Construction Site Accidents: What Are Your Rights as an Injured Worker?
Construction workers have incredibly important and incredibly dangerous jobs. Building and repairing structures and roads often requires workers to use dangerous equipment, climb to great heights, or work in deep trenches. Safety precautions can prevent most accidents, but construction site injuries and deaths can still occur. In fact, about 20 percent of worker fatalities in the United States occur in the construction industry.
If you were injured while working in construction, it is important to understand your rights. You may be entitled to compensation for your lost income and medical bills. Depending on the circumstances of the injury, you may also be able to pursue a third-party claim and seek further damages.
Injuries From Construction Accidents
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has established strict safety regulations for the construction industry. Unfortunately, these standards are not always followed. Mistakes and carelessness can lead to preventable accidents in which workers and bystanders are severely injured.
Construction accidents often involve:
Falls from scaffolding or rooftops
Workers being struck by falling objects
Machinery and equipment malfunctions
Exposure to toxic substances
Fires and explosions
Electrocutions and burns
Occupational illnesses and diseases
Construction injuries may be caused by negligence on the part of an employer, contractor, subcontractor, product manufacturer, property owner, or other parties. Determining fault for a construction accident is a crucial step because the reason for the injury largely determines the injured person’s legal options.
Workers’ Compensation and Third-Party Claims for Construction Accidents
There are two main sources of compensation that may be available to an injured construction worker. If an employee is injured on the job, he or she has the right to file a workers’ compensation claim and seek financial relief. Workers’ comp typically covers two-thirds of the worker’s lost wages as well as the worker’s medical expenses related to the injury. Workers’ compensation is available to an injured worker regardless of fault. So, even if the worker’s own mistake led to the accident, in most cases, the worker is still entitled to compensation through worker’s comp.
If the accident was caused by the negligent actions of a third party, the worker may be entitled to compensation through a personal injury claim. Third-party injury claims are fault-based. So, the worker will need to show that a party other than the employer was responsible for the accident. Independent contractors are not usually covered by workers’ compensation insurance. However, contractors may still be able to seek financial relief through a third-party claim.
Contact a Cook County Construction Accident Lawyer
If you were injured in a construction accident the experienced Orland Park personal injury attorneys at Schwartz Injury Law can help you take the steps needed to seek financial compensation. Call our office today at 708-888-2160 for a free consultation.