Work Injuries

Construction Accidents

Because it is their job to operate dangerous equipment, lift large or heavy objects, and work high off the ground, construction workers are at increased risk for on-the-job injuries. However, proper safety precautions and practices can prevent accidents and should be observed at job sites. Failure to instate such preventative measures is not only dangerous, but also illegal. If someone-such as a foreman-negligently causes a preventable accident, he and his company can be held legally liable. If defective equipment causes an injury, its manufacturer may be held responsible. If you or a loved one has been injured in a construction accident, our years of experience as personal injury lawyers in Chicago mean that we may be able to get you the compensation you deserve.

Chicago Workers Compensation

In 1911, the Illinois Workers' Compensation Act was enacted by the Illinois legislature to provide financial protection through the payment of specified benefits, to any worker who sustains an on-the-job injury.

Every employer is responsible for providing Workers' Compensation benefits to injured workers directly (self-insured) or through the purchase of a Workers' Compensation insurance policy. These benefits are provided at no cost to employees.

Every worker injured in Illinois, hired in Illinois but injured while working in another state or injured while working in another state for employer whose principal place of business is in Illinois, is covered by the Act.

On-the-job injuries covered by the Illinois Workers' Compensation Act include any injury arising out of or in the course of employment, in addition to any injury resulting from repetitive trauma such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Also, accidents resulting from re-injury or aggravation of a pre-existing condition are compensable under the Act.

In exchange for receiving Workers' Compensation benefits in a timely manner and regardless of fault, employees gave up the right to ever sue their employers for a work-related injury.

Steps To Protect Your Right To Receive Workers' Compensation Benefits

There are several important steps the injured worker must take in order to protect and preserve their right to receive Workers' compensation benefits. By following these steps, the injured worker can greatly increase the chances of a successful outcome of their claim.

1 - Upon sustaining an on-the-job injury, you must give notification of the accident to someone in a supervisory capacity within forty-five (45) days of the accident. Although the Act provides you with forty-five (45) days to report the accident, we strongly recommend that you give notice of the accident to a supervisor as soon as possible. Notice can be given to a supervisor either orally or in writing. We recommend that you provide notice to a supervisor by completing an accident report form. Never sign a blank accident report form and retain a copy of the completed accident report for your records. Failure to provide your employer with notice of your accident could jeopardize your Workers' Compensation claim.

2 - After an on-the-job injury, you must file an Application for Adjustment of Claim form with the Illinois Industrial Commission within three (3) years of the date of accident or within two (2) years from the last payment of weekly benefits (T.T.D) whichever is later. This is known as the Statute of Limitations. If the Application for Adjustment of Claim form is not filed with the Illinois Industrial Commission within the Statute of Limitations, you will loose all the rights and benefits provided by the Act. Remember, filling out an accident report form is not considered filing of your claim with the Illinois Industrial commission.

3 - After reporting your on-the-job injury to your supervisor, you may be contacted by your employer's Workers' Compensation insurance carrier requesting a statement detailing the circumstances of your accident. The Act does not require you to give a statement in order to receive Workers' Compensation benefits. Furthermore, any statement can be used against you by the insurance company to dispute your claim for Workers' Compensation benefits.

FELA Cases

The Federal Employer's Liability Act (F.E.L.A.) was enacted by Congress in 1908 to provide benefits for railroad workers who sustain injuries in the scope of their employment. Unlike state Worker's Compensation laws which provide benefits on a no-fault basis, F.E.L.A. is based on the principles of fault. To recover damages in this type of claim, the injured worker must establish that the railroad caused or in some way, contributed to the accident. Damages to which an injured worker is entitled to receive under F.E.L.A., are not limited.

There are three basic requirements that an injured railroad worker must establish to recover damages under the Federal Employer's Liability Act:

  1. The accident must have occurred in the course and scope of the worker's employment with the railroad. The Act does not require that the accident happen on railroad property, as long as the injury occurs in the furtherance of the worker's employment.
  2. The railroad must be engaged in interstate commerce between two (2) or more states. As a result of several court decisions on this issue, almost all of the duties of railroad workers are interpreted as being in furtherance of interstate commerce, thus satisfying this requirement.
  3. The railroad must have caused or in some way contributed to the injuries sustained by the worker.