Chicago Construction Accident Attorney
Statistics from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reveal that one in ten workers in the construction sector sustains an injury each year. While some construction firms do their best to keep their employees safe, others sidestep or ignore safety standards to cut costs or meet deadlines. This results in serious construction accident-related injuries or death to workers who do their best to repair and build their community.
If you’ve suffered from an injury and suspect that your company did not do enough to keep you safe, you can file a claim with the help of a Chicago construction accident attorney who specializes in construction injury cases. A compassionate and knowledgeable attorney can come up with an effective plan to help you achieve full and fair compensation.
At Taxman, Pollock, Murray & Bekkerman LLC, we represent construction accident victims in their workers’ compensation claims and lawsuits against careless employers. If you have suffered injuries due to a construction accident, our attorneys have the skills, knowledge, and experience necessary to fight for your maximum recovery. Contact us today to speak with one of our attorneys.
Why Choose Us
- Our firm represents people, not corporations or insurance companies. We dedicate ourselves to achieving the maximum possible compensation on our clients’ behalf.
- Our lawyers have decades of experience in personal injury and workers’ compensation law. We will leverage our knowledge and skillset to guide you through each stage of your claim.
- We have a history of successful settlements and record-breaking verdicts, including a $18.6 million award for a construction accident victim.
Common Types of Construction Accidents in Chicago
The injuries that workers sustain in a construction site can be severe and may have lifelong effects. Some of the construction-related accidents that can take place in worksites are:
Falls from Scaffolding or Heights –Depending on the nature of the work, a worker may need to work in high places and use a ladder or scaffolding. When construction companies fail to take reasonable steps to safeguard employees who work from heights, victims may suffer severe fall injuries due to lack of appropriate fall protection, poorly maintained ladders, scaffolding, and other hazards.
Falling Objects – Materials, tools, debris, machinery, and other various items are used on construction sites. These objects can easily fall and hit workers and cause severe head, brain, or spinal injuries.
Slips and Trips – A worksite may have many potential slip and trip hazards, including wires and cords, wet substances, tools and materials lying around, uneven ground, and open holes. If left unaddressed, these hazards can cause a significant construction injury or accident.
Transportation Accidents – Construction projects may require large and heavy vehicles, such as concrete mixers, bulldozers, and excavators. Poor maintenance and lack of training can lead to vehicle-related accidents.
Electrocution – Exposed wires and electrically charged metal objects can electrocute and cause significant injury to workers. The current that passes through the body can destroy muscles, nerves, and tissues.
Fires or Explosions – Gas lines, pipes, and explosive or flammable materials on construction sites can increase the likelihood of an explosion or fire occurring. Companies should take steps to minimize these risks and protect workers.
Caught-in and Caught-between Accidents –These accidents happen when workers become lodged or stuck in between heavy and immovable objects. These incidents often involve structures that are still a work in progress and heavy machinery.
Causes of Construction Accidents
Construction jobs are unique, as they take place in different environments depending on the nature of the project. Nevertheless, many construction worker accidents occur due to these leading causes:
- Failure to follow safety rules and regulations
- Failure to recognize an unsafe condition either before the job begins or after the commencement of the project
- Proceeding with construction work despite knowing an unsafe environment
- Insufficient skill or training of the crew
While workers should exercise caution when doing their job, companies should identify preventive measures to keep unwanted construction accidents to a minimum.
Workers’ Compensation for Construction Accident Victims
If you are a construction employee who suffers an injury on the job, you likely qualify for workers’ compensation. Illinois law requires most employers to provide workers’ compensation coverage to their employees. The only exceptions to this requirement extend to limited liability corporations, business partnerships, corporate officers, and sole proprietors.
Through a workers’ compensation claim, you are eligible to recover compensation for the medical expenses, lost wages, and loss of job opportunities you may experience due to your accident. However, you will need to prove that the accident occurred at work and did not involve any of the following circumstances:
- Self-inflicted injuries, including fights that you may have started
- Injuries that occur while violating company policy
- Injuries that occur while committing a serious crime
To file a claim, you must report your injury to your employer within 45 days of the accident. You will also need to seek immediate medical attention from an authorized healthcare provider. Once your employer receives notice of your injury, he or she must file a report with his or her workers’ compensation insurer. The insurer will then decide whether to approve or deny your award—and if you receive a full or partial denial of your claim, you can submit an appeal.
The workers’ compensation process can be complex without an attorney on your side. At Taxman, Pollock, Murray & Bekkerman, LLC, our lawyers have helped dozens of Chicago construction workers navigate the claims process. We will work closely with you to identify your optimal path to recovery, gather evidence, and craft a compelling claim in your favor.
Can You File a Lawsuit for a Construction Accident?
Not all construction workers are employees of the company. Unfortunately, Illinois law dictates that only employees are able to receive workers’ compensation benefits—if you are an independent contractor, you may not be eligible to file this type of claim. However, you may have grounds to file a lawsuit against the person responsible for your accident.
To file a construction accident lawsuit, you will need to prove that someone else’s negligence, or recklessness, caused your accident. For example, if the owner of a construction company that contracts you fails to implement mandatory safety procedures, you could hold him or her liable if you sustain injuries due to that failure.
If you are an employee of the construction site, it is important to remember that filing a workers’ compensation claim waives your right to file a lawsuit. However, there are two situations where you may have grounds for this type of legal action.
- If your employer is required to have workers’ compensation insurance and does not provide this coverage, you could file a lawsuit against him or her. The employer will need to prove that his or her negligence did not cause your construction accident.
- If a third party is responsible for your accident, such as the manufacturer of defective equipment or a visiting subcontractor, you could file a lawsuit against the liable party. You will need to prove that this party’s actions caused your injuries.
- If your employer intentionally caused you harm, you could file a lawsuit against him or her. For example, if your employer pushed you off a ladder during a fight, you may have grounds for a claim. This type of incident is rare, however, and you will need to prove that his or her actions were intentional.
In most cases, a workers’ compensation claim is the optimal route to recovery. However, it is important to speak with a Chicago construction accident attorney to determine which option is right for you.
Benefits Available Through Illinois Workers’ Compensation
A workers’ compensation claim can provide significant financial relief. Through this claim, you can recover compensation for reasonable medical expenses related to your injury, as well as vocational training if your injury prevents you from returning to work. If you lost a loved one due to a construction accident, you may be eligible to recover death benefits and up to $8,000 in burial expenses.
A significant portion of workers’ compensation coverage, however, involves disability benefits. There are two overarching categories of disability in Illinois: temporary and permanent. You will likely receive temporary disability benefits until you reach maximum medical improvement (MMI). At this point, your doctor will assess your condition and determine if you have any long-term disabilities.
The type and amount of disability benefits you may receive depends on the severity of your injury and your pre-injury weekly wage.
- Temporary partial disability benefits are for workers who can return to part-time or light-duty work while recovering from their injuries. These benefits are equal to two-thirds of the difference between your pre-injury and current wages.
- Temporary total disability benefits are for workers who cannot work for at least 14 days due to their injuries. You may receive two-thirds of your pre-injury average weekly wage, up to a certain amount established by the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission.
- Permanent partial disability benefits are for workers who lost the use of some part of their body due to their work injuries. You may receive compensation for the scheduled or non-scheduled loss of a body part, the difference between your pre and post-injury wages, and any disfigurement you may sustain.
- Permanent total disability benefits are for workers who can no longer perform any work or lost the use of both eyes, legs, feet, arms, or hands. These benefits are equal to two-thirds of your pre-injury average weekly wage, up to a maximum that is established by the Commission.
When filing a workers’ compensation claim, it is very important to understand what benefits you qualify for. The construction accident attorneys at Taxman, Pollock, Murray & Bekkerman, LLC will evaluate your claim and help you identify your optimal avenues to maximize your award.
Why Come to Us for Legal Assistance
When you sustain injury from a construction accident, you’re typically eligible for worker’s compensation. This form of reparation, however, may be insufficient. You cannot, for instance, obtain compensation for pain and suffering. You may have a second avenue of recovery called a third-party case against any individuals or companies that caused injury other than your employer. The only way you can get the maximum compensation possible is with the aid of a seasoned Chicago work injury lawyer from Taxman, Pollock, Murray & Bekkerman, LLC.
As a recognized accident law firm, we thoroughly investigate your construction case. Our attorneys are well versed in construction safety practices. They use this knowledge in fighting for compensation and justice for their clients. We’ve successfully pursued construction cases against general contractors, subcontractors, engineers, construction managers, architects, safety consultants, and owners on behalf of our clients.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is my case worth?
The value would depend on a variety of factors, including the nature of your injuries, the insurance coverage of the erring party, and the egregiousness of the acts by the negligent party. It is wise to discuss this issue with a knowledgeable construction accident lawyer.
The at-fault party’s insurance claims adjuster is asking for my statement. What should I say?
Nothing. Even if you do not say anything controversial, the statement you will issue can undermine your chances of obtaining a fair settlement. The insurance company often uses anything you say against you. If the adjuster insists on hearing your side, simply tell them to speak with one of our established construction injury attorneys.
I am a pedestrian. Am I entitled to compensation if I sustained injury from debris or other material that has fallen off a construction site?
Absolutely. Supervisors of construction sites are required to protect not just the workers, but also all passersby. You might be within your rights to file a lawsuit if you did not receive sufficient alerts about the danger.
If I file a claim against the construction company I’m working for, can they file a counterclaim against me?
Companies cannot use your claim as a reason to file a countersuit. Additionally, your employer cannot “retaliate” by depriving you of any future raises, transferring you to another department, or firing you. These actions are against the law.
I think my case looks solid. Should I still hire a legal team to help me?
Yes. Having a legal professional who specializes in construction accidents can be an invaluable resource. Your legal counsel can:
- Help you file the initial paperwork correctly and in a timely manner
- Expedite your claim and maximize your returns
- Advocate your claim in court, if necessary
Get in touch with our Chicago-based construction accident law office by emailing email@example.com or calling (312) 586-1700.
Schedule a Free Consultation With a Chicago Construction Accident Lawyer
If you or someone you know needs help, it will cost you nothing to discuss your injury case with an attorney. Give us a call anytime or contact us via the form below.