The Whiting Law Group has been helping those injured in construction and construction related accidents in both Wisconsin and Illinois for over fifteen years. The heartache and devastation of an injury caused on a construction site is not dependent on the state where the injury occurred. However, the ability to recover and from whom you can recover often can be. In both Illinois and Wisconsin the first source of recovery is workers compensation. However, the inquiry must not stop there. Often other entities such as the owner or general contractor can be liable.
The law in both Illinois and Wisconsin is that a person or entity is not responsible for the negligence of an independent contractor. In theory, this means that an owner or general contractor on a construction site is not liable for a subcontractor it hires as an independent contractor. There are exceptions.
In Illinois, when an owner or a general contractor retains control over the safety of the work and then fails to exercise that control with reasonable care and an injury results liability can attach. For example, if the general contractor hired an independent contractor to perform plumbing work and that plumber forgot to replace the lid to a manhole and a worker was injured when he/she walked into the hole, the general contractor may be liable for failing to supervise and ensure a safe work environment on the job site.
Another exception in Illinois, is where an entity retains sufficient control over the independent contractor’s means, manner, and method of work. If sufficient control is found then the controlling entity can be held liable.
In Wisconsin, the exception exists but is much more narrowly construed. In Wisconsin, in order for an entity to be liable for a construction accident injury the entity must have been directing the way the work was conducted. Omissions are not enough. The failure to supervise or the failure to provide safety equipment is typically not enough. Rather, the law in Wisconsin requires an affirmative act which would increase the risk of injury to a subcontractor or independent contractor.
Another possible theory of liability against the owner or general contractor in Wisconsin is under the Safe Place Statute. Owners and possessors of land in Wisconsin have a duty to render the premises adequate for safe employment. This can include furnishing and using safety devices and adopting methods and processes to assure safety. This is not a guarantee of safety but rather to maintain the premises in as safe a manner as the work will reasonably permit. This theory of liability applies only to unsafe conditions not to unsafe acts.
Whiting Law Group takes a personal interest in every case that comes into our office. If you are looking for an attorney that will give you undivided individual attention, commitment to excellence, and use every possible resource available to help you win your case, then Mr.Whiting and his team of accident and injury trial lawyers personally invite you to contact them for a free consultation toll free at 1-877-936-7200 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. There is no fee unless we win your case.