Some of the most difficult cases I’ve come across involve the wrongful deaths of coal miners. Unfortunately, they are not uncommon and my experience with them has become extensive. It’s important that the families of these deceased miners understand that they have rights under West Virginia law. These laws protect them and make sure that an experienced lawyer can help them get the damages they deserve.
The first thing you need to do if your dad or husband has been killed in a coal mining accident is find out who the executor or executrix is, based on the will of your loved one. If no one has been appointed, then you can go to the courthouse and someone will be appointed. It’s then that person’s responsibility to seek out a law firm that understands coal mining regulations and protections and who can figure out why the wrongful death occurred. You’ve got to have an answer to that question.
The first thing we are going to do at The Segal Law Firm is start investigating to find out what shortcuts the coal company has taken, as this is most likely what has occurred. The company probably decided to ignore a safety rule just to get to that almighty dollar a little bit quicker. Maybe a co worker wasn’t properly trained or didn’t know the equipment he was working on wasn’t properly maintained. Perhaps a roof bolting or ventilation plan wasn’t properly executed. The company thought it was just too complex and decided to take shortcuts that wound up with your loved one being killed. You need a legal representative that knows how to dig and dig to find these answers for you and your family.
After we have the reason as to why the event occurred, we now have to calculate the damages and prove to the other side or to a jury that you deserve them. You have loss of wages. The miner’s income is gone and we’ve got to replace that for the family. Loss of benefits is another big one. Coal miners usually have very good benefits; medical insurance, retirement insurance, dental plans, eyeglasses and more. These all stop when the coal miner is killed. All this stuff has to be taken into account because the family is going to need it. Beyond monetary losses, we’ve also got to talk about the fact that the guidance, love and friendship of the deceased is gone as well. You need a lawyer who knows how to capture that and help a jury understand just how grave a loss this is.
Losing your dad or husband in a coal mining accident is honestly going to be one of the most horrible times in your life. I have met way, way too many widows in my career of thirty-plus years. But you know what? When I lay my head down on my pillow at night, I think of what an honor it is that I’ve been able to send so many kids to college as a result of what we’ve been able to obtain for them. The recovery that we can get for a family is in their father or husband’s memory and I urge the families to think of it as such. If your loved one has been killed in a coal mining accident I urge you to call me at The Segal Law Firm. You deserve answers and I can get them for you. Call me toll free at 855-344-9100.