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Responsibility for Fall Accidents at Construction Sites

October 27, 2020| Jonathan Rosenfeld

Construction workers face all kinds of risks and dangers on the job including electrocution; fire; falling debris; equipment malfunction; automobile collision; etc. Time and again though, one of the most serious and even frequent accidents we see are falls. You might have experienced this yourself at work.

Chicago construction workers fall in all different types of ways. Each of them may present broken bones, herniated discs, concussions, and even death. When they do arise, you need to know who is legally responsible for the incident so that you can recover financial compensation for your medical expenses, personal injuries, and other losses.

Contractors Duties to Prevent Fall Accidents

General contractors must secure and maintain a safe working space on construction work sites. Larson v. Commonwealth Edison, 33 Ill. 2d 316 (1965). This cannot be delegated out to subcontractors. In fact, general contractors may be held responsible for actions of their subs if they detract from the overall safety of the area. To protect against fall accidents, contractors must perform many of the following actions:

  • Train workers on fall prevention.

  • Supply workers with equipment to guard against fall accidents.

  • Erect handrails and other guards to prevent falls.

  • Inspect floors regularly to ensure their integrity and lower the risk of falls.

William LePretre v. Lend Lease (US) Construction, Inc., 2017 IL App (1st) 162320.

How Do I Show the Contractor Was Responsible for my Fall Accident?

If you are involved in a fall accident at a Chicago construction site, you need to prove a few things in order to prevail in claim against the contractor. Rangel v. Brookhaven Constructors, Inc., 307 Ill. App. 3d 835 (1999); Schaugnessy v. Skender Construction Co., 342 Ill. App. 3d 730 (2003).

First, that the contractor owed you a duty. This should easily be satisfied by stating that the contractor owed you a duty to keep the premises safe because that is the law across the United States.

Second, that the contractor breached the duty. You can claim the contractor breached the duty to keep a safe work site by pointing to specific facts such as a pool of water it left in the parking lot; a lack of handrails on the stair; or a hole in the second floor.

Third, that the breach caused your injuries. Again, you should point to specific facts here to connect the dots: you slipped on the water; you fell down the stairs due to a lack of handrails; or that you actually feel through the hole because you didn’t see it. Ward v. Kmart Corp., 136 Ill. 2d 132 (1990).

This is generally how you show that the contractor was responsible for your construction fall accident. To learn about what to do specifically to recover financial compensation, and to learn about what compensation you may receive, contact us today!

Talk to our Construction Accident Attorneys

If you fell at a construction job in Chicago, then you may be able to recover damages and secure other relief. Our team of personal injury attorneys has helped other victims of construction zone incidents at work and can offer you a free case evaluation. It is no obligation and will not cost you anything. You can use our contact form to get in touch with us. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Updated: October 27, 2020 5:23 am