It is widely accepted that the construction industry is one of the most dangerous fields to work in. Construction workers are regularly exposed to dangers that can lead to severe and fatal injuries. Struck-by accidents are one of the “fatal four” types of accidents listed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Construction workers who are hit by falling debris, equipment, tools, or other objects often suffer catastrophic injuries that require them to miss work and endure months or years of recovery. Others are unable to survive the extent of their injuries.
If you were injured or your family member was killed in a struck-by accident on a construction site, make sure you understand your legal rights.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance
Illinois employers must carry workers’ compensation insurance, and this rule applies to construction companies just as it applies to any other type of company. However, a worker must be classified as an employee to be covered under the employer's workers’ compensation insurance.
If an employee is injured on the job, he or she may be entitled to reimbursement for lost wages during recovery as well as compensation for medical expenses. The amount and duration of compensation for lost wages depend on the type of injury and whether the construction worker will be able to return to work after the accident.
Death benefits may be available for surviving family members of a deceased construction worker. Typically, these benefits are equal to 2/3 of the deceased worker’s gross weekly wage. Death benefits are typically paid to the deceased worker’s spouse and children. If the worker was not married and did not have children, his or her parents or other dependents may be entitled to death benefits through workers’ compensation.
You do not need to prove that an employer or another person was at fault for the accident in order to receive compensation through workers’ compensation.
Personal Injury Claims Against a Third Party
If a worker is an independent contractor and does not qualify for workers’ compensation, he or she may still have another option. It may be possible to recover compensation through a personal injury claim. Unlike a workers’ compensation claim, personal injury claims are fault-based. This means that the worker will need to prove that another party’s actions caused the accident.
Employees who are injured in a struck-by accident may be able to file a workers' compensation claim as well as a personal injury claim if the circumstances warrant it. This is often the best way to maximize the amount of financial compensation available to the worker.
Surviving family members of a construction worker killed in a struck-by accident may be able to file a wrongful death claim against the third party.
Contact our Aurora Construction Worker Injury Attorney
At Kinnally Flaherty Krentz Loran Hodge & Masur P.C., we recognize the great value that construction workers bring to society, and we believe that they deserve to be compensated for any injuries that occur on the job. Let our skilled Kane County construction accident lawyers guide you through the process of pursuing compensation. Call 630-907-0909 for a free initial consultation.