Coal Mine Injury Articles

How Soon Should I Call a Lawyer After My Coal Mining Accident?

How soon should you call The Segal Law Firm after you’ve been seriously injured or a loved one has been killed in a coal mining accident? The answer is immediately.   Any coalmine injury that is severe enough to cause a serious injury to a coal miner or death has to be reported to state and federal mine inspectors right away. The state and federal mine inspectors will look into the cause of the injury and the miner is entitled to know about that investigation and what it reveals.   If you are a coalmine accident victim and don’t have a lawyer, you might be missing timely information that could protect you and your loved ones. We recently had a case where a coal miner knew to call us at The Segal Law Firm. As it turns out, the coal mining company didn’t even report our client’s injury to the federal investigators, even though law required them to. Because he had called us in time, we were able to notify the inspectors, who then opened a new case to not only inspect the cause of injury, but to investigate why the accident hadn’t been reported in the first place.   …

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How Soon Should I Call a Lawyer After an Accident?

The simplest answer to that question is as soon as possible. If you are in an accident, my advice is to call us as soon as you are released from the hospital. If you are going to be in the hospital for an extended period, have a family member call for you.   Evidence Disappears I tell my young lawyers in the office all the time that evidence doesn’t get better, it disappears. The sooner we investigate your case, the less likely it is that this will happen.   We recently had a woman come to us who had been paralyzed in a car accident. She first contacted another law firm and they didn’t really do much. When she called us I asked her where her car was and she said she didn’t know. We found out later that the car was just two days from being permanently destroyed when we found and purchased it. Had we not gotten that vehicle, our client would have no proof of how she was paralyzed in that car accident.   Getting Involved in the Investigation Coal mining accidents, railroad accidents, airplane and helicopter accidents, and many more will involve investigations by the federal …

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How Will My Coal Mining Accident Case Begin?

The first thing you should do if you’ve been hurt in a coalmine is to make a call to an experienced law firm, like The Segal Law Firm. We want to have a meeting with you and your family to talk about the accident, investigate the case, decide where to file your suit, and get you and your family the protection you deserve.   Give Us a Call We know that this is an overwhelming time in your life. You might not be able to come to our office to meet us. We are willing to come to your home or wherever is convenient for you. We can discuss what happened and what information is available to us. That’s the best time for you and your family to ask all the questions you have about how we at The Segal Law Firm will handle your case.   The Investigation The investigation can take a while because the state and federal investigators need to do a thorough job. An injured coal miner is entitled to all preliminary investigation reports and we at The Segal Law Firm know how to make sure you get them. We work closely with the family to …

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I’ve Been Hurt in a Coal Mine- What Qualities Does My Lawyer Need?

You need a bulldog of a lawyer to go up against a big coal company. These companies have money and they aren’t afraid to run your attorney around until the they reach the breaking point. You must look for a lawyer who has plenty of experience, knowledge of the industry, a deep compassion for you and your family, and, frankly, the financial wherewithal to win your case.   Experience First among those qualities is experience. Does the law firm have the trial, deposition, and actual lawsuit experience to handle an injury of your magnitude? Not all lawyers have the same amount of experience; in fact, many lawyers have never been to trial.   One of the things I pride myself on is the number of cases that I have tried over the years. I like it when people ask me about that experience and I’m happy to share the types of cases I’ve handled that are similar to yours.   Knowledge of the Industry I think the second thing you want to look for is an attorney that has knowledge of the coal mining industry; the federal and state regulations and investigative process. Those are going to be integral in …

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Your Coal Mining Case Needs an Experienced Attorney

Experience is extremely important in a coal mining accident case, whether it’s a deep mine case or a surface mine case, because the job of coal miner is extremely dangerous. And, unfortunately, many operators often put profit ahead of safety. There are very specific state and federal laws and regulations that are in place to protect coal miners and your attorney must not only understand those laws, but be able to use them to prove how and why you were hurt.   You would be shocked to see how many coal miners are required to do job that they have never been properly trained to do. The paperwork doesn’t exist in their personnel file that says they can legally do the job, but because the employer is rushing to get their profits, they make them do it. You lawyer has to know how to dig to find that information.   The regulations also speak to the maintenance and safety of the mine in general. Did the miner get hurt in a crush because the roof wasn’t being maintained pursuant to federal requirements? Was the mine properly rock dusted and ventilated? All of those things are regulated by the federal and …

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What is the Average Coal Mining Case Settlement?

It’s not uncommon for a client to want to know the average settlement of a coal mining injury case. These injuries are usually life-changing and monetary stability becomes a huge issue. It’s not easy to give you a dollar amount, but I can tell you the many specific elements that go into estimating a settlement. You need an experienced lawyer, like us at The Segal Law Firm, who know what those elements are and how to go about making sure you and your family are protected.   A lawyer who has any good amount of experience dealing with coal mine injuries and coal mine death cases can tell you what the elements of damage are and who the expert are that are needed to prove them. For instance, if you have had a crushing injury, you’re most likely going to need an orthopedic or neurological expert. You’ll also need a life-care planner who can tell the judge and jury what types of devices you’re going to need throughout your life.   Most people, when they see someone in a wheelchair, think that they’ll need just that one device. Not true. If you’re a hunter, you need assisted living devices that …

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Coal Mining Case Lawyers: What Should I Know?

When it comes to fighting coal companies, you’ve got to have someone in your corner that is willing to fight the bully. We’re talking about multi-million dollar companies that are willing to play dirty and coal miners know that. At The Segal Law Firm, we not only have the financial security to go round after round with these guys, we have the experience it takes to handle the complexities that coal mining cases bring.   We have dealt with cases from the Upper Big Branch disaster, Aracoma and even one going as far back as the Farmington disaster, which was more than four decades ago. There are very complex federal and state regulations that are going to determine whether or not we can bring a suit. And those state and federal regulations are the hallmark of every major coal injury or death case in our state.   Families have a right to certain types of information from both the federal and state agencies, and your lawyer has to know how to get that information and know how to use it. Because the complexity of the regulations, it’s kind of like a mine field in itself. You want to be sure …

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Do I Need a West Virginia Lawyer?

“If I’m from out of state and am hurt in West Virginia, is it necessary to have a West Virginia lawyer?” I don’t think I’d use the word ‘necessary,’ but I certainly think it’s in your best interest.   A West Virginia lawyer with the kind of experience the we have at The Segal Law Firm is going to know West Virginia law, West Virginia judges, and West Virginia juries better than an out of state lawyer. But is it absolutely necessary? The answer is no. The thing is, if you get an out of state lawyer, they’re going to have to hire a West Virginia lawyer anyway because they can’t practice law here unless they happen to be licensed. It’s not unusual for us to work with out of state law firms to help clients who have been hurt in West Virginia.   Right now I’m handling a case for a Canadian woman who was severely injured in a motorcycle accident here in West Virginia. Her Canadian lawyer called me and asked me if I would be willing to help. Once I realized how badly she was hurt I, of course, agreed. So, in the end, you are going …

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What is a Mass Tort Case?

The answer is pretty simple: a mass tort case involves a large group of people who were hurt by a singular event. The most famous one in West Virginia was probably the Upper Big Branch disaster, which took the lives of twenty-nine people as a result of one explosion. Another example would be the asbestos that has poisoned thousands of West Virginia workers since the 1940s. Mass tort cases in West Virginia are handled by mass litigation panels that help experienced lawyers move the cases through the system with great efficiency.   If you have the disease mesothelioma, which was caused by the asbestos used to insulate factories in the forties, fifties, sixties and early seventies, your case will be handled as a mass tort case in West Virginia. It will be streamlined by the mass litigation panel. There’s one judge on this panel who tries mesothelioma cases four times a year, which is usually about fifteen to twenty cases each time. As a result of that, we know what discovery needs to happen and what documents we need to prepare in order to get your case to trial.   The Segal Law Firm knows what information is required by …

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Class Action Cases: A Vehicle for the Masses

Class action lawsuits are a vehicle for several people with a similar type claim to bring a case against the same defendant all at once. Usually it involves everyone getting hurt by the same medicine or getting overcharged by the same financial institution. The good news is, you’re offered plenty of protection as part of the class action.   Let’s say the bank overcharges you five cents for a check. Well, you can’t sue the bank for five cents or even five hundred dollars! In fact, it would cost you more to hire a lawyer. But if all the people who use that bank and those checks got together in a class action, they would be able to afford to sue the bank and get that money back. That’s why you see a lot of class actions against financial institutions, lending companies and credit card companies.   It can also involve certain types of medicine. If a drug is put on the market that is dangerous and the FDA had been misled by the drug company, groups of people can ban together to bring a class action. They might ask for things like medical monitoring, which is a certain type …

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