Coal mining is a dangerous job. The West Virginia Coal Industry provides about 30,000 direct jobs in West Virginia including miners, mine contractors, coal preparation plant employees, and mine supply companies. According to the West Virginia Office of Miners’ Health, Safety and Training Coal, since 1983 fatal accidents have totaled less than 20 per year, the only exceptions being 1991 with 22 fatal accidents and 2006 with 25. Lost-time injuries totaled about 973 in 2008.
In 2014, our coal mining accident lawyers handled litigation over the Upper Big Branch Mine explosion, a major case which attracted widespread attention in the national news media. Throughout our years of experience, we have gathered some common causes of coal mine injuries, including:
- Longwall shield collapse
- Longwall shearer malfunction
- Derailer and haulage track design defect
- Runaway mine car
- Methane explosion
- Coal stockpile collapse
- Failure to provide safety equipment
- Defective tools and equipment
- Crush injuries from mining equipment
- Failure to train personnel
- Improper operation of mining equipment
- Deliberate exposure to danger
- Disregard for mine safety
- Silica dust (coal dust)
- Silica Dust (coal dust)
- Operator error
- Vehicle accidents
- Industrial accidents
- Roof falls
- Rib rolls
Injuries that are common in coal mining accidents include the following:
- Back injury
- Brain injury
- Head injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Joint damage
- Black lung
- Hearing loss
- Crushing injuries
- Neck injuries
- Soft tissue damage
West Virginia Coal Mining Compensation Issues
Whether minor or serious, most accidents on the job are covered by workers compensation. But injured workers still need the assistance of a West Virginia personal injury lawyer to help them obtain the compensation they deserve under the law. Our West Virginia personal injury law firm knows how to effectively negotiate with the insurance company and bring suit if necessary.
Generally, in West Virginia, employers covered by worker’s compensation insurance are immune from liability for most common injuries that their employees receive at work. This immunity limits the injured worker to the level of benefits set forth under workers compensation. However, in the case of deliberate intent, for example when an employer fails to adhere to safety standards or requirements, an injured worker can sue a mine owner or operator for personal injury damage to recover all of the damages suffered, and not just the limited damages workers compensation would allow.
Get the Right West Virginia Coal Mining Accident Lawyers. Right Now.
If you or a loved one has been injured, there is no time to waste. You need an experienced personal injury attorney working on your behalf immediately. At Charleston’s DiTrapano Barrett DiPiero McGinley & Simmons, PLLC, we represent coal mining accident victims throughout West Virginia. Contact us today for a free consultation and evaluation of your claim by calling (304) 816-4704.