If you work in construction, you probably already know that it can be a dangerous occupation. In fact, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), every year, one in 10 construction workers are injured. With such a high likelihood of getting hurt at work, it’s important to have a plan on deck just in case something happens to you.
Learning more about construction injury possibilities and what to do if you get hurt can make things easier should you ever go down that road.
Get the Help You Need with a Construction Injury Attorney You Can Trust
One thing that is helpful to be aware of if you do get hurt is that finding a reliable construction injury attorney doesn’t have to be a hassle, and it can help you greatly when it comes to sorting out issues like medical bills, lost wages, and more.
But before we discuss how to find the right construction injury attorney, let’s learn a bit more about construction injuries: what some common injuries entail, prevention tips, who to contact if you’re hurt at work in Cook County, what the procedures are for filing a claim, and more.
Common Construction Injuries
According to the CDC, falls account for roughly 22 percent of all construction injuries reported, making them the most common type of injury associated with working construction. Falls can happen on even flooring, off of scaffolding, off of roofs and ladders, or virtually anywhere else at the workplace.
While you may think that falling from something, unless it was caused by negligence at the workplace, won’t be covered by an insurance company or a workers compensation claim, the truth is that many times, they are.
In fact, the most-violated OSHA standard is fall protection. If you’re confused about how to get a case going for a construction work injury, Vasilatos Injury Law is happy to help. When you work with us, you’ll have access to a skilled construction injury attorney who can walk you through the entire process of filing a workers compensation claim.
Other common injuries that happen at construction jobs include:
- Falling Objects: Construction sites are home to a lot of heavy equipment. If something is unsecured and falls off of a higher level and onto a worker, brain and spinal cord injuries can occur, even if workers are wearing appropriate safety gear.
- Equipment and Machinery-Related Accidents: Heavy machinery can cause serious and even fatal issues if not used properly and safely. Even if machines are used safely and according to their proper usage instructions, mistakes and accidents can happen—a dumpster falling over unexpectedly, a forklift malfunctioning, or a nail gun jamming and misfiring can all cause injuries that interfere with a person’s ability to work. If the machinery is not kept in good working order and causes problems, you’ll absolutely need a competent construction injury lawyer to help with your case.
- Stuck or Crushed Between Objects: These injuries are often very serious and require major medical attention. They can happen if a worker is crushed between large vehicles, equipment and walls, or crushed by equipment while working.
- Repetitive Motion Injuries: Injuries caused by doing the same task over and over across a span of time.
- Overexertion: These are injuries that can be caused by things like heat stroke or heat stress from being in the hot sun too long, or on the other side of the coin, hypothermia or frostbite. They can also be injuries from pulling, carrying, lifting, throwing, or holding objects.
- Fires/Explosions and Resulting Burns: Finally, injuries and burns caused by fires and explosions at construction sites are common, and hazardous conditions will absolutely play into how a construction injury attorney in Flossmoor can help you.
Tips for Preventing Construction Work Injuries
The best defense, as they say, is a good offense. That’s no different when talking about workplace injuries. Though the risk of injury is higher in construction than some other fields, there are some ways you can help prevent injury to yourself while on the clock, including:
- Educating staff about proper and safe techniques of using different machinery
- Ensuring employees are in good health when on the clock so that mistakes aren’t made due to overtiredness.
- Scheduling regular checks to make sure that the workspace is in safe working order.
- These are just a few basic tips for maintaining a safe workplace. There are many other ways to help keep your employees safe:
Prevent Falls and Make Sure Regular Inspections Are Conducted
Make sure you and your employees learn how to use property safety restraints such as harnesses when you work on a project more than six feet off of the ground.
Ensure that ladders are up to code and that other surfaces, such as scaffolding, that you’re standing on are secure and safe, and can hold the weight being placed onto them. Avoid slippery surfaces and when possible put up signage indicating potential dangers.
Make Sure Safety Gear Meets Proper Standards
Safety gear must always be used at construction sites, especially hardhats and helmets. They are designed to prevent head injuries, which can be some of the most serious injuries a person can sustain. Make sure everyone invests in good quality work boots (preferably steel-toed), safety glasses, and gloves, to protect your eyes and extremities.
Follow Workplace Guidelines for Safety
Those charts you see on the walls of some work sites depicting the proper ways to life and do other tasks aren’t there just for decoration—you already know that. The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that among construction workers, back injuries are the top complaint, so it’s essential to learn, teach, and practice the guidelines set forth for safe lifting of heavy objects.
Who Should You Contact If You’re Hurt at Work?
If you get hurt while at work on a construction job, don’t worry. Working with a professional construction injury attorney can be a big help, especially when it comes to ensuring you will have enough money to pay your bills and adjusting your pay to reflect that you’ve earned lost wages from the injury.
If you’ve been injured at work, the first thing you should do is notify your employer to let them know of the incident. Do this as soon as you can—most work injuries should be reported within seven days, but it can never hurt to let management know sooner.
Next, you’ll want to consider talking to a construction injury attorney. In Cook County and Flossmoor, IL, you can contact the reliable construction injury lawyers at Vasilatos Injury Law for help. They’ll be able to talk you through the entire process of filing a claim.
What Happens When You File a Claim with a Construction Injury Attorney?
If you seek medical care, you should inform doctors and other specialists that your injury was work-related—though this doesn’t always happen, sometimes, doctors will need to send you to a specific person to receive care based on the insurance plan your job has.
Make sure to keep track of any paperwork you collect as a result of the injury, especially medical bills. Next, your employer’s insurance carrier will open a claim for benefits. Based on firsthand reports from you, as well as reports from the employer and doctor, the carrier will determine whether or not the claim is compensable. If the claim qualifies for compensation, the insurance company and the employer will come to an agreement on what the client is owed, both as back-pay as well as expenses like missed wages and permanent injury compensation.
Unfortunately, claims can sometimes be denied, but if that is the case, the injured party does have recourse—they can appeal the denial.
Getting Help from a Flossmoor Construction Injury Attorney
If you’re in Cook County and need help with a work injury from a construction site in Flossmoor, Vasilatos Injury Law can help. Our team of professional, experienced personal injury and workers compensation attorneys is trained to be able to manage your specific injury case, no matter what the case may be.
Our construction injury attorneys in Flossmoor are dedicated to helping those in need all across the Chicagoland area, and if you can’t make it to us, we’ll come to you. When you need help, contact Vasilatos Injury Law for reliable, trustworthy legal representation for construction injury cases.