Coal Mining Accident Attorneys
Holding Companies Accountable for Catastrophic Coal Mining Accidents
According to statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor, almost 25 out of every 100,000 coal mine employees suffer fatal occupational injuries compared to just 4 out of every 100,000 in other industries. While some coal mining risks may be unavoidable, other injuries and accidents can be prevented. Those injured employees and their loved ones may be entitled to compensation. At Arnold & Itkin, our attorneys are familiar with the unique laws that surround the industry, and we are able to help injured employees and their families handle their injury claims.
Coal mine operators are legally required to maintain a safe mine environment in which their employees can work.
They are also obligated to allow only skilled, highly trained workers to enter the mines. If a mine operator or owner does not meet these state and federally mandated safety requirements, and an employee sustains an injury or suffers a fatal accident, the employee or his or her surviving family members may be able to bring forth a deliberate intent case against the mine operator or owner. As coal mining accident attorneys, we at Arnold & Itkin are adept at investigating mining accidents and helping hold the responsible parties accountable.
Common Causes of Mining Accidents
Coal mine accidents can occur for a variety of reasons and range in seriousness from minor to potentially fatal. Many of the causes of coal mine accidents come from lax safety enforcement, meaning that mine owners and operators could have avoided these tragic incidents.
Some of the more common accidents that occur at coal mines include:
- Coal Stockpile Collapse
- Longwall Shield Collapse
- Roof Collapse
- Methane Explosions
- Runaway Mine Cars
- Defective Tools and Equipment
- Lack of Safety Equipment
- Illness as a Result of Coal Dust Exposure
Dangers of Coal Mining
Working in coal mining has been one of the most dangerous professions in our nation's history. Although advancements in technology and safety regulations have helped, mine fires, explosions, and cave collapse still occur and cause serious injuries and loss of life. In the past decade, 450 people have died in mining accidents, many of them in the coal mining and other hard rock mining operations.
Causes of Cave Collapse in Coal Mining
Mining accidents can have a variety of causes, which include leaks of poisonous gases such as hydrogen sulfide or explosive natural gases, especially firedamp or methane. But often the most widespread source of destruction in mining comes from a cave collapse, or cave in, in which the structure of the mine shaft collapses in on itself trapping the workers underneath.
A few causes of a cave collapse include:
- Dust explosions
- Collapsing of mine stopes (excavations)
- Mining-induced seismicity (earthquake)
- Flooding or other natural disasters
- Improper use and deployment of mining explosives
- Failure to maintain the integrity of the mining shaft
- Damage by malfunctioning or poorly operated equipment
Injuries Suffered from Mining & Cave in Accidents
Given the volatile nature of the work, many injuries can be sustained during a caving accident:
- Broken bones
- Exposure to toxic chemicals
- Brain injury
- Spinal cord damage
- Smoke inhalation
Coal Mining Accident FAQ
Who Is at Fault for Coal Mining Accidents?
Multiple parties can be at fault after a coal mining accident. First, employers are required by law to make sure their workers have a safe workplace. This means providing the training, tools, and other things required to maximize safety. Additionally, employers are required to make sure all maintenance and safety procedures are followed by workers. In some instances, companies that produce faulty equipment can also be at fault for a coal mining accident. Second, a coal mining accident creates accountability and helps ensure that more workers don’t have to face the same situation that you or your loved one had to experience.
What Are the Benefits of a Coal Mining Injury Lawsuit?
When a coal mining worker files a personal injury lawsuit, they are demanding answers from the people and companies who caused their injuries. They’re also given the opportunity to recover financial losses that aren’t possible through typical workers’ compensation insurance. Workers can seek compensation for medical bills, lost wages, the cost of future care, and much more.
My Company Offered Me a Settlement. Should I Accept It?
No. Settlements are often meant to be as low as possible while also absolving a negligent company of any future liability. While it might seem like your company is trying to do right by you, it’s always wise to speak with a coal mining accident lawyer to make sure their offer is fair and what you deserve.
Who Is Eligible for Compensation After a Coal Mining Accident?
If you are a coal mine employee who has been injured in a mining accident, you may be entitled to compensation to cover the costs of hospital bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering incurred as a result of the tragedy. Mine operators have powerful attorneys working on their behalf to minimize their exposure and pay the least amount of damages to injured employees; you need an experienced mine accident attorney to represent your interests if you have been injured in an accident.
Contact our attorneys today for a free consultation at (888) 493-1629!