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Worker injured at road construction site in Chicago

Construction workers on Cook County roads are at risk of injuries and death from moving vehicles and construction equipment. In a recent work-related accident, a Chicago construction worker was injured after being hit in the head with a construction bucket.

A spokesperson for the Chicago Fire Department stated that the worker was rushed to a hospital after the accident, which occurred near Washington and LaSalle Streets, and was listed in fair-to-serious condition following the incident. A news report gave no further details about the accident or the nature of the injury.

Despite best efforts from federal, state and local authorities, roadway work zones remain a dangerous place to work. According to Bureau of Labor statistics data, Illinois stands in third place among the states with respect to the number of worker deaths in work zones over an 11-year span from 2003 to 2013. According to the data, in 2013 there were 105 worker fatalities at road construction sites.

Workers who are injured in a work zone have the right to collect workers' compensation benefits for wage loss due to temporary or permanent disability as well as medical expenses. When a fatal workplace accident occurs, Illinois law allows surviving dependents to collect workers' compensation death benefits when a loved one is killed on the job. An employer must pay workers' compensation benefits regardless of who was at fault in the accident. An employer who pays workers' compensation benefits is immune from a civil lawsuit by the employee. If a third party other than the employer was at fault in causing the accident, the worker or their survivors can file a lawsuit against that party and recover additional damages.

Source: Chicago Tribune, "Loop construction accident injures worker," Feb. 20, 2015

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