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There are a significant number of hazards on construction sites, which can endanger employees and bystanders. Employees on construction sites are at a much higher risk of injury, as they spend hours a day and weeks on-site, working with hazardous materials and operating dangerous and heavy machinery. If you are injured on a construction site, a Jerseyville construction injury lawyer can help you obtain the compensation you need to recover from or manage your injury.
Construction sites and construction work are highly regulated to maintain safety and prevent hazards and dangers, but such precautions do not prevent all accidents. Additionally, these safety regulations are frequently ignored and neglected.
Accidents on construction sites often cause catastrophic, disabling, or fatal injuries. If you’ve been injured in a construction accident, you may be able to obtain compensation through a workers’ compensation or personal injury claim. A skilled Jerseyville construction injury lawyer can determine how you can receive compensation and improve the chances of maximizing the coverage you receive.
There are many hazards on a construction site, and these become more common and more dangerous when proper precautions are not taken or employees are not provided with adequate safety gear. Some of the most common causes of injury include:
Items left on high locations, such as tools or equipment, can fall and injure employees on lower levels if they are unsecured. Unsecured or improperly made scaffolding can also fall on employees and passersby, causing severe injuries. Cranes and hoists carry heavy materials to significant heights, and if these materials are not secured, they can fall on the construction site.
Although hard hats may be able to prevent fatality in some of these accidents, employees can still suffer traumatic brain injury or neck and spine injury.
Employees frequently do hours of their work on upper levels, scaffolding, ladders, and tall machinery and equipment. These falls can cause broken and fractured bones, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and other damage to the head, neck, and spine. Even short falls can cause these severe injuries. Falls from more significant heights are often fatal. Employees can also fall down onto dangerous locations of the construction site or onto machinery.
Sometimes, these falls can be caused by hazards on the ground, failure to secure employees’ safety, or failure to have warnings or railings around the edges of elevated surfaces.
Construction sites host many different types of heavy machinery and complex equipment to increase productivity and ability on the site. Bulldozers, cranes, mixers, excavators, hoists, saws, forklifts, drills, and many other vehicles and machines are necessary, but they also have many hazards. If proper care and caution are not used near these machines or while operating them, they can cause:
If this equipment is not properly cared for, maintained, and inspected, accidents and injuries are more likely. Equipment is more likely to fail unexpectedly, causing injury even when employees are operating the machine properly.
Vehicle accidents on construction sites can include smaller cars and large construction vehicles, like garbage trucks, compactors, bulldozers, or tractors. Vehicle accidents can also happen off-site with non-employees and passenger cars.
Construction work involves:
If employees are not properly trained in safety procedures, or if pipes or wiring are left unfinished, these items can come into contact and create fires or explosions. This can result in severe burns, loss of limb, and fatality. It can also cause structural collapse, causing further harm.
Construction sites often have unfinished electrical writing. Exposed cables and wiring can result in electrocution and start electrical fires.
If a preexisting building is not properly reviewed before work is done, it can collapse during construction. Excavation trenches, if they are improperly maintained or made in the wrong location, can collapse. Demolition work on construction sites can go wrong and result in structural collapse. These accidents can result in catastrophic and fatal injuries.
Hazards on a construction site do not only come from sudden accidents and injuries. Employees work with or around many hazardous chemicals and materials, such as lead and asbestos. Long-term exposure to these materials without safety precautions can cause developmental illnesses. Even breathing in dust without proper protective gear and ventilation can cause severe lung and respiratory illnesses.
When construction employees work through heat waves and hot locations, construction work can become even more dangerous. Employees can suffer from many heat-related illnesses, including heat stroke, if they are not allowed proper rest, shade, and hydration.
To file a workers’ compensation claim, liability or fault is not always important. Injured bystanders, or employees in certain situations, can file personal injury claims. Construction site injuries may be the result of employer or third-party negligence. Employees could also file a personal injury claim if their employers were egregiously negligent and that disregard caused the accident. Instances of negligence may include:
An attorney can review your case and determine if an employer or product manufacturer was negligent and whether this was the cause of an accident. If you are not an employee, negligence or recklessness is an essential part of a successful personal injury claim. Employers are responsible for the actions of their employees, and employers are also responsible for maintaining a safe work environment. If their failure led to your injury, you could hold them liable.
After a construction injury, you may face significant medical costs, painful recovery, and rehabilitative care, all while being unable to work. Filing a claim may be able to cover some or all of these damages. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, there may be more than one option for recovering compensation.
When construction employees are injured while on the clock, they are typically entitled to workers’ compensation. This is true whether an employee was injured on the job site or completing work-related duties off-site. Nearly all employers in Illinois are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance, and these benefits enable employees to recover damages, regardless of who was at fault for the accident. These benefits cover an employee’s current and future medical bills relating to the accident or injury, along with a portion of their lost wages.
In most situations, a workers’ compensation claim is the only way for employees to receive benefits for an injury on the job. The workers’ compensation insurance system exists to protect employees who are injured at work, but it also protects employers from having claims filed against them. The system is meant to make it easier for employees to cover their damages, but it can be unfortunately difficult for some to get the compensation they deserve.
In very rare cases, employees are allowed to file claims against their employers. If you have already filed for workers’ compensation, this option vanishes. If you have not filed for workers’ compensation, however, and your employer’s negligent or reckless actions are considered especially egregious, you could file a personal injury claim against them. An attorney can help you determine if this is an option for your situation and whether it is beneficial for your claim.
Employees can also file personal injury claims if their employer is required to carry workers’ compensation insurance and does not.
One of the main potential benefits of a personal injury claim, rather than a workers’ compensation claim, is the ability to file for noneconomic damages. However, there must be proven fault in a personal injury claim.
When a third party is responsible for an employee’s on-the-job injury, the employee could file both a workers’ compensation claim and a personal injury claim. If an employee is involved in a car accident while completing work duties, they can file for workers’ compensation and file against the driver who caused the accident. Employees from other companies, subcontractors, property owners, and manufacturers of faulty products are all potential third parties who could be held liable for their negligence.
Filing both a personal injury claim and a workers’ compensation claim does not mean that you recover double the damages. Instead, the personal injury claim can recover the remaining damages that were not covered by a workers’ compensation claim. These may include remaining wages and noneconomic damages, like physical pain and emotional distress.
When a bystander, pedestrian, visitor, or other non-employee is injured in a construction site accident, they could file a personal injury claim. To file a personal injury claim, another party must be found legally liable for the accident and resulting injury. This may be:
In some accidents, multiple parties can be held at fault.
A workers’ compensation or personal injury claim can benefit immensely from the knowledge and experience of an attorney. A construction accident attorney can help in several ways, including:
Many individuals filing a personal injury or workers’ compensation claim underestimate the damages that can be covered. This leads them to accept a settlement or benefits arrangement that does not cover the costs of the injury or condition.
A qualified attorney can review your unique case and calculate the extent of the damages. This includes:
If your claim is a personal injury claim, an attorney can accurately calculate what a fair value of the noneconomic damages should be.
Filing a workers’ compensation or personal injury claim must be done in a fairly short period of time after you are injured or discover a condition. It can be difficult to effectively file your claim with all the necessary information under any circumstances, but it is even more so when you are dealing with the pain of your injury.
An attorney can handle these things for you, as they have significant experience in filing claims. If your initial claim is denied, an attorney knows the most effective way to appeal the decision or find other methods of obtaining compensation.
Your attorney can investigate the date of the accident or the beginning of your condition while looking for evidence that supports your claim. Medical documentation, statements from your providers and other professionals, and witnesses to the incident may prove the level of compensation you need to recover.
In a claim, you can obtain coverage for any damages you suffered as a direct result of your injury. Economic damages are awarded in workers’ compensation and personal injury claims, and they include:
In a workers’ compensation claim, lost income and earning capacity are covered in part, but the disability benefits could last for months to years.
Noneconomic damages are damages that do not have an exact value, and they include:
These damages are only available in personal injury claims.
When you are injured in a construction accident, you need an attorney with experience with these complex claims. Joshua R. Evans, Attorney at Law, has worked for many years defending the rights of employees and harmed individuals. Our team understands the unique requirements in a construction accident claim. Contact us today to see how we can help you find the ideal type of claim while supporting you throughout the process of filing it.