Emporia, VA Workers Compensation Lawyer for Coal Miners

Emporia workers compensation lawyerCoal mining remains one of the most hazardous industries in the United States, despite significant reductions in fatal injury rates over the past fifty years.  More than half of all coal miners are in Bituminous coal underground mining, an industry area that experiences more occupational injuries, illnesses, and fatalities than any other segment of coal mining.

Accidents that occur in coal mines tend to be significant, often resulting in life-long and catastrophic injuries, including (but not limited to):

  • Burns
  • Disfigurement
  • Loss of limbs
  • Traumatic brain injuries (“TBI”)
  • Back or spinal cord injuries
  • Electrocution
  • Blindness
  • Deafness
  • Paralysis

If you were injured in a mining accident, you are entitled to workers’ compensation to help cover medical bills, lost wages, other expenses.  For more than two decades, Emporia workers’ compensation lawyer Mark Hurt has tenaciously pursued benefits and third-party civil damages, recovering millions of dollars for injured victims.

Free Consultation – No Fee Unless Workers’ Comp or Other Compensation is Obtained

At The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt, we offer a free initial consultation, and there is no fee for our services unless you receive benefits or compensation.  Legal fees for workers’ compensation matters are subject to both statutory requirements and the subsequent approval by the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission (the “Commission”).   Typically, in a successful case, a law firm will be entitled to a fee of 20-25% of the amount obtained.

If a lawsuit is filed that is separate from a workers’ compensation claim (such as against another contractor or defective equipment manufacturer), we also receive a fee from such other compensation.  If there is a case for such a claim and we represent you, this representation will also be on a contingency fee basis (no fee unless compensation is obtained).  Our fee for our representation for workers’ compensation and non-workers’ compensation matters is set forth in our retention agreement, which solely governs the terms of our representation.

What Events Lead to Injury and Death in Coal Mining?

Coal mining injuries and death can result from many causes, including:

  • Roof, longwall shelf, or elevator collapse
  • Fall of face, rib, or highwall
  • Flooding
  • Explosions and fires
  • Electrocutions
  • Machine crashes
  • Defective machinery
  • Slip and falls
  • Safety violations
  • Toxic chemical exposure

In addition to the possibility of isolated, single-occurrence accidents, miners also face risks from exposure to various environmental hazards, including:

  • Mercury
  • Coal dust
  • Welding fumes
  • Methane
  • Crystalline silica dust
  • Radon
  • Noise
  • Lifting
  • Air pollution

Regardless of how an injury is caused, Virginia coal miners are entitled to medical treatment and compensation for lost wages if they are injured as a result of their work.  Duke Law graduate Mark Hurt thoroughly investigates each case to identify all potentially liable parties. Then, he tenaciously pursues workers’ compensation benefits and any other available compensation.

What Are Common Injuries that Virginia Coal Miners Sustain?

According to statistics, thousands of workers are injured in coal mines each year, and some of these accidents prove fatal.  Coal miners can suffer a number of on-the-job injuries, but some of the most common include:

  • Back injuries
  • Head injuries
  • Hearing loss
  • Shoulder injuries from using heavy machinery
  • Crush injuries from collapse
  • Black Lung Disease
  • Progressive Massive Fibrosis (“PMF”)
  • Silicosis
  • Wrongful death

What Types of Expenses Does Virginia Workers’ Compensation Cover?

Many professions offer a “light duty” option for injured workers; however, there is usually not a “light duty” option for injured coal miners.  Consequently, significant mining injuries can easily end a person’s career, placing their family’s financial security at risk.  Fortunately, Virginia coal miners are eligible for worker’s compensation benefits including payments for medical expenses and lost wages.

Coal miners who were totally disabled from pneumoconiosis may also file a claim under the federal Black Lung Benefits Act, which provides monthly payments and medical benefits to both injured miners and the survivors of those fatally injured.  To receive benefits under the Act, a form must be submitted to the Division of Coal Mine Workers’ Compensation, along with relevant medical documentation.  As an experienced Emporia workers’ compensation lawyer, Mark Hurt can help ensure workers’ rights are protected and they receive the maximum compensation possible.

Can I Recover Damages In Addition to Workers’ Compensation for Coal Mining Injuries? Possibly.

Employers are generally insulated from civil lawsuits involving injured employees, making workers’ compensation the primary means of obtaining compensation in most cases.  However, if an employer places employees at an unreasonable risk of harm by being reckless, it may be possible to pursue compensation through a deliberate intent claim.  Such claim arises where an employer knows of a particularly significant hazard and did not take reasonable precautions to protect workers.

Should I Accept a Workers’ Compensation Settlement From My Company for Coal Mining Injuries Without Speaking with an Attorney? Probably not.

While many companies might seem like they are trying to do right by offering compensation, settlements are often meant to be as low as possible, while also absolving a negligent company of any future liability.  When a settlement agreement is signed, it is important to understand that an injured employee is thereby giving up all claims (even those that may be unknown) to future compensation.

As a result, it is advisable to consult with an experienced mine injury attorney to make sure an offer is fair.

Free Initial Consultation With Emporia Coal Mine Injury Attorney Mark Hurt

If you’ve been injured, we can explain your rights to full compensation and benefits under the law.  When you hire our firm, we can thoroughly investigate your case, interview witnesses, collect vital medical documentation, file claims, monitor critical deadlines, and file civil lawsuits (when appropriate).

Impotently, in some cases (like injuries caused by defective equipment or those caused by another contractor), there may be other parties who may be liable and who may not be subject to workers’ compensation restrictions.  In these cases, we can also file suit to recover not only for injuries and damages, but also for aspects like pain and suffering (which  are not recoverable in workers’ compensation cases).

As an Emporia workers’ comp mining accident lawyer with decades of injury representation experience, Mark Hurt stands ready to help you navigate the workers’ compensation system, from start to finish.  Call today to schedule a free, confidential consultation to learn how we can help.  You will never pay a fee unless we secure benefits or compensation.

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I started receiving services through this law firm in 2017 for my workers compensation case. Over the years, this firm has been attentive, kind, patient and understanding to my needs. My calls were returned promptly, if the associate was unavailable at that time and I have had ample opportunity to speak with Mr Hurt directly concerning my case. With Mary Wilson, Bart Conway, Mr Hurt and others behind the scene, my case has progressed smoothly. I am very pleased with the services and attention I received at this firm and would recommend Mr Hurt, Mary and Bart for your needs.
Teresa Harris
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