Liability for construction site accidents, image of construction worker sawing with safety gearLiability for construction site accidents can be complicated to determine. Employers have a responsibility to protect their workers to prevent injury or harm on the construction site. However, Illinois laws do not make it easy for employees to sue their employers when injured on the job site. Instead, the state offers other protections through programs such as workers’ compensation.

If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a construction accident, Disparti Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers can help you collect the compensation you are rightfully owed. Trying to understand the laws surrounding these accidents can cost a lot of time and energy that can be spent on your recovery. Additionally, on rare occasions, it may be important to take legal action to hold your employer accountable for their negligence.

In This Article:

Employers Must Protect Workers From Construction Accident Injuries

Sometimes, accidents just happen. But employers are expected to take every precaution to protect their workers and prevent construction accident injuries. Employers cannot send their employees to a construction site until they have done the following:

  • Evaluate a site for potential dangers.
  • Create an effective job safety and health program.
  • Obtain safety equipment and harnesses to prevent falls and other accidents.
  • Train employees on the proper use of safety equipment.
  • Keep accurate and up-to-date records.
  • Maintain proper posting throughout the construction site.

Determining liability for construction site accidents can be a bit complicated when employees are involved. In Illinois, construction employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance to cover injuries that occur on-site. This type of claim is a no-fault claim, meaning that workers are generally covered (with a few exceptions) regardless of whether the employer or employee is at fault for the accident.

In most cases, it is very rare that an employee can sue their employer for injuries from a construction accident, especially if they are offered workers’ comp. However, there are rare cases in which an employer displays gross negligence that may warrant a lawsuit. It’s best to consult a legal expert who can familiarize themselves with your case and help you determine the best course of action to ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries.

Common Construction Site Violations

In 2021, the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) compiled the top 10 most common citations issued by their department. They include violations in the following areas, in no particular order:

  1. Fall Protection
  2. Ladders
  3. Scaffolding
  4. Eye and Face Protection
  5. Machinery and Machine Guarding
  6. Control of Hazardous Energy
  7. Respiratory Protection
  8. Hazard Communication
  9. Fall Protection Training
  10. Powered Industrial Trucks

If you were injured on a construction site and you believe your employer violated OSHA safety requirements, you may consider reporting these violations. Again, it’s best to speak with an attorney who can help you understand your rights and determine the best course of action to hold your employer accountable for their negligence.

Other Parties Liable for Construction Accident Injuries

While employers have significant responsibilities in preventing construction accident injuries, other parties can also be liable for construction site accidents. This can include equipment manufacturers, vehicle manufacturers, and other entities involved with the construction site. Liability for construction site accidents can depend on whether the injured victim is a construction employee or a passerby.

Pedestrians injured on a construction site may consider filing a lawsuit against any parties that are at fault for a construction accident. In this case, the employer may be liable for their injuries.

Compensation and Damages Available for Construction Accident Injuries

When construction accidents occur and workers sustain injuries, they may be entitled to compensation and damages to help alleviate the physical, financial, and emotional burdens resulting from the incident. The specific types and amount of compensation available can vary depending on various factors, including the jurisdiction and the nature of the accident. Here are some common forms of compensation and damages that may be available for construction accident injuries:

  • workers’ compensation benefits
  • lost wages
  • medical expenses
  • pain and suffering
  • punitive damages

Note that compensation and damages available to injured construction accident victims can depend on if they are construction workers or pedestrians. For example, construction employees will likely receive compensation for medical expenses through their workers’ compensation benefits but workers compensation does not cover damages for pain and suffering.

5 Steps to Take After a Construction Site Accident

Experiencing an injury as a construction worker on a construction site can be a distressing and life-altering event. It is crucial to take prompt and appropriate action to ensure your well-being, protect your rights, and address the aftermath of the incident. Here are some essential steps to consider if you are a construction worker injured on a construction site:

1) Seek immediate medical attention

Your health and safety should be the top priority. Notify your supervisor or a designated safety representative about your injury, and seek medical assistance right away. Even if the injury seems minor, it is important to get a thorough evaluation by a medical professional to ensure that there are no underlying complications.

2) Report the accident to your supervisor

Notify your supervisor or foreman about the accident as soon as possible. Provide them with detailed information about what happened, including the date, time, location, and nature of the incident. Reporting the accident promptly helps ensure that it is documented and can facilitate the process of filing a workers’ compensation claim, if applicable.

3) Document the incident and gather evidence

Preserve any evidence related to the accident. If possible, take photographs or videos of the site, equipment, or conditions that may have contributed to the incident. Collect contact information from any coworkers who witnessed the accident. These pieces of evidence can be crucial when filing a workers’ compensation claim or pursuing legal action, if necessary.

4) File a workers’ compensation claim

Depending on the jurisdiction and the circumstances of the accident, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation provides medical coverage, wage replacement, and other benefits to injured workers. Consult with your supervisor or human resources department to understand the process and requirements for filing a claim.

5) Consult an attorney specializing in workers’ compensation

Filing for workers’ compensation can be a confusing process. Consider contacting a Chicago workers’ compensation attorney if you’ve been injured on a construction site. An experienced legal professional can provide legal guidance, explain your rights, and assist you throughout the claims process.

Our attorneys at Disparti Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers can provide legal guidance, explain your rights, assist you throughout the claims process, and advocate for fair compensation on your behalf. Contact us today for a FREE consultation by calling (312) 600-6000. Find out why so many say… Larry wins!