Illinois construction accidents are a common type of case where there are third party liability lawsuits. One reason for this is that many construction sites are such dangerous places with many different contractors working in close proximity to one another. Further, general contractors have a legal obligation to make sure that the site is safe and that the work is done in a safe, workmanlike manner. Unfortunately, general contractors many times push subcontractors to set aside safety in favor of speed.
These are some of the construction accident cases I have worked on over the years:
- During the CTA Blue Line rehabilitation program, CTA flaggers were sent out ahead of the contractor’s work crews to slow el trains as they approached the work zone. I represented a flagger who was injured while descending a station ladder. The work crews had removed the footings for the station ladder so that when my client climbed on the ladder, it shifted. She lost her balance and fell to the track bed below, suffering a herniated disc in her neck which required surgery.
- I represented an apprentice ironworker who was carrying a keg of bolts from a staging area to where the journeymen ironworkers were erecting the steel for building. Due to a lack of adequate walkways, the apprentice ironworker slipped in mud and suffered a serious knee injury which prevented him from continuing in the ironworking trade.
- I represented a laborer who was injured while working for a subcontractor of Commonwealth Edison. When a vault full of electrical wires was caved in, his crew was sent into the vault to clear away debris. They were falsely told that the power had been shut off, and suffered an electrical shock injury.
- I represented a laborer who was injured while his crew was rebuilding a steel mill. When the pipefitters cut loose a pipe above his work area, they failed to secure the pipe and it fell, hitting him in the head, causing a brain injury and herniated discs in his neck, and rendering him incapable of work.
- I represented a sheet metal worker who fell while laying decking for the roof of a retail store. The general contractor required the sheet metal workers to work at heights in excess of OSHA regulations without fall protection. The sheet metal worker suffered herniated discs in his neck, a serious shoulder injury, and compression fractures in his lower back due to the fall.
- I represented a millwright who fell through an unguarded floor opening while installing machinery for a factory. Another contractor had removed the cover for the hole. The millwright suffered fractured heels as a result of the fall.
- I represented a laborer who suffered a wrist fracture with nerve damage when a trench that he was walking alongside collapsed. The contractors who dug the trench failed to properly shore the trench, and the general contractor failed to make sure that the trenching work was done properly.
- I represented an ironworker who suffered a torn rotator cuff when he tripped over equipment that had been placed at the base of a ladder he was getting off of. An apprentice for another contractor had placed the equipment there, not recognizing that it created a tripping hazard.
- I represented a drywall taper who fell and suffered a knee injury when the scaffold he was standing on rolled away from the wall he was working on. The general contractor knew about the defective wheel locks on the scaffold, but failed to take the scaffold out of service.
- An electrician suffered a serious injury in a trip and fall accident while pushing a gang box along particle board that had been laid down by the general contractor to protect carpeting that had recently been laid. The particle boards became curled due to heavy usage and should have been replaced. Further, they would not have been needed had the work been properly sequenced.
- A millwright suffered a serious lower back injury when he and a crew of three others were forced to try to move a one ton piece of equipment manually due to poor planning and oversight by the general contractor.
Construction accidents are complicated cases due to the involvement of the employer, who cannot be sued by the employee directly due to the exclusive remedy provisions of the Illinois Worker’s Compensation Act. This particular kind of workplace injury suit calls for the assistance of an experienced Chicago personal injury lawyer.