A Construction Worker's Guide to Maximizing Your Rights
Working on a construction site exposes employees to numerous daily hazards. Falls, machinery accidents, electrocutions, and more cause thousands of workplace injuries across the US each year. If you suffered an injury while working on a construction project in Elk Grove Village, understanding your legal rights is crucial to getting the compensation you deserve.
At Blumenshine Law Group, our experienced construction accident attorneys have helped injured workers recover millions in compensation over decades of practice. We know how to build a solid claim to get you full and fair damages. This article provides an overview of construction accidents, how to document the incident, your legal options in Illinois, and guidance on choosing the right law firm to maximize your recovery.
Common Causes of Construction Accidents in Elk Grove Village
While every construction site has unique risks, some hazards cause accidents more often than others. Being aware of the following dangers can help you remain vigilant and avoid injury on the job:
- Falls from heights - Ladders, scaffolds, roofs, and other elevated work areas are prone to falls. Always use proper fall protection gear and inspect equipment before use.
- Struck by objects - Construction debris, tools, and materials can fall and strike workers below. Wear a hard hat and avoid working under others.
- Heavy machinery accidents - Forklifts, backhoes, cranes, and other large equipment pose crush and collision risks. Ensure proper training and follow safety protocols.
- Electrocutions - Touching live wires or faulty equipment can prove fatal. Inspect cords and use ground fault circuit interrupters.
- Trench collapses - Unstable trenches over 5 feet deep can cave in and trap or crush workers inside. Shore and slope trench walls appropriately.
- Confined spaces - Limited egress, poor ventilation, and hazardous substances endanger workers in confined areas. Proper permits, monitoring, and training are essential safeguards.
Staying constantly vigilant is critical to avoiding construction accidents. However, understanding how to respond can impact your recovery if an injury does occur.
Documenting Your Construction Accident in Elk Grove Village
In the aftermath of a construction accident, your priority should be getting to safety and seeking medical assistance. Once you secure emergency help, gather information that could help demonstrate how and why the incident occurred.
Here are vital steps to properly document a construction accident scene:
- Report the accident - Notify your supervisor and make sure it is recorded in the company's incident log.
- Take photos - Capture images of any safety hazards or faulty equipment that caused the accident. Photos show conditions as they were immediately after.
- Get witness info - Ask coworkers who saw the accident to write down what they observed. Witness statements provide independent verification.
- Keep records - Save work schedules, safety policies, training certificates, and other documents relevant to your responsibilities and training for the task you did when injured.
- Get medical help - Even if an injury seems minor initially, seeking prompt medical attention can reveal the true extent of harm and get documentation into your medical files.
Thoroughly documenting the accident proves it occurred within your work duties and how it happened. Your construction accident attorney can use such proof to establish liability when fighting for compensation.
Your Legal Options After an Illinois Construction Accident
Injured construction workers have two potential sources of compensation under Illinois law - workers’ compensation benefits and third-party claims. An experienced construction accident lawyer can guide you in assessing which option(s) to pursue based on the specific circumstances.
Workers' Compensation Benefits
All construction employers in Illinois must carry workers’ compensation insurance. It provides medical and lost wage coverage for workers injured on the job. Regardless of fault, you can file a claim through your employer’s insurer or the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission.
Workers' comp is limited - it does not pay total lost wages or damages like pain and suffering. However, it does provide guaranteed and prompt no-fault benefits. An attorney can help maximize your payout.
Third-Party Liability Claims
If someone other than your employer caused your construction injury through negligence, you can file a personal injury lawsuit seeking fuller compensation. Liable third parties could include:
- Manufacturers of defective equipment
- Engineers whose plans were unsafe
- Property owners failing to address hazards
- Subcontractors violating safety protocols
In third-party claims, you can recover economic damages like medical bills, lost income, and non-economic damages for pain, disability, and reduced quality of life. However, you'll have to prove fault.
An attorney will investigate the fault, negotiate a fair settlement, and take the case to trial if needed. They take these claims on a contingency fee, so you pay nothing unless compensation is recovered.
Choosing the Right Elk Grove Village Construction Accident Lawyer
Not all attorneys have the expertise to maximize compensation for construction workers. When selecting legal representation, consider the following:
- Experience with Construction Claims - Look for extensive history, specifically handling Illinois construction accident cases. An experienced lawyer knows how to build these complex claims.
- Resources to Thoroughly Investigate - Proving liability often requires reconstruction experts, engineers, worksite photographs/video, witness interviews, and other evidence best gathered by firms with ample resources.
- Trial Record - Since most claims are settled out of court, it helps to have counsel with a proven record of significant jury verdicts to motivate higher settlements.
- Patience for a Tough Process - Many severe injuries have long recoveries. Choose an understanding lawyer in it for the long haul.
The attorneys at Blumenshine Law Group check all those boxes. Over thirty years of representing injured construction workers, we have recovered millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for clients. If you were injured on a job site in or around Elk Grove Village, contact us at (312)766-1000 or [email protected] for dedicated representation - we will relentlessly pursue maximum compensation so you can focus on healing.