Construction work can be dangerous, with many workers injured every year. If you are a construction worker in Chicago and have been injured on the job, you may be wondering what your options are. Workers’ compensation is one potential lifeline that can help you get back on your feet.
In Illinois, companies are legally required to carry workers’ compensation insurance.
How Does Workers’ Comp Work?
Your company will approach their insurer with a workers’ compensation claim. The insurer will review the claim and approve or deny it.
If approved, you receive benefits to assist in paying for your medical costs, lost income, and other associated expenses. Your compensation will vary depending on your injury’s severity. You can also qualify for vocational rehabilitation assistance in specific circumstances to get back to work.
What Are Some Common Construction Injuries?
Construction sites are dangerous places, and workers face a variety of potential injuries on the job. Here are some of the most common construction site injuries:
- Falls: Falls are one of the leading causes of injury and death on construction sites. Workers may fall from ladders, scaffolds, roofs, or other elevated surfaces.
- Struck by objects: Workers may be struck by falling objects, such as tools or materials, or by moving equipment or vehicles on the job site.
- Electrocution: Workers may be electrocuted by exposed wires or electrical equipment on-site.
- Burns: Workers may suffer burns from hot materials, fires, or explosions on the job site.
- Back injuries: Lifting heavy objects or performing repetitive tasks can cause back injuries, such as strains, sprains, and herniated discs.
- Hearing loss: Exposure to loud noises, such as power tools and heavy machinery, can cause permanent hearing loss.
- Respiratory problems: Workers may inhale dust, fumes, or other hazardous substances on the job site, which can cause respiratory problems such as asthma or lung cancer.
- Heat exhaustion: Working in hot temperatures or direct sunlight for extended periods can lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
What Should You Do if You’re Injured on the Job?
- Seek medical attention immediately.
- Report your injury to your employer as soon as possible.
- Follow your doctor’s orders and attend all medical appointments.
- Keep detailed records of all medical expenses, lost wages, and other related expenses.
- Contact an accomplished workers’ compensation attorney to help you navigate the claims process.
Why Contact an Attorney?
Some ways a personal injury attorney in Chicago can help include:
- An attorney can provide legal guidance and support throughout the workers’ compensation process. They can help workers understand their legal rights and obligations and provide advice on how to proceed with their case.
- An attorney can help workers file a workers’ compensation claim, which is necessary to receive benefits for a work-related injury. The attorney can help workers fill out the necessary paperwork, gather evidence to support their claim and file it with the appropriate agency.
- An attorney can negotiate a settlement with the employer or their insurance company. This can help you receive a fair settlement without a lengthy legal process.
- If the case goes to court, an attorney can represent the worker and advocate for their rights. The attorney can present evidence, cross-examine witnesses, and argue on your behalf.
- If a workers’ compensation claim is denied, an attorney can help with the appeals process. They can gather additional evidence supporting the claim, file an appeal, and argue the case in court if necessary.
How Can You Prevent Construction Injuries?
While some construction injuries are unavoidable, you can take steps to help prevent others. Here are some tips to help avoid construction injuries:
- Wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). This includes hard hats, safety glasses, gloves, and other protective gear.
- Use proper equipment and tools for the job. Ensure they are in good condition and properly maintained.
- Follow all safety procedures and regulations. This includes procedures for handling materials and machinery.
- Attend regular safety training sessions. These can help workers stay up-to-date on the latest safety procedures and regulations.
- Speak up if you see a safety hazard on the job site.
Protecting Yourself and Your Coworkers
Construction workers in Chicago face many potential hazards on the job. By being aware of the risks and taking action to protect themselves and their workers, employers can create a safer and healthier workplace for everyone. Let us all strive to develop a culture of safety in the construction industry, where the well-being of workers is always a top priority.