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Construction sites can be dangerous places. This is why you do everything right and take every precaution – you wear your safety gear, you keep an eye out for potential dangers and you watch your co-workers' backs.
Unfortunately, doing all of this won't necessarily protect you from anyone else's negligence.
There are a number of ways recklessness on a construction site can result in a severe personal injury.
Our experienced construction accident attorneys can help you pursue the compensation you deserve. We know how devastating these accidents can be, and we can help you in this difficult time.
If you need an experienced construction accident attorney in the Chicago, Illinois area, please call the Sklare Law Group today at (312) 759-1616 for a free consultation.
Causes Of Construction Accidents
You can walk through Chicago on any given day and see construction sites that are hives of activity. A big city is defined by its construction, and Chicago is no different. We need this difficult, dangerous work if our city is to continue to grow and thrive.
But while there's an irremovable element of danger in every construction site, that doesn't mean injuries there should be accepted or acceptable. As an employee on a construction site, you do valuable work, and your health and wellbeing should be protected.
Sadly, many construction workers are hurt by:
- Falling building material
- Electric shocks
- Slip and falls
- Burn injuries
- Falls from high places
These injuries are devastating, and they often make it impossible to continue working in construction. As such, compensation is vital.
What is the Most Common Accident in Construction?
According to OSHA, there are actually four common construction accidents resulting in death, which OSHA calls the Fatal Four:
- Struck-by accidents
- Caught-between accidents
These types of accidents easily cause catastrophic injuries.
What is the Statute of Limitations for Construction Accidents in Chicago, IL?
If an injury victim decides to pursue a personal injury lawsuit, the claimant has two years from the date of the accident to file a claim. Workers’ Compensation has different timelines, and it’s equally important to file these claims quickly after the date of the injury.
There are several exceptions when it comes to the statute of limitations. Depending on what occurred, there may be a different timeline that applies to your claim. That’s why it’s so important to contact our attorneys instead of attempting to sort through the laws on your own. We can determine which statutes and deadlines apply to you.
What Do You Do After a Construction Accident?
It’s important to note that every situation will be a little different, so you will have to trust your instincts in the moment. In general, some of the steps you should take include:
- Report the accident to your supervisor immediately
- Go to the hospital if necessary
- Schedule a follow-up with your doctor
- Contact our attorneys
You should reach out to our attorneys as early in the process as possible. After learning more about the accident that injured you, we will be able to determine if workers’ compensation or a lawsuit should be pursued.
Who Should I Speak to First Following a Construction Accident?
You should certainly report the accident to your supervisor immediately. Doing so is common protocol and the first step in securing Workers’ Compensation benefits.
Once you’ve reported the accident to your supervisor, contact our attorneys next. We will advise you of what your options are for pursuing maximum injury compensation.
What Happens if I Am at Fault in a Construction Accident?
You may still be eligible to receive compensation even if you believe you are at-fault for your injuries. Workers’ compensation benefits are no-fault insurance, so you do not have to prove that your employer caused the accident in order to receive benefits. Although, if your employer determines your gross misconduct or inebriation played a role in the accident, you may be barred from these benefits.
You should still contact our attorneys even if you think the accident was partially or fully your fault. It’s not always so obvious. Let our experienced attorneys dig into the case to determine who is really at fault. Even if you were partly to blame, you may still be able to pursue compensation in a lawsuit.
How Long Can a Construction Accident Case Usually Take?
Some claims take a few months to resolve while others take several years. The duration is highly variable. We do understand that our clients want to resolve these issues as quickly as possible. After all, you’ve suffered a severe injury or lost a loved one to a construction accident, and the desire to move past that even makes all the sense in the world. We take this priority to heart while also doing everything in our power to resolve the case with the best possible results.
How Can I Prepare for My Case in Court?
Our attorneys prepare your case for court, if it even needs to go to court. Many claims are settled outside of a courtroom in negotiations handled by us. When you hire us as your law firm, we want you to focus on the medical and emotional requirements of your injury. We will reach out to you to obtain any necessary evidence or documentation, such as medical bills, emails with employers, correspondence with your doctor, and records related to your injury. We will provide advance notice of any upcoming negotiations or court appearances that you will need to attend.
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What Are My Options?
In Illinois, most workplace injuries are handled through the workers' compensation system. If you're hurt on the job, you can file a workers' comp claim and receive benefits. However, you forego the right to pursue a legal claim through the courts.
Construction accidents are unique, however. Under state law, injured employees are allowed to file a lawsuit for a workplace injury if the injury was caused by a negligent third party – that is, by an individual or organization outside of your employer.
And construction sites have many, many third parties. Every construction site has vehicles trundling through, independent contractors working on their tasks, suppliers bringing in equipment and more. If one of these parties causes an accident that hurt you, a personal injury claim might be an option.
The only way to know for sure is to speak with our construction accident lawyers as soon as possible. We'll determine if you have a viable legal claim, or if the workers' compensation system is your appropriate venue.
Can I File a Personal Injury Claim After a Construction Site Accident?
Yes, it is possible for people who suffered from a construction site accident. However, if you have worker’s compensation, you might not be able to file a legal claim. If a person who is not an employee sustains an injury from the construction site, then they can file a personal injury claim regardless.
How Do I Protect My Rights After a Construction Site Accident?
There are steps you must take to protect your rights sustaining a construction site accident. First, you need to seek immediate medical attention and this goes for even minor injuries. For example, if you hit your head, it could potentially lead to something more severe, such as a concussion or internal bleeding. There are even some injuries where you do not feel the effects until a few days after it occurred. Getting medical attention is also necessary before you can file a personal injury claim. This is because it provides you with the appropriate evidence that you were injured.
The next step involves going over the incident in vivid detail. You need to recall the events that happened before, during, and after the accident. You must also write down when, where, and how the accident occurred. When filing a legal claim, you have to provide solid evidence. A lot of people make the mistake of foregoing the details and end up forgetting key factors. This can significantly reduce your chances of seeing any kind of compensation.
Another key component in your case is having eye witnesses to help support your claim. Even if you provide sufficient evidence, it may not be enough to prove it. This is why it is very important to have witnesses support your claim.
Can My Employer Take Legal Action Against Me if I File a Personal Injury Claim?
In most cases, employers are unable to take legal action against you if you file a personal injury claim. Furthermore, employees cannot sue employers for personal injury. However, an employer can countersue should an employee file a false personal injury claim. Likewise, an employee can sue the employer if they were negligent.
If you're looking for an attorney with experience in the unique world of construction accidents in the Chicago, Illinois area, please call the Sklare Law Group today at (312) 759-1616 for a free consultation.