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Construction Site Wrongful Death Claims

Chicago Law Firm for Construction Workers’ Families

Fatal construction site accidents can involve a wide array of situations including collapses, falls, electrocutions, explosions, burns, machinery accidents, trench collapses, ground collapses, overexertion, equipment failures, and vehicle accidents. In some instances, death is instantaneous, while in others, serious head, neck, spine, or back injuries prove to be fatal sometime after the accident. After the death of a family member who was a construction worker, you may struggle both financially and emotionally. It can be hard to know how to proceed in the face of both grief and practical concerns. If you believe you may have grounds to bring a construction site wrongful death claim, you should call the experienced Chicago construction accident lawyers of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca.

Construction Site Wrongful Death Claims in Chicago

When an accident was preventable and kills a worker, there may be room to seek both death benefits from an employer’s workers’ compensation policy and bring a wrongful death lawsuit against third parties. It is crucial to retain a lawyer who knows how to investigate the site as quickly as possible to determine all contributing causes of the death. Construction sites shift rapidly several times a day, and there may be cover-ups, inadequate incident reports, or efforts to withhold information to protect profits that could make it difficult for you to secure damages after the death of a loved one.

Contributing causes to a construction site wrongful death may include the negligence of construction foremen, workplace supervisors, subcontractors, or suppliers, as well as defective equipment and machines, or reckless conduct. Generally, foremen and workplace supervisors must make frequent and rapid decisions to protect workers’ health and safety; when a non-employer makes negligent decisions that results in a death, it may be proper for a personal representative of the decedent to pursue wrongful death damages.

Under the Illinois Wrongful Death Act, 740 ILCS 180/1, a personal representative of the deceased may bring a lawsuit to recover damages. Our lawyers may be able to obtain a damages award, if we can prove a loved one’s death happened because of negligence.  Often these lawsuits are brought under a theory of negligence, in which our attorneys must prove it’s more likely than not: (1) our client was owed a duty of reasonable care by the defendant, (2) breach of the duty to use reasonable care, (3) causation, and (4) damages. Breach of the duty to use reasonable care can take different forms but may include such actions or omissions as failure to provide functional safety equipment, failure to provide warnings about an energized panel or power line, mistakes in constructing scaffolding, or negligent driving of onsite vehicle accidents.  

Damages that may be recovered in a wrongful death lawsuit include funeral and burial expenses, medical expenses, loss of financial support, pain and suffering, loss of consortium, loss of instruction and moral training, and the survivors’ grief and suffering. When egregious misconduct at a construction site results in a wrongful death, it may be appropriate to pursue punitive damages, which are awarded to punish and deter wrongdoing.

You should be aware that defendants will try to pin the blame on accident victims when faced with a lawsuit. If your deceased loved one was found to be at least 50% responsible for causing an accident, you’ll be barred from obtaining any damages. Damages will be reduced by an amount proportionate to the decedent’s degree of fault if a decedent was 49% or less responsible for the accident.

Chicago Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Workers’ compensation benefits are intended to partially compensate for lost wages, medical bills, vocational rehabilitation, and out-of-pocket expenses. Benefits are not provided for intangible losses such as pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life. When someone dies on the job, their family may be entitled to more than one type of compensation. Workers’ compensation provides death benefits for immediate family to compensate for lost wages, expenses, and the other losses that unfortunately accompany the death of a loved one.

Hire a Chicago Wrongful Death Lawyer

In spite of the gravity of the situation, insurers and big businesses do not always take a fair approach after a construction worker is killed. They may look for ways in which the worker was at fault for his own injuries in order to try to get his compensation reduced. You should retain a law firm to represent you if your loved one was a construction worker who died on the job or in a work-related accident. Our attorneys represent construction workers in Rockford, Quincy, Champaign, and Aurora, as well as Kane, Sangamon, Cook, Winnebago, and Adams Counties. Call us at 800-444-1525 or 312-263-6330 or complete our online form.