Pedro Mateos Killed In Chicago Building Collapse Accident
Work Compensation - Wrongful Death - January 26, 2023
Pedro Mateos (Full Name: Pedro Santiago Mateos), of Humboldt Park, Died In Bronzeville, Chicago Building Collapse Accident At Construction Site
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS (January 25, 2022) – A 35-year-old construction worker identified as Pedro Mateos was killed in a Bronzeville, Chicago building collapse accident.
Cook County officials are saying that the accident took place around 11:00 a.m. on Thursday. Pedro Mateos was working at a vacant building under construction when a section of the building collapsed.
The worker was buried under several feet of rubble. Firefighters and paramedics were called to the scene of the construction site in order to help the victim.
Rescue workers were eventually able to free the victim. Pedro Mateos was transported to the University of Chicago Medical Center with critical injuries.
Sadly, he later died at the hospital. A full investigation into the building collapse remains ongoing at this time.
Liability For Chicago Building Collapse Accidents
A building collapse may seem like a freak occurrence. But unplanned collapses are unfortunately quite common. According to the Business Standard, over 13,000 people died in structure collapses in the last 5 years. Many of these collapses involved buildings. But bridges and other man-made structures can also collapse. There are a number of factors that could potentially contribute to a partial building collapse.
- The materials used to construct a building may have been deficient in some way.
- The structural design for the building may have failed to properly support the weight of the structure.
- The building or structure that collapsed may not have been properly maintained.
- The structural integrity of a building may have been compromised due to construction.
When a worker is injured or killed on the job, they or their family may have legal recourse through a worker’s compensation claim. Worker’s compensation in Illinois is based on a no-fault insurance scheme. There is no need for an injured worker or their family to demonstrate negligence in order to receive benefits after a workplace accident. Depending on the facts of any case, the family of a deceased worker may be able to seek aid through a third party liability claim.
A general contractor could also face civil liability if a worker is killed at a job site. Following the 1995 repeal of the Structural Work Act, a general contractor’s liability to an independent contractor’s employee is based on common law theories of negligence. See, for example, Rangel v. Brookhaven Constructors, Inc., 307 Ill. App. 3d 835 (1999). When a general contractor hires an independent contractor but retains control of any part of the work, they could face liability for any injury resulting from their failure to exercise control with reasonable care.
There are a number of steps that construction companies should take in order to minimize the possibility of a partial or total collapse. The foundation of the building should be checked. The quality of the soil should be examined. A structural engineer may need to be consulted. Failing to take reasonable steps to protect workers against a building collapse could form the basis of a negligence claim. There are a number of steps that should be taken after any construction site accident.
- Photos of the accident site should be taken.
- Work records at the site should be reviewed.
- It should be determined if safety violations contributed to a building collapse.
- A thorough investigation into the accident should be conducted.
It can be hard to know where to begin after any construction accident. However, it is very important for workers and their families to know that they do have rights. The family of any worker that died on the job may be able to seek some measure of justice through a civil claim. Sadly, though, it is common for general contractors to fight hard to deny any responsibility if a worker is injured.
Investigating A Chicago Building Collapse Accident
We at Horwitz Horwitz & Associates extend our deepest condolences to the family of Pedro Mateos. Any person that may have more information about what happened should reach out to OSHA. It is our sincere hope that steps are taken to prevent other tragedies like this. Worker safety should also be the number one priority for any general contractor or construction company.
Do you need more information about a Chicago construction accident? Our team of worker’s rights advocates are here to answer any questions that you may have. We care deeply that workers are aware of their rights and that those rights are being protected. Whether you just have legal questions or need a free, independent investigation into any incident we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at (312) 564-4256.