When you're injured on a construction site in Oak Park, IL., the road to recovery can be long and challenging. Amid the pain and uncertainty, you deserve a legal partner who can guide you through the complexities of the law and secure the compensation you deserve. At Blumenshine Law Group, we are your trusted advocates, dedicated to helping you navigate the aftermath of a construction accident.
Oak Park’s Construction Industry: A Risky Landscape
Working in the construction industry is inherently perilous. Despite stringent regulations aimed at enhancing safety, the unfortunate truth is that thousands of construction workers sustain serious injuries or lose their lives in job-related accidents each year. While workers' compensation typically covers medical expenses and provides partial wage replacement, there are instances where third-party claims can offer additional compensation. Blumenshine Law Group brings extensive experience in handling construction accident claims throughout Illinois, including Oak Park, Chicago and beyond.
Blumenshine Law Group offers expert legal representation for victims of construction accidents and workplace injuries in Oak Park and the broader Illinois region. Reach out to us at (312) 766-1000 to schedule your complimentary consultation and learn how we can assist you with your claim.
The Fatal Four: Understanding the Risks
Construction accidents come in various forms, but some of the most severe involve what's known as "The Fatal Four." These accidents are alarmingly common and encompass the following:
Falls from even a modest height can lead to life-altering injuries. Whether it's a fall from a few feet off the ground or multiple stories in the air, the consequences can be devastating. Common fall hazards include:
- Bucket trucks and cherry pickers
- Hoists and harnesses
- Roofs without safety railings
- Aerial lifts
- Unfinished floors
Misuse or a lack of safety equipment and fall arrest systems significantly contribute to these accidents. In fact, violations of fall protection standards consistently rank as the most common citation issued by OSHA each year.
2. Struck-By Accidents
Construction workers are at risk of being struck by objects, machines, and materials on the job site. These accidents often involve:
- Heavy objects falling from a height onto a worker below
- Vehicles or equipment striking a worker, with reverse driving being a common danger
- Materials falling from concrete and masonry walls
Many of these accidents result from momentary lapses in caution, turning a brief mistake into a life-altering event for someone else.
Electrical hazards loom large on construction sites. Some of the most significant electrocution risks include:
- Poor grounding of electrical outlets
- Damaged, defective, or improperly installed wiring
- Contact with overhead or underground power lines
- Malfunctioning tools and machinery
Electric shocks can lead to severe burns, internal organ damage, and even fires that jeopardize everyone on the construction site.
4. Caught-In and Caught-Between Accidents
These accidents occur when a worker becomes trapped or crushed, often resulting in crush injuries. Examples include:
- A worker getting caught in operational machinery
- A worker getting stuck between moving equipment and a stationary object or between two machines or vehicles
- A worker getting buried in a trench, excavation, or building collapse
Construction work is undoubtedly one of the deadliest occupations, representing approximately 20% of workplace deaths nationwide.
Beyond the Fatal Four: Additional Construction Hazards
While the Fatal Four constitute a significant portion of construction worker fatalities and serious injuries, they are by no means the only dangers faced daily. Other potential causes of construction accidents include:
Slip and Fall Accidents
While typically less severe than falls from heights, slip and falls and trip and falls can still result in significant injuries.
Fires and Explosions
Handling combustible and explosive materials requires extreme caution, as any ignition source, from sparks to lit cigarettes, can lead to catastrophic fires or explosions.
Construction workers are often exposed to hazardous chemicals and materials without realizing the long-term health risks. Adverse effects may not become apparent for years or even decades.
Cranes are among the largest pieces of machinery on a construction site but are also prone to instability, especially in windy areas like Chicago. Falls from cranes, crane collapses, and other accidents can be disastrous.
Common Construction Site Injuries
Every day, construction workers are at risk of a wide range of injuries, including:
- Concussions and traumatic brain injuries
- Neck and back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries, including paralysis
- Broken bones
- Eye injuries leading to vision loss
- Deafness and hearing loss
- Musculoskeletal injuries (e.g., sprains, strains)
- Nerve damage
- Injuries to internal organs
Tragically, not all construction workers survive their accidents. If you've lost a loved one in a workplace accident, exploring all your legal options is crucial. You may be entitled to compensation through workers' comp and/or a wrongful death claim.
Determining Liability in Construction Accidents
Construction accident litigation is intricate, and many workers are unaware of their rights and the potential to sue. Typically, employees cannot sue their employers for on-the-job injuries, with workers' compensation often the sole remedy. However...
Workers' Comp May Not Be Your Only Option
A construction accident attorney can evaluate your case and explore alternative avenues for compensation. You may have grounds to sue if the accident resulted from third-party negligence.
Multiple third parties can be involved in a construction project, including:
- Property owners
- Contractors and subcontractors
- Product manufacturers
- Architects and engineers
- Negligent drivers in construction zones
The construction accident lawyers at Blumenshine Law Group conduct thorough investigations to determine the cause of your injuries and who is liable. If you've been wronged, we exhaustively pursue all options for compensation.
Potential Damages in a Construction Accident Claim
While workers' compensation provides some benefits, such as medical expense coverage, vocational rehabilitation, and disability benefits, it often falls short of addressing the full extent of your losses. Temporary and permanent disability benefits may only cover a fraction of your wages.
Blumenshine Law Group strives to secure the compensation you deserve, which may include:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Lost income to date
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Out-of-pocket expenses (e.g., medical supplies, home-based care)
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Loss of consortium
Our mission is "Maximum Recovery - Minimum Time™". We meticulously gather evidence and assess your case to ensure you and your family receive the maximum compensation.
Immediate Steps After a Construction Accident
The immediate aftermath of a construction accident can be chaotic, but taking specific steps can protect your health, well-being, and legal rights:
1. Seek Medical Attention
Regardless of the severity of your injuries, seeking medical care should be your top priority. First aid can address minor injuries, but in severe cases, go to the emergency room or call 911.
Illinois law allows you to select two doctors to provide care for your work-related injuries, with referrals to specialists as needed. Attend all appointments, as missing them may jeopardize your eligibility for workers' comp benefits and the outcome of third-party claims.
2. Document the Accident
If you're not seriously injured and can move safely around the accident site, document the scene by:
- Taking photos of conditions that led to your injuries
- Interviewing coworkers and witnesses
- Recording the accident location details, including the address and property owner
This documentation is essential if third-party negligence contributed to the accident.
3. Notify Your Employer
Inform your supervisor of your injuries as soon as possible. Notify your employer in writing within 45 days of the accident. Employers must report workplace accidents to the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission within 30 days.
4. Keep Detailed Records
Maintain meticulous records related to the accident, including:
- Medical records and communications with your doctor
- Letters and emails from your employer
- IWCC correspondence, especially regarding benefits and schedules
- Bills or receipts for injury-related expenses
- Notes on symptoms, pain levels, and daily challenges stemming from your injuries
A construction accident attorney can review these records and advise you on your options if your workers' comp claim is denied or if third-party liability is involved.
5. Consult a Construction Accident Lawyer
While legal matters may be the last thing on your mind after an accident, consulting a lawyer is crucial. In many cases, lawsuits against employers are not possible due to workers' compensation laws. However, if your claim is denied or does not provide sufficient coverage, an attorney can help with appeals and third-party claims.
If a viable third-party claim exists, your lawyer can collect evidence and calculate your full damages. Negotiations or trial representation may follow to secure the compensation you deserve.
Timelines for Filing a Construction Accident Claim
In Illinois, the statute of limitations for construction accident claims varies:
- Workers' compensation claims must be filed within 3 years of the job-related injury.
- Personal injury and wrongful death claims (including third-party liability claims) must be filed within 2 years.
Missing these deadlines could cost you your benefits and compensation opportunities. Consulting a construction accident lawyer promptly is essential to protect your rights and explore your legal options.
Do I Need a Construction Accident Lawyer?
Construction accidents are life-altering events that can lead to long-term physical, emotional, and financial challenges. Without guidance, it can be challenging to navigate the legal complexities and determine your eligible claims.
At Blumenshine Law Group, we do the right thing for those who have been wronged. Our experienced attorneys and staff are dedicated to securing the compensation you and your family deserve. We negotiate tirelessly with employers and insurance companies and, if necessary, take your case to trial.
You work hard every day, and if injured on the job, don't settle for less. While many lawyers avoid complex construction accident claims, Blumenshine Law Group stands apart. We guide you through every step, from workers' compensation to third-party liability claims. Our Oak Park attorneys, experts in construction accidents, are committed to battling insurance companies for your rightful compensation. With millions recovered for clients, Blumenshine Law Group is your choice for tenacious, dedicated legal representation in construction accident cases. Choose Get the compensation you deserve.
Don't let a construction accident define your future. Contact Blumenshine Law Group at (312)766-1000 today for a FREE evaluation of your case. Our Oak Park construction accident attorneys serve clients in Oak Park and throughout Illinois.