Articles Posted in Workplace Accidents

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If you are injured at work in Illinois, workers’ compensation will normally cover your medical bills and some lost wages. Workers’ compensation laws allow workers who are injured on the job to recover compensation without having to file a lawsuit. However, this system also requires employees to give up their right to sue their employers for negligence.

Workers’ Compensation in Illinois

Workers’ compensation is intended to protect workers who are injured or killed in the workplace. The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act was passed in 1911. Employees gave up their general rights to sue their employers, but they were able to recover compensation for injuries more quickly. In general, the Act is the only way for employees to recover for job-related injuries. However, there are certain exceptions to that rule. For example, an employee may be able to sue an employer as a result of intentional conduct. In addition, a negligent third party may also be held liable for injuries.

Suing a Third Party for Negligence

Someone injured at work may be able to bring suit against a third party if the party’s negligence contributed to causing the injury. A third party is another person or organization—not your employer or a co-worker—that is partly responsible for causing the injury. Some examples of third-party claims are suing a manufacturer for a defective product, suing another person or organization working at the same site, suing a manufacturer for a toxic substance, suing the driver of another car, or suing the owner of the land where you are working.

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Construction sites can be very dangerous for workers. There are a number of injuries that can occur on the job. Workers are surrounded by dangerous machinery, and sometimes those machines can malfunction. However, even if a machine malfunctions, a plaintiff still has to prove that the company contributed to causing the injury in order to hold the company liable.

In a recent case, a construction worker who was injured by a crane while at work sued the company that leased the crane to his employer. However, the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit found that even though the crane had malfunctioned, it was not caused by the company’s failure to inspect the crane.

In September 2012, the plaintiff was working at a construction site, and he and his coworker were moving a crane to another location. They approached a road with overhead power lines that had to be lowered for the crane to cross. The plaintiff signaled to his coworker to stop the crane at the base of some wood matting placed to help the crane cross. The coworker stopped the crane, but then the crane began moving forward again. The crane pushed the wood matting down, causing the plaintiff to fall and slide toward the crane. His foot slipped under the treads of the crane, crushing his right foot. His foot was severely injured and had to be amputated.

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