Each year, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics releases its report for the number of workplace fatalities that occur. The agency’s last released report was in 2019 and shows that more than 1,100 construction workers were killed that year. The report also reveals that 158 of those victims lost their lives in work-related accidents in the state of Illinois. The occupation with the highest number of fatal victims was the private construction industry, responsible for the deaths of 30 workers. These statistics don’t include the thousands of construction workers who were injured but fortunately survived their injuries. If you have suffered a construction site accident, contact a construction accident lawyer Schaumburg, IL workers trust to find out what legal options you may have.
Dangers of Working in the Construction Industry
While jobs in the construction industry only make up about five percent of the United States workforce, it accounts for more than 20 percent of all work-related fatalities every year. And these numbers continue to increase. According to one recent study, the total number of fatalities in 2019 has increased by more than 40 percent over an eight-year period.
OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), the federal agency that regulates worker safety, cites these four factors as the top causes of construction industry fatalities and injuries:
- Caught in and caught between accidents
- Struck by accidents
These incidents are responsible for approximately two-thirds of all fatal construction site accidents. Falls are the number one cause. In 2019, 401 workers were killed in falls to a lower-level accident and another 146 were killed in falls from roofs, ladders, and scaffolding.
A Schaumburg, IL construction accident lawyer knows that looking at these statistics, it should come as no surprise that in a recent report citing the 25 most dangerous jobs in America, almost half of them were jobs in the construction industry, including ironworkers, roofers, and brick masons.
Many construction site accidents could be avoided if employers followed the rules and regulations set by OSHA. Some of the most frequent violations that OSHA finds at construction sites that could and often does result in severe construction accidents include:
- Failure to meet lockout/tagout standards
- Improper electrical system design
- Improper electrical wiring and methods for electrical component installation
- Improper use of ladders
- Lack of fall protection equipment for workers
- Lack of proper hazard communication
- Lack of respiratory protection for workers
- Machinery and equipment that fails to meet operational and maintenance standards
- Scaffold standard violations
Fall Protection Equipment Can Save Lives
Accidents on construction sites make up a large percentage of work-related injuries, with falls being the number one cause. While some of these incidents can be blamed on sheer bad luck, many of them are due to carelessness or negligence. Site managers and company owners have a responsibility to their employees to do everything possible to prevent injury.
By implementing safety measures, like fall protection equipment, many of these accidents can be prevented.
Safety Should Be a Priority
Construction companies and managers should never prioritize production over safety, but unfortunately, many worksites are not equipped with simple safety precautions. Not only is this incredibly dangerous for the on-site workers, but it can also result in fines and expensive legal consequences. If you are a construction worker who suffered an injury on-the-job, a construction accident lawyer in Schaumburg, IL, may be able to help you. Reach out to Therman Law Offices, LTD to discuss the details of your case.
There are about 150,000 construction site accident injuries every year, but putting safety first can cut back on both minor and major injuries. An added benefit of this is that workers can focus on the duties of their job, rather than the fall risks all around them. This boosts productivity and employee morale. Emphasizing a safe work environment is beneficial for the company, the client, and especially the workers.
Safety Equipment to Utilize
There are many types of tools and equipment that can be implemented into various construction jobs to reduce the risk of injury. Common safety gear that is usually associated with construction work includes hardhats, safety glasses, gloves, and special footwear. If your employer did not provide proper safety gear and you were injured in an accident, speak with a construction accident lawyer in Schaumburg, IL.
There is specialized equipment intended to prevent and minimize falls, as well. These include harnesses, anchors, nets, and scaffolds. When working multiple stories in the air, a harness system can be the difference between a close call and a disaster. There are plenty of options to choose from, so construction companies that do not provide these life-saving tools have no excuse for ignoring safety. Temporary guardrails can be installed. Netting can be stretched around an entire building.
A construction accident lawyer in Schaumburg, IL, like the attorneys at Therman Law Offices, LTD, may be able to help you get the benefits you need and deserve.
Five Things To Consider When Hiring a Construction Accident Attorney
The construction business is one that comes with more than its fair share of hazards. From operating heavy machinery to working in dangerous areas such as confined spaces and ladders, the exposure to accidents can be quite high. Even with the use of protective equipment and safety plans, accidents do happen. If you ever need the services of a construction accident lawyer in Schaumburg, IL, here’s what you should consider.
Your Need for Representation
One of the first things to consider is why you need a lawyer. Perhaps you were injured in the course of doing your job. Maybe you were assaulted or attacked on site. It could be that you were denied compensation for your injuries or not given adequate time to recover. These are all valid reasons to seek legal counsel, but it’s important to be clear about your motivation.
Specific Experience of Your Lawyer
As with other professions, the legal world is diverse when it comes to knowledge, experience and area of practice. You want to make sure that your attorney has a proven track record of success when it comes to construction accident cases. While your case would fall under personal injury, an attorney that knows the law as it relates to construction work is best suited to represent your interests.
The Right Counsel
While it’s important to have a qualified lawyer representing you, it’s also important to have someone that you like working with. Most attorneys offer a free consultation in the beginning. This is an opportunity for you to get a feel for the person you’re considering. This consultation is like a job interview.
Part of finding the right representation means checking to see if an attorney has a disciplinary record. Each state keeps a record of disciplinary action for licensed attorneys. You’ll need to know if a potential lawyer has ever acted inappropriately. The reasons for discipline are a part of the public record. Contact your state’s bar association for more information.
Even though you’re hiring an attorney, you should think of your connection as a relationship. Your chances for a successful outcome are much better when you and your counsel are working well together. Your construction accident lawyer in Schaumburg, IL, will need your full cooperation when it comes to gathering information and working on your case. He or she is on your side, so it’s critical that you’re honest, open and communicative about the details of your situation.
Illinois Construction Accident Law Firm
If you have been injured in a construction site accident, you need a skilled construction accident lawyer in Schaumburg, IL advocating for you and ensuring you get the benefits you deserve. Call Therman Law Office, LTD today to schedule a free consultation and find out how we can help.
Do’s and Don’ts of Handling a Construction Accident
Do: Keep Records of Everything
Any construction accident lawyer in Schaumburg, IL, will tell you to keep records of everything — medical documents, paperwork, photographs of the incident and any other relative files should be kept and copied. You may need to show proof of something later, or you might need to revisit the information.
Don’t: Tamper With Documents
As soon as you mark on or change any documents, they may become unusable in court. Not only this, but you may be in serious trouble for tampering with official paperwork. Don’t mark on any papers unless the professionals at Therman Law Offices, LTD, advise you to do so.
Do: Attend All Medical Appointments
Attending all of your doctor’s appointments is very important for two reasons: first, it can make all the difference in your road to recovery. Secondly, it shows initiative on your part and may help your case. If you’re unable to attend a medical appointment for any reason, try to reschedule at your earliest convenience.
Don’t: Skip Medications
It’s also extremely important to make sure you’re taking all medications prescribed by your doctor. If you’re having a hard time dealing with any side effects from these prescriptions, talk to your medical team to learn about your alternatives. Be sure to let your construction accident lawyer in Schaumburg, IL, know if you make any changes to your recovery plan.
Do: Take Plenty of Time to Recover
All too often, people return to work before they fully recovered from their injury; this can seriously irritate the injury and prolong your healing process. Try to stay off the job until your medical team gives you clearance, and talk to your construction accident lawyer in Schaumburg, IL if you need financial assistance.
Don’t: Exaggerate or Undermine Your Situation
Honesty is your best policy when handling a construction accident, so don’t ever exaggerate your situation when discussing your case. Likewise, make sure you don’t undermine the severity of your injuries. Try to give an honest, factual recount of what happened and only provide details you are certain of.
Do: Avoid Sharing Details Online
You never know how information will spread, and disclosing certain details may ultimately hurt your case. Try not to share any details about your case without your legal team’s approval, especially online. If you need to, take a break from social media and the Internet altogether until Therman Law Offices, LTD has completed your case.