Coal Mine Injury Articles

Who are the Best Coal Mine Accident Attorneys in West Virginia?

If you have suffered an injury in either an underground coal mine or a surface coal mine, you likely are wanting to work with the best law firm possible to resolve your case and return a sense of peace back to your life. In cases of coal mine accidents, it is important that you and your family seek a lawyer who is experienced in these types of cases.  The lawyer should have a thorough understanding of both federal and state regulations and the differences in how they affect deep mining, underground mining and surface mining.  They should also know the rules such as those that affect the machines used in a surface mine and how well the people are trained who are responsible for your injury. At Segal Law Firm, we ask these questions every day.  A coal mining company might tell the government they have a mining plan and a roof bolting plan, but in reality they’re not following that plan.  They might also state they maintain their equipment, but when a lawyer looks in the right places, it becomes apparent that equipment was not being maintained pursuant to the manufacturer’s specifications, which resulted in someone getting injured.  We …

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Most Common Types of Workplace Injuries that Occur in West Virginia

West Virginia is heavily involved in the production of its natural resources and those resources include coal, oil, gas, heavy industry, electrical power houses, chemical factories, and steel mills.  Here at the Segal Law Firm, we often see the vast majority of injury cases stemming from employment in these industries. Mining is an inherently dangerous occupation, particularly when mining plans or safety rules are not followed by management, equipment fails or the mine itself fails, injuring multiple people.  Further problems can arise with untrained people who are placed improperly in both surface or deep mines. These same problems are seen in the natural oil and gas industries.  The Marcellus Shale is a very dangerous type of gas to extract because of the huge amount of pressure it is under when you are drilling on a rig.  People who perform this work must be trained very carefully with regard to co-workers’ safety as well as their own safety. Injuries are seen in both power and chemical plants where, once again, equipment is not properly maintained.  Management may be more interested in making money than in proper safety protocols and improperly trained people may be placed in jobs that require very close …

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Coal Mine Crush Injuries and Fatalities

In today’s blog, we’d like to tell you a story of a coal mining crush injury case that The Segal Law Firm took on recently. Many injuries and deaths that occur in coal mining are related to equipment and lack of experience. The Segal Law Firm represented the family of a 23-year-old miner who received fatal crushing injuries when he was caught between the continuous miner boom and the mine roof as the machine was being trammed out of the mine in order to do needed repairs. Investigation by Segal Law Tremendous investigation by our legal team revealed a number of contributing factors leading to the tragic loss of the young father. The mine had difficult working conditions requiring extensive rehabilitation. It had been experiencing poor mining conditions including low seam height, harder roof and floor rock and water.  During the move of the continuous miner, the victim was assisting with cable while working as a helper rather than in his regular job as a greaser. The continuous miner had to be trammed down a ledge, through airlock doors and had to avoid diagonally hanging cable. The victim received fatal crushing injuries when the miner boom caught his head against …

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The Segal Law Firm Represents Coal Miners and Their Families

Coal mining is a way of life in West Virginia. It is part of our rich heritage. At The Segal Law Firm, we honor our miners, their families and our mining communities. We all know that mining is hard and dangerous work. Coal miners know every shift the dangers that they face. Mining dangers are present whether working underground or in surface operations. Sadly, West Virginia typically leads the nation in mining injuries and deaths. These injuries and deaths occur despite the fact that federal and state legislation and regulation exists to help provide safe working conditions for our family and friends in the coal and mining industry. The rules must be followed by management. All too often, the safety rules are violated. Mine operators have a duty to see that safety standards are in place and well known. Operators are responsible for training miners on safety matters. Far too often, we learn of a red hat or apprentice miner who is a victim of serious injuries or who is killed. Our extensive experience in coal mining litigation informs us that there are generally several factors and rules violations that lead to injury and death. We have aggressively represented coal …

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“Watch Out” Is Not a Safety Plan in the Mines

When the lawyers at The Segal Law Firm begin investigating serious mining injuries or deaths, we often hear that the pre-shift safety meeting consists simply of being told things such as “watch out,” “be careful,” or “watch that loose top.” These words of caution are not safety plans or safety meetings such as one would expect to see with a mine operator striving to follow the safety rules and provide a safe mining environment. The lawyers at The Segal Law Firm represented the family of an experienced miner who was killed in a fatal rib fall incident. He left his wife, two sons and other family and friends to grieve a senseless death. The deceased miner was an experienced roofbolter. Adverse mining conditions were experienced by the continuous miner operator and helper to such an extent that they were instructed to reduce mining cut depth. They also started using the continuous miner to scrape at loose rib material. When the deceased went into that entry, he and another roofbolter were instructed to “watch that place.” Watching was not adequate. The roofbolters were just beginning to bolt a third row when a section of mine rib some almost 14 feet long …

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