While most Illinois workers understand that they are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if they are seriously hurt or injured on the job, not everyone is aware that negligent third parties can also be held responsible for any role they might have played in the incident. Subcontractors are common features of most construction sites, and it is important that workers and their families understand what rights they have in the event of a construction accident. Most importantly, a responsible third party does not negate a worker’s rights to receive workers’ compensation benefits.
A serious accident at an out-of-state construction site resulted in the death of at least one worker. While construction was ongoing at the site of the new NFL Viking’s stadium, one worker fell to his death while another suffered serious injuries. This was far from the first dangerous incident involving the company, and records show at least nine citations for grievous workplace violations. Those citations were all issued in the same five year period.
The company issued a statement saying that it is not aware whether the deceased employee was actually wearing a safety harness at the time of the accident. However, according to one of the owners, the company places a great deal of importance on safety. Still, he made a point that the company is not able to enforce safety regulations among its workers, although it is not exactly clear why he feels that way.
Although in this situation the fatally injured worker was an employee of the subcontractor, it is not known whether the injured worker was employed by the subcontractor or another company at the site. Either way, both the surviving victim and the family of the deceased have the right to workers’ compensation benefits with regard to the construction accident. If the second worker was indeed employed by a different company, additional recourse could possibly be recovered through a successfully navigated civil suit, which is not an uncommon occurrence in Illinois.
Source: CBS Minnesota, “Subcontractor In Fatal Stadium Accident Has Past Safety Citations“, Aug. 27, 2015