In Chicago and all across Illinois, construction workers live in fear of workplace accidents. Construction accidents have the potential to cause life-altering injuries or even to be deadly. There exists a large system of state and federal laws to keep workers safe on the job and to compensate workers when they are injured on the job, but sometimes the worker is injured by an action of a third party.
Recently, one construction worker was killed and three others injured while they worked on Interstate 64 in St. Clair in downstate Illinois. The workers were injured when a car traveling on the road crashed into their construction site. It was later revealed that the driver of the car was on a muscle relaxer and Ambien at the time of the crash.
Generally, recovery for construction site accidents is covered by workers' compensation. Workers' compensation is a set of laws designed to compensate workers for accidents they suffer while on the job. Worker's compensation is often limited, however. A worker must have been injured in the course of his or her employment, and generally the worker cannot sue his or her employer for damages beyond what the workers' compensation laws provide.
If the party at fault was not covered by workers' compensation laws, but rather was a third party, the potential recovery is not so limited. If a third party was at fault, the construction worker may be able to recover for the construction accident through a civil lawsuit.
In this recent construction accident, criminal charges have been filed. While criminal charges can address blame for these accidents, workers' compensation and civil lawsuits can address other issues and help with monetary recovery.
Source: KMOV "Driver charged in deadly I-64 construction zone accident," Matt Sczeny, Sept. 14, 2012