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What You Should Know About Seeking Compensation After a Construction Site Accident

Posted on in Workers' Compensation

What You Should Know About Seeking Compensation After a Construction Site AccidentConstruction workers make up only about 6 percent of all U.S. laborers, but they are responsible for about 17 percent of all work-related fatalities, according to federal estimates. If you work in the construction industry, this statistic may not surprise you. Construction jobs may require workers to work in extreme conditions, often using very powerful equipment. Some of the most common construction site fatalities are caused by falling from heights, electrocution, and being struck by an object. If you or a loved one have suffered a severe injury in a construction site accident, a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury lawsuit may be the best way for you to receive full compensation.

Federal and State Laws Require a Certain Degree of Safety

Although construction work is dangerous, there are many steps that employers can take to keep workers as safe as possible. The responsibility for maintaining a reasonably safe worksite typically falls to the general contractor. The general contractor is also expected to hire workers who are capable of safely performing work tasks and to provide any training needed. Contractors should also ensure that equipment is functional and regularly maintained so that it does not present an avoidable risk to workers or bystanders.

All Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations should be followed. If a contractor fails to adequately follow safety protocols, the contractor or company overseeing the construction work may be fined for its violations. In Illinois, an OSHA violation does not allow an employee to file a personal injury lawsuit instead of a workers’ compensation claim against his or her employer. If the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission determines that the employer willfully violated the OSHA regulation, it can increase the injured employee’s workers’ compensation benefits by 25 percent.  

Legal Options Following a Worker Injury

When a worker is injured at a construction site, the main factor that will determine the worker’s potential recovery is whether or not workers’ compensation laws apply. Under Illinois workers’ compensation laws, an employee is entitled to compensation for work injuries even if the injury was not the result of the employer or another party’s negligence. In many cases, if a worker is injured on the job, his or her only option for recompense is through workers’ compensation. However, there are some situations in which workers’ compensation laws do not apply. For example, worker’s compensation is not available to those who work as independent contractors instead of employees.

In some cases, an employee could file a third-party injury claim following a construction site injury. If, for example, a construction worker suffers an injury because the tower crane he or she is using malfunctions, the liable party may be the manufacturer of the faulty equipment. In this case, the worker could bring a personal injury claim against the manufacturer instead of (or in addition to) filing a workers’ compensation claim. If you are hired as a subcontractor by a construction company, the company may be liable if it allowed an unsafe work environment that caused your injury.

Contact a Crystal Lake Construction Site Accident Lawyer

If you have been hurt while working on a construction site, you need a lawyer by your side who will fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Contact the team at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, to learn more about the possible legal remedies for your worksite injuries. Call our office at 815-338-3838 and schedule a free consultation with an experienced McHenry County personal injury attorney today.




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