What Counts in a Coal Mining Settlement?

It’s no secret that I believe the number one aspect you should be looking for in a good coal mining lawyer is experience. If your loved one has been killed in a coal mining accident, your representative has to fully understand the complex elements that he or she will be required to prove in West Virginia court of law. These elements will determine the kind of settlement or jury verdict that your family will receive on behalf of your loved one. Here at The Segal Law Firm, we take this job very seriously and will work to get you the end result you deserve.

Manner of Death
As unpleasant as it may be, we have to figure out how a miner died and exactly when he knew that death was coming. Was the passing immediate or did he know for a few minutes that he was about to die? Believe it or not, West Virginia law allows that pain and suffering to be an element of damages that we can collect for you. Tragically, we’ve seen cases where the miner was asphyxiated and they felt the horror of death, of never seeing their wife, children or grandchildren again, for several minutes. The same goes for crushing injuries and some electrocution. That pain is recoverable under our law, but you have to have a lawyer with experience who understands that and can get you the best experts who will prove it in court.

Expenses Beyond Your Paycheck
One of the most important aspects of your settlement is loss of wages. What would the deceased coal miner have made over a lifetime? That money stops coming in for the family and it’s our job to get it back. But we take it beyond your weekly paycheck. We hire forensic economists, which are a special kind of CPA, who can figure out not just your wages, but your retirement and medical benefits. Those benefits are going to stop for the wife and kids soon after their husband or father is killed in the mine. We can work with our experts to figure out the exact amount we need to recover.

We also want to take into account any medical expenses that you incurred prior to death; ambulance, emergency room, or intensive care. That has to be put into a formula, both for settlement and trial. Of course, we’ll also aim to recover any funeral expenses. We want to make sure that every element of wages or expenses is calculated and confirmed.

Conduct of the Company
The one thing that goes into settlement and jury verdict that is most overlooked by an inexperienced lawyer is not the method of death, not the loss wages, but the conduct of the company over time. You’ve got to dig, dig, dig until you know the track record of the coal company because it’s usually going to help prove that they put profit ahead of their workers’ safety; the citations, write ups, fire boss reports, all of that stuff will prove that this is a company that has a history of safety negligence. If you’ve hired an inexperienced lawyer, they are going to miss this crucial element that can take your settlement or jury verdict to the next level. Putting profit ahead of a coal miner’s safety is never acceptable business, and we at The Segal Law Firm have seen this happen time and again, so we know what it looks like and how to find it.

When you come to The Segal Law Firm, ask us about our experience, our experts and how we’ve done with cases like yours. We want to put your mind at ease. Once you hire this firm, all the complicated legalities are our responsibility. Your responsibility is to help your children, heal yourself and go through the grieving process. You focus on your family and we’ll focus on proving your wrongful death case and getting you the settlement or jury verdict you need. Call me today. We’ll speak about what the road ahead looks like and I’ll answer your questions personally. I’m here for you at 855-344-9100.