construction accident lawyers
The construction industry is among the most dangerous for workers among all of the sectors. People who work at construction sites face dangers each day regardless of how large or small the projects might be. When people are injured at construction sites, they may be left with permanently disabling conditions. Some people may also be killed in construction accidents. People who are injured and the families of people who are killed in Rockford, Illinois may benefit by getting help from the experienced construction accident lawyers at the Zayed Law Office.
Construction accident statistics
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 937 private-industry construction workers were killed in 2015 alone, which accounted for 21.4 percent of all of the workplace fatalities in the U.S. The agency reports that the top four accident causes accounted for 62.4 percent of the fatalities. The leading four causes of fatal construction site accidents include the following:
- Falls at 38.8 percent
- Being struck by an object at 9.6 percent
- Electrocutions at 8.6 percent
- Caught in equipment or crushing incidents at 7.2 percent
OSHA reports that if the top four causes of fatal accidents were eliminated, 602 lives would be saved every year.
Workers’ compensation in construction accidents
In Illinois, all employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance by the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act. When workers are injured while they are working at construction sites, they are able to file claims with their employers’ workers’ compensation insurance carriers regardless of fault. Workers are not required to prove fault in order to recover workers’ compensation benefits. In exchange for the availability of this coverage, the workers give up their rights to file lawsuits against their employers when they are injured in workplace accidents. Through workers’ compensation, benefits may be available to pay for the injured worker’s medical costs, ongoing treatment needs, rehabilitation expenses, prescriptions and other related costs. The workers do not need to use their own medical insurance or to pay copays for the care that they receive.
In cases in which people have been left with disabilities, they may also recover disability benefits through workers’ compensation. These benefits may offer monthly payments to replace a percentage of the workers’ prior incomes. People may be able to recover temporary or permanent benefits for partial or total disabilities through workers’ compensation.
When workers are killed in accidents at work, their eligible dependents may recover survivors’ benefits through workers’ compensation. These are monthly benefits that are designed to replace the income of their loved ones. Families may also receive benefits to pay for the reasonable funeral and burial expenses that they incur as a result of the deaths of their loved ones.
Third-party liability for construction accidents
While employees are not allowed to sue their employers for workplace accidents, there are some circumstances that might occur that allow the injured victims to sue negligent third parties. Construction sites often involve many subcontracting companies and their workers. When a subcontractor is negligent and causes an injury to a worker who is not the subcontractor’s employee, the injured victim may be able to sue the subcontractor for negligence. Injured workers may simultaneously file workers’ compensation claims with their employers while simultaneously filing negligence lawsuits against the third parties who caused their accidents and injuries.
In order to prove the negligence of the third party, plaintiffs must show the following:
- The defendant owed a duty of reasonable care to the plaintiff;
- The defendant breached his or her duty of care;
- The breach of the duty directly or proximately caused the accident and the plaintiff’s injuries; and
- The plaintiff suffered harm as a result.
The experienced lawyers at the Zayed Law Office may help to gather evidence to prove each of the required elements so that they can help their clients to recover damages for their losses.
Factors that determine compensation
When a worker is injured or killed in a construction accident at work, there are several factors that may determine the amount of compensation that might be recovered. Experienced lawyers may value the potential claims and offer a range of values within which an individual claim might fall. The types of damages that might be available to an injured victim or to the family of a worker who was killed in an accident that was caused by a negligent third party include the following:
- Medical expenses
- Income losses
- Future reductions in earnings capacity
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress damages
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Reductions in the quality of life
In wrongful death claims, the families may recover the reasonable burial costs and funeral expenses that they have incurred. Spouses may recover loss of consortium damages. The physical pain and suffering damages in wrongful death claims are limited to the physical pain and suffering that was experienced by the victim following the accident until he or she succumbed. People who have questions about the compensation that might be available to them might want to talk to an experienced construction accident lawyer.
Contact the experienced Rockford, Illinois team at the Zayed Law Office
If you have been the victim of a construction accident or have lost a loved one, you may want to get legal help. Contact the experienced construction accident lawyers at the Zayed Law Office to learn more about the rights that you might have.