Construction workers are routinely exposed to danger on account of a constantly changing work environment with many risks.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) compiles data on work-related injuries and fatalities each year. According to its data, there were 1,102 fatal injuries in the construction industry in 2019 alone. These fatalities comprised 20.7% of total workplace deaths in the United States during that year. Of these deaths, the BLS provides the following information.

  • Falls, slips, and trips represented 37.9% of all construction accident fatalities during 2019.
  • In the private construction industry, falls, slips, and trips accounted for 32% of all nonfatal injuries that involved days away from work during 2019.
  • On average, a construction worker who was injured by a fall, slip, or trip needed to take 28 days off of work.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) also compiles data on workplace safety and establishes safety standards for employers, including the construction industry. According to OSHA, many of the top 10 most frequently cited standards violated by employers in 2020 involved construction activities. 

Fall protection for the construction industry was the most frequently violated OSHA standard during 2020 and fall protection training was the eighth most violated. Requirements for scaffolding safety were the fourth most violated OSHA standard, and ladder safety requirements were the fifth. General standards for all industries were also commonly broken, such as respiratory protection and eye and face protection. These safety standards are vital to protecting construction workers.

Speak with a Chicago Construction Accident Lawyer Today

If you have been injured in a Chicago construction accident, you are not alone, and help is available. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your accident, you may be eligible for a workers’ compensation claim or third-party lawsuit. In these situations, trust the Chicago construction accident lawyers at Duncan Law Group to fight for your right to seek compensation. Contact us today to schedule your free case consultation and discuss your optimal path to recovery.