Attorneys for Workplace and Construction Accidents in Chicago
According to statistics compiled by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, about 15 people die every day in workplace accidents, and three of those daily fatalities occur in the construction industry. Most people injured on the job can apply for workers’ compensation benefits which will cover their medical expenses and about two-thirds of their wages until they are ready to come back to work.
Workers’ comp is helpful, but it doesn’t fully compensate an injured worker. The difference between workers’ compensation benefits and the damages available in a negligence lawsuit can be millions of dollars apart for an equivalent injury, depending on the circumstances. But workers’ comp doesn’t allow you to sue your employer, even if the accident was your employer’s or a co-worker’s fault. The only time an employee can sue their employer for a workplace injury is if:
- The employer intentionally injures the employee (by assaulting the worker, for instance)
- The employer failed to carry workers’ compensation as required by law
Outside of these extremely limited situations, is there any hope for an injured worker to be more fully compensated after an injury on the job? The answer is often yes. First of all, some workers are not covered by workers’ compensation and can sue their employer for negligence. Also, some accidents are caused by third parties unrelated to the employer or employee. Those third parties can be sued for their negligence, even if the employee is also getting workers’ comp.
The attorneys at AFW Law Group can help you with any third-party negligence lawsuit or suit against the employer where applicable. If all you have is a worker’s compensation claim but your employer denies your claim or cuts off your benefits before you are ready to return to work, we can put you in touch with Illinois workers’ compensation lawyers who can help you get those benefits you are entitled to. AFW Law Group is always here for you, working to make sure you are taken care of after a workplace injury or construction accident in Chicago.
Leading Causes of Chicago Workplace and Construction Accidents and How Our Attorneys Can Help
AFW Law Group refers injured workers with negligence claims or lawsuits after a workplace or construction accident. Each client generally falls into one of two categories:
Independent Contractors – Many workers, particularly on construction sites, are independent contractors and not employees of the developer, building owner, or general contractor. Independent contractors generally are not covered by workers’ compensation and cannot apply for workers’ comp benefits if they are hurt on the job. They can, however, sue the responsible party for negligence. Outside of the construction industry, other workers are generally exempted from workers’ comp coverage and can also file negligence claims after a workplace accident. Examples of exempt workers include real estate brokers and salespeople who work only on commissions.
Employees With Third-Party Liability Claims – Even employees who apply for workers’ compensation benefits can also file a negligence claim against a third party who is responsible for their injury. Pursuing a negligence claim can help maximize the compensation an injured victim receives, as negligence lawsuits typically offer a much larger recovery than workers’ comp.
Here are some examples of common workplace and construction accidents where a third party might be liable to the employee.
More than a third of construction site fatalities happen in falls, including ladder files and scaffold collapses. A third-party supplier that provides a defective ladder can be liable if the ladder breaks and causes an injury. Similarly, a third party hired to erect a scaffold can be liable for injuries if they are negligent in building the scaffold so that it collapses or is unstable.
Slip and Fall
Employees of a construction company might be repairing or renovating an existing structure. Workers who slip, trip or fall because of an unsafe condition on the property might have a premises liability claim against the building owner. The hazard must not have been created by the construction company, and the defect must not be something the construction company was hired to fix. But if the building owner or property manager creates or knows about a danger on the premises but doesn’t fix it or put up a warning, they could be liable for injuries that result. Examples include a liquid spill, a stairway with broken steps or missing handrails, torn carpeting or unmarked steps, or inadequate lighting.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
A large number of on-the-job injuries happen on the road when employees are hit by negligent drivers. Employees might be delivery drivers or truckers who drive for a living, or they might have been on the clock traveling between job sites, picking up supplies, or making a coffee run for the office.
Negligent crane operations conducted by third parties might hit overhead power lines, or negligent trenching and excavation by third parties could hit buried cables. Employees working nearby could get electrocuted, and they or their families would have a negligence claim. Workers who operate defective power tools, machinery or equipment that was defective when it left the manufacturer would likewise have a product liability claim for injuries caused by defective products.
Help With Chicago Workplace and Construction Site Injuries
Our lawyers have experience and success in achieving substantial verdicts and settlements in accidents like these and others. If you have been injured on the job anywhere in the greater Chicago area, call AFW Law Group, and let us help you get the compensation you need and deserve and are entitled to under the law.