The Chicago Tribune reported today that an iron beam collapsed on a construction site near Lake and Canal streets in downtown Chicago. Two iron workers apparently were on the beam when it collapsed about twenty (20) feet and two others were below the beam.
Two workers were taken in serious-to-critical condition to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, another in serious-to-critical was taken to Stroger Hospital and the fourth, in fair-to-serious condition, was transported to Rush University Medical Center.
It has been reported that the site has been closed down to allow OSHA time to come in and investigate the cause of the construction accident. First and foremost I think the whole city should breathe a sigh of relief that there were no fatal injuries from this accident and that all four workers will be in in our thoughts and prayers for a healthy recovery from any injuries.
Regardless, it is important to point out that each of these workers will be entitled to Illinois workers compensation benefits as a result of their injury. First, each of the workers is entitled to payment of all of their medical bills for treatment related to their work injuries. Second, the workers are entitled to what is called temporary total disability (“TTD”), which is payment directly to them for their time off of work due to these injuries. The payments are equal to 2/3 of their average weekly wages. Finally, assuming the workers go back to full duty after recovering from their injuries, they will be entitled to a permanent partial disability (“PPD”) award, which typically comes in a lump sum.
Another issue to consider for these injured workers is determining who was at fault for this accident. If the OSHA investigation, or any other independent investigation, determines that a third party was at fault for this construction accident, then the injured worker could have a potential civil lawsuit in the circuit court for their personal injuries, lost wages, medical bills and loss of enjoyment of life. It is premature to determine if this construction accident was caused by a third party (a party other than the workers’ employer), but it is common for multiple subcontractors to be present during a major construction project. If so, the injured worker will have both an Illinois workers compensation claim and civil lawsuit against any liable third party subcontractors and/or general contractors.
If you or someone you love has been seriously injured at work and has an Illinois workers compensation case or has been involved in a Chicago construction accident, then call Chicago personal injury attorney, Aaron Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.