Falls are a leading cause of injury and death for construction workers. Yet roofing contractors and others do work on construction projects without providing adequate fall protection or scaffolding. Sometimes there is inadequate head protection for workers engaged below other dangerous activities. If you are a construction worker who was injured in a fall, you should give the seasoned Chicago workers’ compensation lawyers of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca a call. With more than 60 years of experience seeking compensation for injured workers, we are familiar with the best strategies to obtain a good outcome for clients in the construction industry and other industries.Workers’ Compensation for Falls
Often construction accidents are investigated by the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). In some cases, these investigations can yield important evidence about the reasons for the fall, and they can also indicate whether safety violations were willful, and whether they should be subject to punitive damages in a third party lawsuit. For instance, if an OSHA inspector observes that while roofing subcontractors are building rafters they have not been given guardrail systems or safety nets, or even personal and individual fall arrest systems by the general contractor responsible for them, there may be grounds to sue for damages.
However, workers’ compensation benefits are different. They are no-fault benefits. In order to recover them after a fall, our lawyers will need to show the fall was work-related, but we don’t need to prove it was caused by your employer’s negligence or anyone’s fault. This can make it easier to recover benefits. However, the workers’ compensation system is still quite difficult for contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and materialmen to navigate.Benefits for Work Injuries
Workers’ compensation benefits to which you may be entitled can include medical benefits, permanent total disability benefits, temporary total disability benefits, permanent partial disability benefits, temporary partial disability benefits, and vocational rehabilitation.
You may be concerned about what particular medical expenses are covered, particularly if your fall was serious and you require significant and expensive procedures, as a result. You can recover the costs of reasonable and necessary medical care as part of your medical benefits. You can also, typically, choose your treating provider, though you may be somewhat restricted on which provider you can see if your employer belongs to a preferred provider program (PPP), and you are limited to two choices of treating physician within that program or one choice of a treating physician outside the PPP.
Permanent total disability benefits are calculated at a rate of 2/3 of your average weekly wage, which, in turn, can be a contested calculation. Whether you are permanently disabled can be a disputed matter, requiring a hearing and testimony by experts, in addition to your treating physician.
If your fall renders you unable to work in the same job, you may be entitled to obtain a vocational rehabilitation benefit to help you receive education or training go to work at a different job or even a different industry.Damages in a Third-Party Lawsuit
If you were injured through the fault of another, an entity or person other than your employer, you may be entitled to recover damages in a third-party lawsuit. Most of these types of lawsuits are pursued under a theory of negligence. Our attorneys would need to prove: (1) you were owed a duty of reasonable care by the defendant, (2) the defendant breached the duty of reasonable care, (3) causation, and (4) actual damages. A defendant can breach the duty to use reasonable care in various ways. For instance, if a supplier provided your employer with a personal arrest system that was defective, the supplier and the manufacturer of that system could be held accountable in a personal injury and product liability lawsuit.Consult a Seasoned Falls Lawyer
We handle construction workers’ claims involving falls in Aurora, Champaign, Rockford, Quincy, as well as Sangamon, Winnebago, Kane, Cook, and Adams Counties. Our Chicago attorneys also handle third party lawsuits, such as those that may need to be brought against a manufacturer, and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) claims. Call us at 312-263-6330 or 800-444-1525 or complete our online form.