New York City Personal Injury Law Blog
Coal Mine Accidents and Worker’s Compensation Insurance
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, coal mining employees have a higher risk of being killed or incurring a non-fatal injury or illness, and their injuries are more likely to be more severe than private industry workers as a whole. In 2007, the fatal injury rate in the coal mining industry was 24.8 per 100,000 full time equivalent workers, close to six times the rate for the entire private industry.
In 2008, the rate of nonfatal injuries and illnesses in coal mining was 4.4 cases per 100 full-time workers, which was 13 percent higher than the rate for total private industry.
Coal mining is one of the most dangerous occupations in the United States. In the coal mining industry, accidents happen to workers mining underground, in quarries, at surface mines and in preparation facilities. However, statistically, it is the underground miner who has the highest risk of being injured or killed on the job.
Results of Coal Mine Accidents
There are numerous challenges that miners and their families face after serious injuries occur, including significant medical bills. The costs of surgery, doctor visits, hospital stays, physical therapy, medication, and, in the case of amputation, prostheses can total to hundreds of thousands of dollars. There are cases where out-of-area specialists are required.
Transportation to the specialists and accommodations can multiply quickly and put even more strain on the victim and family. If a miner’s injury prevents them from working in the mine, but allows other types of work, it will be necessary to get additional education or retraining. With more serious injuries, there may be a disability that prevents a miner from ever working again.
Injuries can come with devastating emotional impact that requires long-term counseling. The effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) vary from person to person, but it is reasonable to believe that professional treatment will be required for a victim of a life-changing accident. The overall healing process can be helped with important tools such as psychological counseling and peer-group support.
The Law on Coal Mine Accidents
In several states, worker’s compensation insurance covers employers, keeping them immune from liability for most workplace injuries that their employees receive. Because of this immunity, the injured worker is limited to the level of benefits that are outlined by the worker’s compensation system.
It is important for coal mine workers to get the expertise of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney when they are injured on the job. They can get the legal help they need for all types of mining injuries including:
- Mine collapse
- Methane gas explosions
- Industrial diseases
- Defective equipment
- Crush injuries
- Negligent equipment operation
- Injuries suffered due to inadequate training
- Deliberate intent injuries
While the first option to seek relief for your injuries is typically workers’ compensation, you should keep in mind that you have the option of exploring personal injury compensation separately.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a coal mining accident, you should contact a sensational New York lawyer at Rosenberg, Minc, Falloff & Wolff, of RMFW Law at 212 697 9280.
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