By their very nature, construction sites are prone to accidents. When an accident occurs, partnering up with a Madison County construction accident attorney could make the difference in how much compensation is earned for your injuries.
With a ton of machines, power equipment, and materials in a single location, the risk of injury is considerable. Mix all of this in with people working at a fast pace to meet project deadlines, and you could have a recipe for disaster. It’s why so many specific protocols and safety training are often developed by those who are in charge of keeping construction employees safe. Unfortunately, accidents do happen despite every safety measure attempted.
What Are the Most Common Construction Injuries Faced in Madison County?
All the activity and heavy machinery on a construction site can quickly lead to an unexpected injury. Some of the most frequent construction site cases are caused by:
- Falls from a height. Depending on the construction project, employees may have to work high up in the air. This requires them to be stationed on some type of scaffolding, roof, or ladder to reach. Working at these elevations significantly increases the risk of a fall. Injuries from falls can stem from minor fractures to more serious conditions like spinal or head injuries.
- Machinery malfunctions. Most construction sites require heavy machinery to complete the job. While being properly trained on how to operate these machines is an ideal way to remain safe, sometimes a system failure or malfunction can injure even the most well-intentioned employee. In some of the most extreme cases, employees faced crushing injuries requiring amputation, or they passed away.
- Electrocutions. Wiring a new construction building to electricity is a requirement in almost every project. When it comes to electricity, there are many adverse events that could happen and result in injury. Exposed wiring is a common and dangerous hazard, as it can easily send a shock to anyone who touches it. Using power tools is another task that must be conducted as safely as possible to avoid electrocution.
- Exposure to harmful materials. Because of the materials and chemicals that are frequently used in construction projects, workers could become sick over time. Respiratory issues are one of the most common long-term categories of illness faced by construction workers, and it’s usually something that pops up later in life after years of working and feeling fine. That’s because these types of dangerous materials can be invisible and odorless, making it difficult to avoid them during work.
- Struck-by injuries. There is a lot of moving equipment throughout the day on a construction site. Sometimes, swinging tools or flying debris can strike an employee. This could be from an employee directly falling on something or equipment malfunctioning and propelling them across the site. These injuries can cause extensive harm, especially concussions and fractures, depending on how strong the strike was.
- Overexertion. A job in construction is physically taxing, requiring a lot of heavy lifting and being on your feet. The work can also be repetitive and force you to sometimes work in very awkward positions. Eventually, this can lead to overexertion injuries such as sprains, tears, and strains. It could also encourage musculoskeletal disorders that make the job increasingly difficult to perform as the condition worsens without treatment.
- Hearing damage. Constantly being exposed to loud machinery can negatively impact one’s natural ability to hear without using proper ear protection. Sometimes, an immediate injury can occur due to a sudden loud noise that was not supposed to happen. This could have the power to inflict permanent hearing damage.
- Fires or explosions. Many construction projects require digging below surfaces when setting up a foundation. This poses a risk of a gas line rupture, which can lead to a dangerous fire or explosion with devastating injuries as a result. The same could apply to electrical work. With so many different wires, circuits, and power sources to manage when setting up a new building, the slightest oversight or malfunction could result in sparks that ignite something nearby and cause a fire.
When to Contact a Madison County Construction Injury Attorney
Any injured construction worker in Illinois faces a twofold recovery: medical and legal. After receiving any immediate emergency medical attention, the legal aspect of the journey begins. Some of the pieces to understand include:
- Workers’ compensation in Illinois. This plan is intended to make all employees feel financially protected if they were ever to experience a tragedy at work. The process starts to automatically provide financial relief without the need to establish fault. Medical bills, therapy, and rehabilitation programs are some of the most common areas where this money initially goes.
- Third-party liability claims. In addition to collecting workers’ compensation from an employer, the nature of the accident could warrant claims against a third party. The most common example of this in construction is when a faulty piece of equipment injures the employee through no fault of their own. This could happen because the manufacturer did not assemble the piece of equipment to its required specifications or a subcontractor was negligent in setting it up following safety protocols. In either scenario, an attorney can explore what exactly happened and if the facts enable them to pursue more compensation for their client.
- Following safety rules. The state of Illinois has its own established set of safety regulations to keep construction workers safe on site. These are general rules agreed upon to help standardize operations across the state. During an investigation into a workplace injury, if it is discovered that an employee intentionally disregarded any of these rules, it could significantly affect how much compensation they are awarded.
On the reverse side, if the construction company itself was negligent in enforcing state safety rules, the employee’s possible compensation package could increase if an attorney can make a link between their client’s injury and the employer’s error. For example, if the employer did not invest in proper protective gear for its employees to use while on the job, any injury that has resulted from this decision can rest on the leaders in the company rather than the injured employee.
What Is the Role of a Madison County Construction Injury Lawyer?
When a construction worker faces injury, leveraging the legal wisdom of a workers’ compensation attorney can help you feel confident that your case is in good hands. Some common areas where an injury attorney can support are:
- Answering all questions on local laws and ordinances. Every region, including Madison County, has its own set of construction regulations that include safety protocols and compensation statutes. These are laws designed to protect the rights of any injured workers in the area and reinforce the responsibilities of employers. The average Illinois resident is not expected to understand the legal landscape enough to make their own decisions, which is why having an Illinois construction attorney on your team can prevent you from making any uninformed decisions throughout the process.
- Determining liability. There can be a variety of different stakeholders on a construction site at once. From various contractors, subcontractors, equipment suppliers, and site owners, it might not always be obvious who was at fault for a specific accident. This is another area where an attorney can add huge value in the discovery stage of a workers’ compensation case. They will not be shy to investigate exactly what happened, interviewing witnesses and taking the time to understand the organization’s structure and associated responsibilities. This step can have a major influence on ensuring that anyone who had a role in the worker’s injury will be held accountable.
- Navigating different compensation avenues. Once a work injury has occurred, there are many different avenues to explore the likelihood of being compensated. An attorney can guide you through the traditional workers’ compensation process in addition to filing any personal injury claims against a negligent party. The intent is to make sure money is not left on the table, securing as much financial relief as possible to reduce stress while recovering.
- Offering support where needed. Aside from the legal aspects of the case, a Madison County construction accident lawyer can help with other ad hoc needs as well. Because an individual’s tensions are often running high during this period of their life, an attorney can step in to have the required conversations with the insurance companies to not add any additional stress to their clients’ recovery period. They can also be the perfect sounding board as you bounce your own ideas for a recovery plan off them and see where they agree or have an alternative solution.
Contact Joshua R. Evans, Attorney at Law Today
If you are a construction worker in Illinois who has just been hurt on the job, get in contact with us today. Our team is seasoned in uncovering the exact chain of events on construction sites that lead to injury to hold every responsible party accountable. We will ensure every possible dollar in your case will be collected to keep you financially secure while you heal from your injuries.