Coal Mine Injury Articles

Experience Comes First in Coal Mining Cases

If your loved one has been killed in a coal mining accident, you are most likely experiencing one of the most trying times of your life. Hiring the best representative for you and your family is an incredibly important decision you’ll make during this time. But how do you make that decision? What qualities should you look for in an attorney? I have three words for you: experience, experience, experience. I cannot overemphasize that point. Coal mining cases are extremely complex and require a law firm with extensive past performance. The very first thing you need to ask a prospective attorney is whether or not they have tried a coal mining case similar to yours. For instance, if your loved one was killed in a deep mine, has he or she specifically tried that type of case? If it was an equipment failure or roof control accident, does the lawyer have that experience? Your attorney should not be hesitant to detail his or her experience with the many types of wrongful death cases that occur here in West Virginia. I’m happy to talk to widows or adult children about the deep mine cases I’ve done, whether they were a result …

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Don’t Wait Two Years- Evidence Disappears

You may have two years to file a lawsuit, but trust me when I say that you don’t want to wait that long to call an attorney. The fact of the matter is- evidence disappears. The longer you wait to call, the harder and harder it gets to bring your case. It doesn’t matter what type of case it is; tractor trailer, coal mining or mesothelioma. You need to call The Segal Law Firm as soon as you’ve been in accident so that we can make sure critical evidence doesn’t disappear right out from under you. Tractor Trailer Wrecks If you’ve been in a tractor trailer accident, it’s imperative that you or a family member call us immediately after you wake up in the hospital. We’re going to want the black box from the truck, the driver’s log books, the GPS information and the home office data about where the truck was and how fast it was going. Those are all pieces of evidence that are going to disappear pretty quickly it you’re sitting around waiting for two years to give us a call. Coal Mining Accidents When it comes to coal mining accidents, we’ve got to be a part …

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Complex Coal Mining Cases- Call Us Sooner Than Later

Coal mining is not just blunt labor. It’s a very technical field and there are strict regulations that go into effect when you are hurt in coal mine. Most coal miners understand that. But they might not realize that they have rights when it comes to the investigation. It’s crucial that you call us at The Segal Law Firm immediately after a coal mining accident, so that we can gather the evidence quickly, find out what happened, and be with you every step of the way. We can make sure that you and your family’s rights are protected and that you get answers during this painful time. Your Rights During the Investigation Whether it’s an accident in a deep mine or a surface mine, there are federal and state inspectors that will most likely be involved in the investigation. Most importantly, you and your family have a right to take part in that inspection. Coal mining cases are extremely complex; the Upper Big Branch Mine investigation went on for several months. And although the final report for your case might not be released for some time, we at The Segal Law Firm are able to obtain preliminary reports for you …

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Have A Coal Mining Case? Call Sooner Than Later.

Coal mining accidents are some of the worst that we see here at The Segal Law Firm. In these types of cases, it’s crucial that we get started on the investigation as soon as possible. Unfortunately, many of the accidents are so devastating that the injured or killed parties are unable to contact us immediately. In these instances, it’s up to the spouses, children or loved ones to get on the phone and give us a call. We can get started on the case without involving the victim at all and, many times, this is what we have to do to get the information we need to protect your family. Once we are the legal representative of the injured or killed coal miner, which means a contract has been signed, we get to work right away. Now, this contract isn’t going to lead to a ton of attorney’s fees; we don’t get paid unless you do. Whether you get a settlement or we obtain a jury verdict, we will only accept money when we win it for you. Now, having said that, many people don’t realize that you don’t have to file a lawsuit to be a legal representative of …

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Coal Mining Dangers: Required Safety Measures to Prevent Disaster

The most serious danger to a coal miner underground is methane gas – the natural by-product of mining coal. There are very specific safety measures that the Federal and State government require to protect miners. And you’ll find that disaster after disaster after disaster, certain things were not done that should have been done to protect the coal miner. Proper Ventilation First, improper ventilation – All ventilation in an underground coal mine must be approved by Federal and State inspectors. Proper ventilation keeps the air moving away from the coal miners and takes any methane or noxious gases away from the miners’ face. It’s typically referred to as “out by” work. Skilled workers that know how to keep the air moving in the right direction must perform it. Rock Dusting Second is rock dusting – When there is an explosion in a coal mine, very fine particles of coal dust fly into the air and make more tiny explosion. You get a chain reaction. The explosion gets bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger and it goes throughout the entire mine because it’s just feeding itself. Rock dusting is when limestone is sprayed all over the mine to keep the …

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Coal Mine Safety: A Worker’s Right

How can West Virginia coal mines be safer work places for miners? Coal miners deserve and have the right to expect to be trained – and it is federally and state mandated that they are entitled to be properly trained for their job. Protecting Yourself from Injury At the Segal Law Firm, we can help coal mine employees understand what they need to know about their job to protect their own safety. Employees have the right to have equipment properly maintained using the manufacturers specification, as well as parts for critical pieces of equipment and the safety features provided. Lastly, coal miners are entitled to a safe working environment. This would include rock dusting, proper ventilation, and proper maintenance of equipment with regards to having water on certain cutting heads – all kinds of different safety features on machines. Safety Training Safety training is vital, and miners have to be environmentally safe in their work and have the right equipment and tools to do their job safely. Deep coal mining is a very, very risky and difficult job on its best day. Coal companies have an absolute responsibility under state and federal law to help our miners stay safe and …

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West Virginia Coal Mines and Safety: Awareness is Key

The focus on safety has become more and more apparent since several recent, major fatalities within the coal mining industry. Even the government now recognizes how critical it is that they inspect mines, and if necessary, shut them down until the management makes them safe. But there are avenues open to the miner. Unfortunately, getting that check at the end of the week to put food on the table can seem more important than blowing the whistle on safety violations, which is exactly what we’re going to discuss in today’s post. Who is Responsible for Regulating Coal Mines? There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of federal and state regulations that affect various safety requirements at coal mines in West Virginia. The laws differ depending if it’s a surface mine or a deep mine. But the most important safety requirement in West Virginia is to have employers who care about safety more than they care about production. They have to put safety first, and train their miners in the proper safety requirements to do their job. It’s critically important that management be invested in safety, and that they care about the employee understanding the safety regulations. What Kinds of Regulations …

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Coal Mining Accidents: Asking Your Attorney the Hard Questions

Coal mining is no joke. It’s one of the most dangerous and aggressive jobs that exist and, because of this, we see a lot of coal miner accidents here at The Segal Law Firm. If you’ve been hurt on the worksite, you’ll want to find a lawyer right away who has experience in the industry. Your attorney has to have extensive knowledge of the work environment, the industry and must have tried several coal mining cases in a courtroom. Coal mining is a very heavily regulated industry. When a worker gets hurt in a deep mine or surface mine, there are many rules which have most likely been broken by the company. Usually, this involves putting profit ahead of worker safety. It could be the company itself or the subcontractor, but I can assure you that in the vast majority of the cases we see, we find that federal rules and regulations have been violated. This violation may have resulted in a coal miner being maimed or killed. At The Segal Law Firm, we pride ourselves in knowing what those rules are and where to start looking for answers. We use some of the best experts in the country who …

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What Causes a Coal Truck Tragedy?

Here at The Segal Law Firm, we have seen every kind of coal truck accident. These wrecks are almost always devastating, especially if a passenger vehicle is involved. Coal truck drivers have a special set of federal regulations that must be followed at all times, but, unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen. Lack of caution, fatigue, speed and impaired driving are common causes of negligence. If I have a client who has been hurt or killed in one of these tragedies, I work hard to figure out what caused it and who we can sue to get the victim as much help as possible. Too Fast, Too Heavy Speed is definitely a major culprit in coal truck accidents. We see a lot of wrecks where the road was narrow or curvy and the driver is simply going way too fast. They might be overloaded, but even if they aren’t, it’s not hard to speed when you weigh that much. Because of the truck’s size, if it collides with a passenger vehicle, it’s not going to be pretty. When we are investigating a case, we usually start looking for signs of speeding from the get-go; various types of reconstruction, skid marks and …

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Regarding Coal Mining Deaths, What Rights do Family Members Have?

When you or your family have suffered the death of a family member due to a coal mining accident, there are two very important questions that your lawyer should obtain answers for on your behalf. First, and foremost, you deserve to know what exactly caused the death of your husband or your son or your family member.  Fortunately, in West Virginia both federal and state investigators have a duty to the family to answer this question and help you understand why this tragedy occurred.  The Segal Law Firm has found through its years of experience that both federal and state investigators are very, very good at trying to find an answer to this question for you and your family.  However, sometimes this question requires a little patience before it can be accurately answered.  There may be dozens and dozens of witnesses to interview; machinery and equipment maintenance records need to be examined as well as mine maps and detailed engineering drawings.  However, my experience in these cases has shown that federal and state investigators are every bit as concerned as you and your family to uncover the truth. You and your family should be aware that under recent West Virginia …

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