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Dothan, Alabama Coal Mining Accident Attorney

Coal Mining Accidents

Coal mining is well-known as a hard and dangerous occupation. For hundreds of years, mine workers have fallen victim to cave-ins, explosions, toxic fumes, and other hazards. At Gartlan Injury Law, we help the hardworking people who have been hurt in coal mining accidents in Alabama. We can help you, too.

Our law firm has broad experience representing clients in both workers’ compensation and personal injury claims arising from mining accidents. When you hire us, you will be working with a legal team with the knowledge, skills, and resources needed to tackle the most complex mining accident cases. You can also count on personalized attention from a Dothan work injury lawyer who has one goal in mind — to secure maximum compensation for you.

Call or contact us today for a free consultation.

What are Common Causes of Coal Mining Accidents?

Mining is an occupation that comes with seen and unseen dangers. Tight, confined workspaces create a risk of getting trapped underground. Carbon monoxide and other toxic gases also threaten the lives of mine workers.

The most common causes of coal mining accidents include:

  • Fires and explosions: Coal mine fires may be ignited from an array of sources, from the use of explosives and machinery to the spontaneous combustion of coal dust. Methane, a highly combustible gas, can ignite from a spark. Rock sent flying by an explosion can strike and seriously injure or kill a miner.
  • Mining collapse: Negligent supervision and inadequate communication regarding safety protocols can contribute to mining collapses. Miners can suffer head trauma, neck injuries, broken bones, spinal cord damage, and other serious injuries in a collapse.
  • Flooding: Coal mines can flood if drainage wells stop working and open spaces fill with groundwater. Improperly maintained or poorly designed infrastructure could have broken pipes that leak until they burst, flooding the mine.
  • Accidents during hauling: Heavy loads that flip or fall while being hauled can cause serious injuries to miners hit by overturned carriers or loose materials and debris.
  • Defective equipment: Faulty bulldozers, conveyor belts, drills, and other equipment can inflict injury or cause explosions and fires. Miners may suffer burns, crush injuries, muscle and joint damage, and amputations, among other injuries, following an accident involving faulty equipment.

What are the Different Types of Coal Mining Accidents?

Examples of typical mining accidents include:

  • Coal miner holding a coal.Coal stockpile, roof, or longwall shield collapses
  • Mine shuttle car accidents
  • Mine collapses
  • Accidents involving faulty mining equipment, roof holders, and tools
  • Accidents due to lack of safety equipment
  • Gas explosions
  • Toxic substance leaks
  • Accidents involving silica or coal dust
  • Exposure to pinch points with mobile conveyor units
  • Accidents caused by improper training
  • Injuries due to negligent supervision

What Injuries Occur from Coal Mining Accidents?

Coal miners can sustain a wide variety of injuries, including but not limited to:

  • Burns
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Neck and back injuries
  • Paralysis
  • Amputation
  • Broken bones
  • Cuts, bruises, and abrasions
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Respiratory illnesses, such as black lung disease
  • Drownings and near-drownings
  • Asphyxiation
  • Death

Who Can Be Held Responsible in a Coal Mining Accident in Alabama?

If you have been injured or a family member died in a coal mining accident in Alabama, you deserve to be compensated. The first source of compensation that an injured miner could turn to is workers’ compensation.

Mining companies are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance, which offers medical, wage loss, and disability benefits to injured employees. Death benefits are available to family members whose loved one died in a coal mining accident.

There’s no need to prove fault to qualify for workers’ compensation in Alabama. But in exchange for these no-fault benefits, employees are not allowed to sue their employers.

In some coal mining accident injury cases, workers’ comp benefits are not enough to compensate a person for all their losses. In addition to a workers’ compensation claim, an injured miner may be able to file an on-the-job personal injury claim against a third party. This is only possible if someone else, not the employer, is responsible for the accident. An experienced coal mining accident lawyer can investigate your case to determine if an outside party could be held liable. This could allow you to collect additional money for pain and suffering, which is not possible in a workers’ compensation claim.

What Damages Can Be Recovered After a Mining Accident?

In an Alabama workers’ compensation claim, miners are entitled to benefits including:

  • Coal mining tragedy concept.Coverage of accident-related medical expenses
  • Partial wage replacement
  • Disability benefits
  • Death benefits

Miners who are eligible to file a personal injury mining accident claim may be awarded damages such as:

  • Past, current, and future medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Punitive damages (rare)

Whether you are filing a workers’ comp or personal injury claim (or both), a coal mining accident attorney at Gartlan Injury Law will put together a convincing case for why you deserve a full and fair award for your losses.

Is There a Statute of Limitations for Seeking Compensation After a Mining Accident?

There is a two-year time limit on both workers’ compensation and personal injury claims in Alabama. In general, the clock starts ticking on the date the accident occurred. In cases in which a coal miner could not reasonably have known about the injury within the two-year time frame, he or she generally has six months from the date of the discovery of the injury to initiate legal action.

It’s important to note that workers’ compensation claims also carry specific notification deadlines that are much shorter than the two-year statute of limitations. For example, miners must notify their employers of an injury within five days of the accident. Failure to do so could result in the claim being dismissed entirely.

Talk to a Dothan Coal Mining Accident Attorney Today

Injured in a coal mining accident in Alabama? You may have more legal options than you think. Talk to a coal mining accident attorney at Gartlan Injury Law right away. Call us for immediate help and a free consultation.

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