Abels & Annes

Articles Posted in Construction Accident

crane-1549933Any type of employee can be hurt in a workplace accident in Chicago, but some are more likely than others to suffer from harm. Among them, those who work in construction or near a construction site are particularly likely to be involved in incidents that cause injuries and damages to the workers themselves. Construction zones present a mix of activities and often a fast-paced environment, leading to incidents where mistakes or errors may result. If a worker is operating heavy machinery and uses poor judgment, that worker may injure herself and others on the site and those injuries may have a profound effect on those involved, their loved ones, and their friends.

Under the laws in Illinois, it is the duty of every employer – regardless of what industry is at issue – to provide a safe work environment, or as safe as possible if the job is one with inherent risk. This can mean things like properly training and certifying employees, having safety seminars, following local guidelines and OSHA regulations, and simply making sure that employees are not forced to risk themselves while they work. Failing to do so may make a job site unnecessarily risky and may be against the law.

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A 56-year-old man who was injured at a Northwestern University construction site on Thursday has died due to his injuries and police have launched an investigation. 1126967_timber_-_wooden_beams_yard.jpg

The man was working at an Evanston site when he was struck by a 16 foot long beam weighing 70 pounds, according to police. Early reports indicate that another worker maneuvering a crane struck the beam unintentionally with the crane, causing the beam to fall six stories. The victim was struck in the head and chest and was taken to NorthShore University Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries early Thursday morning.

The incident did not result in any other injuries but did cause work to be halted for an investigation. The Occupational Safety Health Administration (“OSHA”) has announced that it will conduct its own investigation into the facility and the incident that cost this worker his life.

OSHA, a division of the United States Department of Labor, is designed to prevent workers from being injured or killed while on the job and does this by requiring employers to provide safe working environments. While most employees nationwide are covered by OSHA protocols, construction workers and construction sites have a separate and specific set of requirements that OSHA imposes. They require a working environment that does not pose a serious threat of harm as well as the presence of safety equipment and proper training and instruction of employees.

The law in Illinois provides that workers who are injured on the job, regardless of who is at fault, are entitled to certain benefits, including access to medical care and treatment, disability pay, and payment for any injuries sustained. Many employees believe that they do not have a case if they are responsible for their injuries but this is not a correct belief. Since the law is complicated but allows for a recovery in most situations, it is important that any injured employee speak with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney at soon as possible after an accident.

It is also important to note that work place accidents happen every day in all types of work environments. Injuries happen at sites with physical requirements, like lifting, bending, carrying, and moving products, but they also occur in more mundane environments, including an office. The nature of your job or the type of environment you work in does not determine whether or not you have a claim when you are injured.

When a law firm gets involved in this tragic case, they will thoroughly investigate whether there is a potential third-party lawsuit on behalf of the victim and his family. They look to see if any independent party (outside of the employer) committed any negligent act or acts that contributed to this accident.
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240357_construction_1%20sxchu%20username%20LeoSynapse.jpgA construction worker was recently injured while working on a four-story building project at Edward Hospital in Naperville. According to Naperville Fire Department Bureau Chief Kevin Lyne, the man was hurt while standing on the roof of the hospital’s West Building after construction material fell on him. Although the man did not fall to the ground below, firefighters were reportedly summoned to rescue him from the building’s roof. Emergency responders purportedly called a Specialized Rescue Response Team to the scene of the incident in order to bring the injured man down. Lyne said rescue crews took more than half an hour to lower the construction worker to the ground using a crane. Once on the ground, the worker was reportedly taken inside of the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Hospital operations were purportedly not affected and construction resumed after the injured worker was rescued.

Thousands of construction and other workers throughout the United States are injured or killed in workplace accidents every year. According to the nation’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), falls are the number one cause of workplace deaths throughout the country. The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 created OSHA in an effort to protect construction, industrial, and other employees from unsafe conditions at work. Under the Act, employers must provide workers with a reasonably safe working environment, information regarding possible workplace safety hazards, safety training, and other safety-related requirements. Additionally, employers must comply with all federal health and safety regulations. In general, when a serious workplace injury occurs in Illinois and elsewhere OSHA will investigate whether an employer complied with federal safety requirements.

Normally, injuries sustained at an Illinois workplace are subject to state workers’ compensation laws. Sometimes, however, a third party such as a general contractor or equipment manufacturer may be held responsible for failing to adhere to state or federal safety requirements. For example, the company that manufactured a dangerous or defective piece of construction machinery may be held liable for any worker injury that resulted during use of the product. Similarly, a general contractor at a building site such as the hospital in this case has a duty to warn construction employees about potential safety hazards. If you or someone you love was harmed in a construction or other workplace accident, you are advised to contact a quality attorney to discuss your options for financial recovery.
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53463_crates_and_forklife%20sxchu%20username%20philly_j.jpgA 56-year-old Orland Park man recently settled a brain injury lawsuit for a record $5.1 million. The heating, ventilation, and air conditioning worker was reportedly hurt in a March 2005 accident when a forklift operator working three stories above the man accidentally dropped building materials on him at a Chicago construction site. The pile of lumber allegedly hit the worker on the head and left the man with a concussion as well as a diminished memory and reduced learning capacity. The man later filed a lawsuit in DuPage County against the building’s general contractor, Dubin & Associates, and subcontractor, Asbach & Vanselow, alleging their negligence caused his traumatic head injury.

The worker’s lawsuit reportedly relied heavily on a medical study recently conducted on former National Football League players. Researchers purportedly analyzed the brain function of former players who endured head injuries while playing professional football and found that a single concussion could cause permanent issues with an individual’s brain function. Many of those issues were allegedly similar to those experienced by the injured worker.

Unfortunately, thousands of workers throughout the United States are hurt or killed in construction accidents each year. The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 created OSHA in an effort to reduce or eliminate such worker injuries and deaths. The Act requires employers to provide workers with a reasonably safe working environment, safety training, information regarding possible workplace safety hazards, and more. In addition, employers must comply with all federal health and safety regulations. When a serious workplace injury occurs, OSHA will normally investigate whether an employer complied with established safety standards.

In general, Chicago workplace accidents are subject to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act. The Act generally precludes an employer from being held responsible for workplace accidents. Still, in some cases a third party who failed to adhere to state or federal safety regulations may be held liable for a worker’s injury. A general contractor, architect, equipment manufacturer, and others may be sued for negligence when a worker is hurt in a preventable construction accident. Because the amount of time during which you may file a lawsuit is limited, you should contact a hardworking attorney to discuss your options for financial recovery following any Chicago construction accident injury.
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949108_untitled%20sxchu%20username%20kleomia.jpgA Cook County jury recently awarded a paralyzed former iron worker $64 million in damages as a result of allegedly unsafe working conditions at a DeKalb construction site. According to the injured Monee man, studs caused him to trip while he was walking on an iron beam 20 feet in the air at a warehouse that was being constructed for an electronics company in 2007. As a result, the worker reportedly fell, landed on his head, and broke his neck. He is now paralyzed from the chest down and purportedly requires round-the-clock care.

In his lawsuit, the paralyzed worker claimed that no safety harnessing equipment was installed in order to prevent his fall. He was left with limited arm movement and has purportedly undergone multiple surgeries in an effort to regain some movement in his hands and other body parts. The paralyzed man allegedly experiences constant and severe pain in his neck. Since the accident, his medical expenses have reportedly reached $5 million.

The jury’s verdict was the largest ever awarded to a paralyzed individual in the State of Illinois. Still, the jury found the electronics company only 80 percent responsible for the paralyzed man’s injury. The jury also found the worker 20 percent responsible for his harm. Under Illinois’ modified comparative negligence system, this means the worker’s award will be reduced by 20 percent. An attorney for the electronics company, which also acted as the general contractor at the construction site, stated the accident was caused by the injured man’s failure to follow his own employer’s safety requirements. He also said the company plans to appeal the allegedly excessive award.

Sadly, thousands of workers are hurt or killed in construction accidents every year. According to the nation’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, inadequate fall protection is one of the top two safety violations committed in the United States. Falls are also the number one cause of workplace deaths throughout the country.

Workplace accidents in Illinois are normally subject to state workers’ compensation laws. A third party such as general contractor or equipment manufacturer, however, may be held liable for any failure to implement or adhere to state or federal safety requirements. For example, the company that manufactured or sold a dangerous or defective piece of construction machinery may be held financially responsible for any injury that results from use of the product. Likewise, a general contractor at a building site has a duty to ensure a reasonable level of worker safety and to warn construction employees about possible safety hazards. If you were hurt in a construction accident, you should contact a skilled lawyer to discuss your options for financial recovery.
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Illinois State Police, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), Illinois State Police, the Associated General Contractors of Illinois and the American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA) all joined together to unveil the new National Work Zone Memorial Wall at the Illinois State Fair. This wall aims to recognize the workers that we’ve lost in work zones accidents in Illinois. The wall will also be used to raise awareness about the importance of safe driving habits for all motorists through our construction zones. The wall will act as a remembrance for the women, men and children who’ve lost their lives in accidents that occurred in construction zones throughout the country.
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As we recently reported on our Chicago Personal Injury Attorneys Blog, distracted driving is one of the top causes for car accident-related construction accidents. Motorists are asked to place all of their attention on the road when passing through construction zones not only to prevent a car accident, but to help save the life of a roadside construction worker. As a reminder, Illinois state law prohibits the use of hand-held cell phones in construction zones.

“The National Work Zone Safety Memorial symbolizes the collective efforts and commitment of all states for the ongoing challenge to prevent work zone crashes,” said Acting Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider.

The wall is filled with the names of those who we’ve lost in work zone accidents. The visualization of those that we’ve lost is being used to increase motorist’s awareness of the dangers of accidents in road construction zones.

ISP Operations Col. Rob Haley would like to remind everyone that one work zone death is way too many and the IDOT will be continuing their effort to bring the number of these fatalities down to zero.

The DOT notes that its current efforts are in fact helping to reduce the risks of a fatal work zone accident. According to Illinois state traffic accident data, 2009 and 2010 illustrated two years in a row in which the state witnessed less than 1,000 traffic fatalities. These two years have been recorded as a record low dating back to 1921.

IDOT says that this accomplishment is a large part a result of its latest media campaigns, a number of infrastructure improvements, signing enhancements, safety engineering and automated work zone speed limit enforcement, just to name a few.

The IDOT campaign “See Orange. Slow Down. Save Lives ” is one of the media campaigns that have launched to help raise awareness of safe driving habits in these construction areas. This campaign includes visual and audio PSAs used to send the transportation department’s safe-driving message to motorists across the state.

Here are some safe driving tips to help you get through a construction zone without any problems:

-Slow down when you’re approaching a construction zone.

-Follow all posted speed limits.

-Don’t follow the vehicle in front of you too closely.

-Don’t pass another vehicle by using the shoulder of the road.

-Leave yourself an out to escape a dangerous situation. Never block yourself in.

-Keep it calm. Understand that traffic will travel a little slower through these areas. Consider this before heading out to your destination.

-Put away all distractions, including cell phones, text messaging devices, loud music, etc.

-Keep your eyes on the road and expect the unexpected.
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The Illinois Department of Transportation hopes to reach adult drivers through the creativity of their children as the department solicits artwork submissions for the Illinois Work Zone Safety Calendar.

Our Chicago personal injury lawyers frequently report that car accidents are a leading cause of Illinois work injuries and nowhere are employees more at risk than construction workers on the roads in an around Chicago.
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This year’s theme is “See Orange. Slow Down. Save Lives” and contestants in Kindergarten through 6th grade are encouraged to enter artwork by November 15, 2010. The top 30 entries will be narrowed to 12 finalists, and those drawings will be displayed on the 2012 Illinois Work Zone Safety Calendar.

More than 9,100 students have participated since the contest began in 2005.

Work Zone Safety reports that 667 people were killed in road construction zones last year. Illinois road construction accidents claimed 31 lives.

Contest registration forms, release forms and instructions are available by clicking here.

Safety Tips for Driving in Work Zones

-Expect the unexpected:
Slower speeds, changing lanes and people working near the flow of traffic are the norm.

-Slow Down: Speeding is a leading cause of serious and fatal accidents in construction zones.

-Don’t Tailgate: Allow a safe travel distance between you and other vehicles. This permits more time to react, and reduces the risk of a rear-end collision.

-Watch for Workers: And allow a safe distance between your vehicle and construction workers, machinery, barriers or other equipment on or near the roadway.

-Pay attention to signs: Constructions signs, instructions, warning signs and other directions are in place to help you navigate a construction zone safely. Observe signs and remain alert.

-Obey road crews and flaggers: Flaggers understand the obstacles and challenges to moving traffic safely through work zones. Watch for their signals and obey their directions.

-Stay Alert: By minimizing distractions, you stand a better chance of navigating a work zone safely. Leave the radio, cell phones and other distractions alone while in a work zone.

-Keep up with traffic:
Traveling slower or faster than the flow of traffic can be dangerous. Merge when directed — don’t race up to the lane closure and then try to cut in line.

-Allow plenty of time: Make adjustments to your traveling schedule that take road construction delays into account. Expect delays and check the radio, TV and websites for the latest information.

-Stay Calm:
Keeping your patience is the key to staying safe and keeping road crews safe in work zones. Remember that work crews are working hard to keep roads in passable shape and to make tomorrow’s commute better for you.
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A Chicago area pedestrian accident has resulted in the death of a construction worker in southwest suburban Forest View, Illinois, according to CBS News. The accident occurred on Friday afternoon when a semi-truck exiting the Stevenson Expressway (Interstate 55) made an illegal right turn and struck the worker on the Harlem Avenue off-ramp.

The construction worker was employed by Midwest Fencing, who was working a project for IDOT. The victim was making repairs to a barrier fence at the time of the accident, according to IDOT spokesman Guy Tridgell.

Because of the construction, there were reportedly no right turn signs for trucks at the bottom of the off-ramp, but for reasons unknown, the trucker still made the right turn.

An East Chicago man is facing four felony counts of drunk driving and leaving the scene, in the wake of a car accident in a construction zone that has claimed the life of an Indiana man.

A judge on Tuesday denied a request by the defendant to be released from jail to take a final exam, according to ABC 7.

As we reported earlier this week on our Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, the worker was flown by medical helicopter to Loyola University Medical Center in critical condition with head and leg injuries. He died Sunday as a result of his injuries. Charges against the defendant have since been upgraded as a result of the worker’s death.

A Gary Indiana man was arrested recently and charged because of his involvement in a Chicago car crash that injured a construction worker last summer, WGN News reported.

The Chicago construction zone accident occurred when an SUV slammed into a highway worker closing the gate on his truck along the Dan Ryan Expressway. The defendant was ticketed but failed to appear in court. A warrant issued for his arrest in Cook and four surrounding counties failed to locate him until media reports were broadcast nationwide.

The highway worker was severely injured. A year later he is finally walking again. The worker said he hopes his story provides a lesson to law enforcement and is pushing for nationwide warrants to be issued in cases where highway construction workers are injured.