West Virginia Coal Mine Injuries and Death Attorneys
Coal mining is an inherently dangerous industry. Miners face numerous hazards when they are working underground. They work in dark, wet, and cramped conditions where it can be difficult to breathe, and a number of things can happen when you work in an environment like that. Those who are brave enough to work in the coal mines are under a nearly constant threat of being seriously injured or killed if something goes wrong.
Whether in West Virginia, or Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky or other states, if you or a loved one has been injured or you have lost a family member in a coal mine accident, you want a lawyer who understands the industry and has a reputation for success with these types of cases. You will find that lawyer at Bailey, Javins & Carter, L.C.
A Reputation for Success in Coal Mine Accident Claims
Our law firm has been pursuing compensation for coal mine accident victims since 1970. We have represented victims of the Upper Big Branch coal mine disaster, the Sago coal mine disaster, the Aracoma coal mine disaster, the Ghent Little General Store explosion and many more. We have fearlessly taken on coal companies of all sizes.
Attorneys Who Understand the Industry
Success depends on being able to understand and communicate industry-specific knowledge. We have spent time in mines and understand the dangers involved in this line of work. We are familiar with the tools of the trade, from continuous miners to shuttle cars to roof bolters. When you tell us about your case, we will know exactly what you are talking about. When we present your case to a jury, if it must go that far, we will make certain that the details are communicated clearly and effectively to make the jurors understand why you deserve the level of compensation we are asking for.
Handling All Coal Mine Accident Claims
We handle all personal injury claims for victims (and their families) who have suffered underground and surface mining injuries and death. Cases we handle include:
- Coal Mine Explosions: Coal dust is very explosive, and during the mining process, methane gas is released. Methane gas buildup without proper ventilation can produce explosions, and this is why it is incumbent upon coal companies to follow safety guidelines for monitoring dust and methane levels and taking steps to prevent explosions through proper mine ventilation, rock dusting and other engineering controls.
- Coal Mine Electrical Injury and Death: Working with electricity underground is far more dangerous than in most other settings. Miners and especially electricians work with high voltage systems. If management cuts corners or requires miners to perform electrical work without the proper safeguards or training, death and serious injuries can occur.
- Roof Falls and Rib Rolls Injury and Death: Both planned and unplanned roof falls and rib rolls can result in serious and catastrophic injuries. We thoroughly investigate incidents like these, asking the right questions to get to the bottom of how it happened and who was responsible.
- Coal Mining Equipment Injury and Death: Miners work with all kinds of heavy equipment and machinery, which is often used to transport workers, materials, and supplies while underground. In other incidences, miners can be crushed by equipment such as continuous miners. Many coal workers have been killed over the years in collisions involving underground mining equipment. This is frequently caused by issues such as safety violations and improperly maintained or defective equipment.
We also represent victims of occupational diseases such as black lung and other lung diseases.
Choosing an experienced coal mining accident lawyer is no simple task. We encourage you to compare our experience and reputation for success with that of other law firms handling these types of cases. Our background makes it clear that we are the right choice. Our cases for miners suffering lung disease include cases against mining companies and respirator manufacturers.
Recovering Compensation for Injured Coal Mine Workers
Injuries that are suffered and illnesses that are contracted while working in the coal mines can be severe, debilitating, and expensive. And when a worker suffers a wrongful death, it causes major heartache and economic distress for family members who are left behind. At BJC, we understand the enormous physical, emotional, and financial toll coal mine accidents take on workers and their loved ones, and we fight hard for every dollar of compensation you deserve.
There are several possible sources for obtaining compensation through a coal mining injury claim, and we put our extensive experience to work to explore every potential avenue for our clients. This may include:
Usually, the first source you will go to in order to obtain compensation for your losses is your employer’s workers’ compensation policy. Workers’ comp is a no-fault system that pays benefits to injured workers regardless of who was at fault for their injury. It covers workers for medical costs, a percentage of gross wages, and temporary or permanent disability.
Because you do not have to prove negligence, workers’ comp is an easier avenue for recovering compensation than a personal injury lawsuit. That said, the claims process is still very confusing, and employers often put up unnecessary roadblocks in an attempt to frustrate workers into giving up on obtaining the benefits they deserve.
A Personal Injury Lawsuit Against a Third Party
In some situations, a party other than the coal mining company might share at least some of the responsibility for a workplace injury or illness. When this is the case, it may be possible to bring a personal injury claim against that third party. While it is more difficult to win a personal injury lawsuit than to get approved for workers’ compensation benefits, there is also more compensation available through this avenue as well.
In addition to medical costs and lost wages, a personal injury claim can allow workers to obtain damages for non-economic losses such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and diminished quality of life. In some rare cases, punitive damages may also be awarded as punishment for especially egregious actions that may have led to the victim’s injury or illness.
A Product Liability Claim
If defective or faulty equipment caused an injury or a toxic substance caused an illness while working in the coal mines, it may be possible to bring a product liability claim against the designer, manufacturer, distributor, or other parties in the product supply chain.
A Deliberate Intent Claim Against the Employer
It is generally very difficult to file a personal injury lawsuit directly against an employer who already has workers’ compensation insurance. However, in some states (such as West Virginia), this type of action can be pursued under the legal theory known as “deliberate intent”. These types of cases are challenging to pursue, and there is a very high burden of proof that must be met in order to be successful. Speak with one of our experienced attorneys to help determine if this would be an appropriate course of action in your case.
Free Initial Consultation with a Coal Mining Injury Attorney
If you are someone close to has been injured or killed in a coal mine accident, contact our firm to schedule a free initial consultation with one of our West Virginia attorneys. We also take on cases out of state. Our clients have come to us from mining states all over the country such as West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Montana, Pennsylvania, Washington and Virginia just to name a few. Some of our mining work has included mining other than coal. The mining engineering and mining safety laws with which we are familiar are not limited to just coal mining.
We work on a contingent fee basis. We do not get paid unless you do.