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Michael Agruss

Written and Reviewed by Michael Agruss

  • Managing Partner and Personal Injury Lawyer at Mike Agruss Law.
  • Over 20 years of experience in Personal Injury.
  • Over 8000+ consumer rights cases settled.
  • Graduated from the University of Illinois Chicago School of Law: Juris Doctor, 2004.

The construction industry is a critical part of a growing economy, but it is also the most hazardous industry for worker injuries on construction sites. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, falls from elevated spaces, like scaffolding or ladders, alone accounted for 680 construction worker deaths in 2021. Notably, it’s not just construction workers who are at risk. Anyone who walks by a build site is vulnerable to falling debris and equipment lying around.

At Mike Agruss Law, we know how the negligence of general contractors, subcontractors, property owners, and third parties can lead to serious injuries for construction workers. Whether you have suffered a spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, broken bones, or any other type of injury on a construction site in Illinois, we can help you hold the at-fault party accountable.

Our team of experienced construction accident lawyers has recovered millions of dollars in jury verdicts as well as out-of-court settlements. Our reputation gives us the leverage to negotiate strongly with powerful defendants and large insurance companies.

Don’t let the fear of losing your job or dealing with the insurance companies keep you from obtaining the financial compensation that is rightfully yours. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation to get started on your path to justice and compensation.

Common Causes of Construction Industry Accidents in Illinois

Construction site accidents can happen for any number of reasons, whether it’s the kind of work you are doing, the tools you are using, or just the hazardous site where you are working. Some of the most common construction accidents occur in the following ways:

  • Falls from unstable scaffolding, ladders, or roofs
  • Electrocutions due to exposed cables, wiring, or unfinished electrical systems
  • Accidents involving cranes, bulldozers, or forklifts due to lack of proper training
  • Trips and slips on uneven surfaces, scattered tools, or wet floors
  • Injuries from falling objects like tools, materials, or debris
  • Explosions from gas leaks or improper storage of flammable materials
  • Trench collapses due to unstable walls
  • Overexertion injuries from lifting heavy construction materials

Regardless of how you were injured, you might be able to obtain compensation for medical expenses, lost income, and the pain and suffering you went through. If your loved one succumbed to their catastrophic injuries, you might be entitled to death benefits. At Mike Agruss Law, our construction accident attorneys are here to help you understand your rights and recover maximum possible compensation for your losses.

Types of Injuries Sustained by Construction Accident Victims

There is a lot that can go wrong on building development sites. This can result in a variety of serious construction accident injuries:

  • Broken bones from falls
  • Amputation
  • Electrical burn injury from touching exposed wires
  • Concussions or traumatic brain injuries from falling tools or materials
  • Cuts and lacerations from sharp objects
  • Neck, back, and spinal cord injuries from heavy lifting or falls
  • Chemical burns from spills of corrosive substances (like acids)
  • Respiratory issues or lung damage from breathing in harmful dust or chemicals
  • Hearing loss from constant loud noise
  • Eye injuries from flying debris or chemical splashes
  • Crush injuries and internal organ damage from being caught between heavy objects

What to Do When You are Injured on a Construction Site

The first thing you should do when you get injured is to receive medical attention by visiting your nearest emergency room or urgent care clinic. If the construction accident injury looks life-threatening or you are in pain, call 911 right away. Do not try to ignore it because a lot of minor injuries can turn serious later on. Untreated concussions can result in lifelong brain damage; sprains and strains can lead to chronic pain and mobility issues.

Make sure to get a complete medical evaluation and keep all the paperwork, including any prescriptions or referrals to specialists. Here are your next steps:

Tell someone in charge

If you are a construction worker who sustained serious injuries while doing your job, report the incident to your supervisor or the site manager. If you are not a worker, find the highest-ranking person on the premises you can locate. Having an official record of what happened from the get-go is extremely important. Note down the time and date when you reported it.

Take pictures

Use your smartphone to take clear pictures of the accident scene, the equipment or conditions that caused your injury, and any violations of OSHA safety guidelines. Try to capture different angles and lighting conditions for maximum clarity. These photographs can serve as valuable evidence later.

Find witnesses

Did anyone see what happened? If so, get their names and contact information. They can help back up your story. If possible, ask them to provide a brief statement about what they saw, as memories can fade over time.

Save and organize all medical records

Save all your medical bills you incurred as an injured worker, doctor’s notes, and any other records. You will need these whether you are filing a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury lawsuit. Organize them in a folder for easy access.

File a report

Construction workers should fill out a workers’ comp form, which you can get from your employer or the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC). Others should still report the incident to the construction site manager. Get a copy of any report filed for your own records.

Talk to a construction accident lawyer

The legal system in Illinois can be highly complicated for personal injury claims. Working with an attorney who has a deep understanding of construction site regulations, workers’ compensation laws, and personal injury laws in Illinois can make all the difference. A personal injury lawyer can help you figure out how much compensation you can obtain (and the best way to do it), whether through workers’ comp or a personal injury claim.

Follow medical advice

Missing even one doctor’s appointment or not following their advice to the T can help the other side make the case that your injuries are not serious at all. You can imagine how it can damage your claim. Keep a thorough record of all your appointments and any treatments prescribed, and follow through on each one.

What Not to Do After Your Construction Site Injury

It is equally important to know what not to do after your construction injury. At some point, the insurance companies might approach you with an offer. Don’t accept it; it’s bound to be significantly less than what you are truly entitled to. If you sign on any document, or provide a recorded statement without getting legal representation first, you might be risking your right to maximum compensation.

We recommend not even talking to the insurance company’s rep without consulting dedicated construction injury attorneys first. At the same time, you should remember to document any communication attempts from the company so your construction injury lawyer can review it.

Who Is Liable for Your Construction Site Injuries?

When a new building is constructed, there are a lot of parties involved in the process to make it happen. If any of these parties is negligent in their duties and it results in someone getting hurt, they can be held responsible for it. This includes:

  • Construction projects company or employer
  • Property owners
  • General contractors and subcontractors
  • Equipment manufacturers
  • Architects and engineers
  • Construction material suppliers
  • Local or state government entities (if the accident was due to a failure to inspect and ensure the site’s safety)
  • Third parties (utility companies, transportation companies, safety consultants)
  • Fellow workers

How Our Construction Accident Lawyers will Prove Negligence of the Liable Parties

To determine exactly who is responsible for your injuries and to prove their liability, our lawyers at Mike Agruss Law will take the following measures:

  • Collect the official accident report, which could be a police report, a report filed with the construction site manager, or the injured workers’ comp form you filled out.
  • Gather all your medical documents to prove the extent of your injuries and link them directly to the accident.
  • Interview witnesses and get their statements in writing.
  • Collect any video evidence of the accident scene from security camera footage, smartphone videos, and even drone footage if available.
  • Bring in medical experts to explain your injuries, and/or a construction safety expert to point out the OSHA non-compliance that led to your accident.
  • Dig into the construction companies’ safety records to see if there have been similar incidents in the past. A history of safety violations can strengthen your construction accident case by showing a pattern of negligence.
  • Obtain inspection reports – if your accident was caused by malfunctioning equipment – to prove it was not up to code.
  • Retrieve emails, memos, and other communications between site supervisors, workers, and the construction company. This can help us prove that there was prior knowledge of a safety hazard and that it was ignored.
  • Access budgets and financial records to show corners were cut on safety systems to save money.
  • Compile all contracts, permits, and other legal documents to figure out who had the responsibility for what on the construction sites. This can help us pinpoint exactly who was liable for your accident.

Types of Compensation You Can Seek

The type of compensation you can receive under Illinois law depends on whether you are filing a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury lawsuit.

Under workers’ compensation benefits, you can claim:

  • Medical expenses: To cover all your hospital bills, including surgery, medication, and any required equipment (like a wheelchair).
  • Temporary total disability benefits (TTD): If you can’t work at all while recovering, you will get benefits to replace a portion of your lost wages. This is usually 2/3 of your average weekly wage, up to a maximum set by the state.
  • Temporary partial disability benefits (TPD): If you can work but not as much as before, you may get 2/3 of the difference between your average weekly wage pre-injury and your new, lower wage.
  • Permanent partial disability benefits (PPD): If you have a lasting disability but can still work in some capacity, you could get these workers’ compensation benefits. The amount depends on the severity of your disability and is usually a percentage of your wages before you were injured (subject to a limit).
  • Permanent total disability benefits (PTD): If you can’t ever return to work, you may receive 2/3 of your average weekly wage for life, up to state-imposed limits.
  • Vocational rehabilitation benefits: If you can’t return to your old job, you might get help finding a new one or training for a different career.
  • Death benefits: If a worker dies due to their fatal construction accident injuries, their family can receive benefits to cover funeral expenses, medical bills before death, and lost wages paid to surviving family. Dependents may get long-term financial support or a lump-sum payment.

For a personal injury on a construction site, you may claim these damages:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of consortium

In some Illinois construction accident cases, the court may award you punitive damages if the at-fault party’s actions were particularly reckless. They might also be ordered to pay your attorney’s fees.

What is the Statute of Limitations for Construction Injuries in Illinois?

For workers’ compensation claims, you have 45 days to report your construction site injury to your employer. If you wait any longer, you may lose your chance to get benefits. Then you generally have three years from the date of the accident to file a formal claim with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission.

This time limit is different for personal injury claims. You have two years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit. This also applies to injured workers who don’t qualify for workers’ comp (like independent contractors).

Keep in mind that there are several exceptions to this. For example, if you want to sue your local government, you might have only one year to file a claim. But if you are filing a claim against the State of Illinois, you may have two years, however, you will need to file a formal claim with the Illinois Court of Claims first.

If you were a minor at the time of the accident, the statute doesn’t start until you turn 18. When people lose their lives because of construction site falls, construction equipment accidents, or any other tragedy, their family has two years from the date of death to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

Every case is unique and there are a ton of different deadlines we haven’t mentioned here. So, it’s a good idea to talk to a construction accident attorney as soon as you can.

Consult with Our Proven and Resourceful Construction Accident Lawyers in Illinois Today

The sooner you reach out to us after your construction injury, the faster we will move to gather evidence and establish liability of the negligent parties. Every single moment counts when your medical expenses are increasing by the minute and you are facing an uncertain future. At Mike Agruss Law, we are committed to helping you achieve the maximum possible compensation.

With decades of experience in successfully handling construction accident claims and fighting for the rights of injured workers, we are in a strong position to protect your rights. Our legal team knows the Illinois construction laws and OSHA safety regulations and will do what it takes to hold the negligent parties accountable.

You can schedule a free consultation today by calling or texting us at 312-300-5996 (local) or 844-SEE-MIKE (toll-free). You may also reach us online to discuss your legal options.

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