Recently, the Chicago Tribune ran an article about an undocumented non-union roofer who fell approximately twenty feet at a job site, rendering him a quadriplegic. The worker was told that his company had no workers compensation insurance.
Although Illinois law requires most employers to purchase workers compensation insurance for their employees, this story is a perfect example of what happens when employers fail to obtain that coverage. Incredulously, the owner of the contractor that had hired this mans employer to do the roofing work had stated that he was unaware of whether or not the mans employer carried active workers compensation insurance.
In order to help protect workers against negligent employers that fail to obtain proper Workers Compensation insurance, the Illinois Workers Compensation Commission (IWCC) employs investigators to find uninsured employers. If the IWCC determines that an employer has knowingly and willfully failed to carry workers comp insurance for its employees, that employer may be fined up to $500 for each day they lack insurance, with a minimum fine of $10,000. Since 2006, the IWCC has collected over $5 million in fines from uninsured employers, fines that are deposited into the Injured Workers Benefit Fund.
Without proper legal representation, it might seem like this worker has no viable source of recovery. However, the Illinois construction accident lawyers at GWC Injury Lawyers realize that the worker has the ability to file both a workers compensation and a third party claim: if a worker is injured while in the employment of an uninsured employer, that employee can look to the company that hired his company, and if that hiring company has insurance then they must provide the injured worker with workers compensation benefits.
Additionally, because this worker, who was afforded no fall protection, was injured when he fell from a roof at a height of approximately twenty feet, he has a viable third party case. This case can be prosecuted against any party that is held to have controlled the means and methods of his work or was responsible for the safety of the worker. In construction injury cases in Illinois, this can include general contractors, subcontractors, and other legal entities that may have responsibility under Illinois construction negligence law.
If you or a loved one has been injured on the job, contact the Illinois injury attorneys at GWC Injury Lawyers for a free, no-obligation consultation. GWC specializes in both workers compensation claims and third-party injury suits, ensuring that you will obtain the maximum recovery for your case. GWCs ability to provide both workers compensation and third-party representation means that you don’t have to shop around for different attorneys to handle different cases related to the same injury; at GWC, our team of Chicago injury lawyers work together to ensure you obtain the best results in the most efficient way possible.
For your free consultation, call us at 1-312-464-1234.