Wytheville, VA Workers’ Compensation Lawyer for Coal Miners
Wytheville Workers Compensation Lawyer & VA Coal Miner Attorney
Coal mining is an inherently dangerous industry, as miners face numerous hazardous conditions in underground mining. Workers are often in dark, damp, and confined spaces where it can be difficult to breathe, move, or operate heavy machinery. Consequently, those who are brave enough to work in the mines are under a nearly constant threat of suffering life-long injuries or even death if something goes wrong.
If you suffered an injury or lost a loved one in a coal mining accident, we invite you to call our office to speak with experienced Wytheville workers’ compensation coal mining attorney Mark Hurt. Mark has over two decades of legal experience and has recovered millions of dollars in benefits and compensation for injured clients. At The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt, we offer a free initial consultation, and we are only entitled to a fee if we secure benefits or compensation.
What is Workers’ Compensation for Coal Miners?
Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that helps coal miners injured on the job or who suffer from a work-related medical conditions. Benefits are paid to miners, former miners, and eligible survivors of those who died due to mining injuries to help cover medical expenses, lost wages, and other expenses and losses.
Employers (and their insurers) often create unnecessary roadblocks in an attempt to frustrate injury victims into giving up on obtaining full and fair benefits. It’s important to understand that employers and insurance carriers will have an inherent bias to act in a way to minimize their expenses – not to give coal miners what they fully deserve.
Fortunately, working with experienced Virginia workers’ compensation attorney Mark Hurt can make the process significantly less challenging, as he can handle all communications, negotiations, and filings on your behalf. He can also explain the benefits to which you may be entitled if you’ve been injured, including lost pay and medical treatment.
How Much Do Virginia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Charge for Coal Mining Injury Cases?
Virginia has workers’ comp laws that govern the award of attorneys’ fees. In general the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission must approve legal fees, which generally are 20% – 25% of the compensation awarded. Our retention agreement discusses our fee for both workers’ compensation matters and non-workers’ compensation injury matters (cases that may be filed for injury against someone other than the injured worker’s employer).
What Are Common Types of Injuries Suffered by Coal Miners?
Underground Coal mining is one of the most dangerous professions in our country. Despite extensive safety training and gear, miners still face significant risks, including (but not limited to):
- Black Lung Disease
- Falling rocks
- Roof falls and rib rolls
- Stockpile collapses
- Coal mine explosions
- Exposure to fumes, carbon monoxide, and methane gas
- Heavy machinery defects
- Safety Violations
- Wrongful Death
What Should I Do After Suffering a Catastrophic Injury in a Coal Mine Accident?
Medical treatment is a vital aspect of any workers’ compensation claim. To file a claim, an injury victim must expeditiously inform his or her employer about the injury and seek immediate medical attention.
It is critical to note, however, that many employers maintain a list of medical providers which they work with to offer workers’ compensation benefits; thus, injured workers will need to seek care from a provider that is on the approved list. While injured workers must go to a company doctor for what is called an “Independent Medical Examination” (or IME), injured workers can also see a doctor of their choice to assess the nature and extent of their injuries (although they may need to pay for such visit “out of pocket”).
Experienced Wytheville Coal Mining Injury Lawyer Mark Hurt Has a Reputation for Solid Injury Representation.
At The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt, we have been pursuing compensation for injury victims for over two decades, helping countless injured clients secure compensation from those causing injury, and from employers and insurance companies in workers’ compensation cases.
Coal mining accident attorney Mark Hurt is intimately familiar mining practices, from continuous miners and roof bolters to rock dusters and longwall machines. When you provide details regarding your case, Mark will know exactly what you are referencing. This knowledge can be highly beneficial not only settlement negotiations, but also in identifying whether there may be third parties who also may be liable for injuries or death (and who can be pursued in a lawsuit separate from a workers’ compensation claim).
What Types of Coal Mining Workers’ Compensation Cases Does The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt Handle?
Firm-founding attorney Mark Hurt handles all types of workers’ compensation and personal injury claims for victims and the families of those who have suffered underground and surface mining injuries and death. We provide tenacious representation in cases involving (but not limited to):
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spine or back injuries
- Broken or fractured bones
- Soft tissue injuries
- Severe burns (including chemical burns)
- Crush injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Wrongful Death
Can I Pursue Virginia Workers’ Compensation if I Was Partly Responsible for My Coal Mining Injuries?
Yes. Typically, the first source to pursue compensation for losses is through an employer’s workers’ compensation policy. Virginia workers’ comp is a no-fault system, meaning that it pays benefits to injured workers regardless of who was at fault for an accident, including an injured miner. Thus a company cannot claim that a worker can be denied compensation on the basis that a worker’s negligence may have contributed to the injuries.
What Benefits Are Included in a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
Workers’ compensation benefits are designed to cover medical costs, a percentage of lost wages (generally 66 2/3% of gross earnings), and temporary and permanent disability. Because an injured worker does not have to prove negligence, the workers’ compensation process was created to eliminate fault, and instead to focus on the degree of injury and fair compensation. However, the claims process can still be daunting, as many employers and their insurance companies often complicate the process in an attempt to frustrate hard-working miners into giving up on the benefits they deserve. At The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt, we handle workers’ compensation claims from start to finish, allowing injured victims and their families to focus on what is important—their health and healing.
Can I Sue My Employer If I Am Collecting Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
It is generally extremely challenging to file a personal injury lawsuit against an employer with workers’ compensation insurance. However, in limited cases, a “deliberate intent” claim may be brought against a mining company.
Under Virginia law, an injured miner can bypass an employer’s workers’ compensation immunity if the company deliberately exposed employees to unsafe working conditions. As a Wytheville mining injury attorney with over twenty-five years of legal experience, Mark Hurt is highly familiar with workplace safety regulations under the Mine Safety and Health Administration (“MSHA”). If you or a loved one suffered a debilitating injury caused by the intentional disregard of safety procedures and regulations by an employer, we invite you to call our office to schedule a free consultation. Mark Hurt can listen to the facts of your case and explain whether you may be entitled to pursue a deliberate intent claim.
Can Other Parties Be Liable For Coal Mining Injuries in Virginia?
When a Virginia miner is injured in an accident, a party other than the coal mining company might share some of the responsibility for a workplace injury or illness, including companies, contractors, equipment manufacturers, property owners, and the government.
When this is the case, it may be possible to bring a personal injury claim against such a negligent third party. Unlike in a workers’ compensation case, in a lawsuit against a non-employer an injured coal miner may be entitled to recovery for non-economic losses, such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
- Diminished quality of life
- Punitive damages (in particularly egregious cases)
Because of the potential significant value in these areas (which are not compensated through workers’ compensation benefits), we represent injured workers against non-employer parties who may be liable so that workers will be better able to realize the full compensation for their injuries.
Call Our Office Today to Schedule a Free Consultation With an Experienced Wytheville, VA Coal Mining Injury Lawyer.
Whether in Wytheville or the surrounding communities, if you or a loved one has been injured or you have lost a family member in a coal mine accident, you deserve an attorney who understands the industry and has a reputation for success in these cases. You will find that lawyer at The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt. Call today to schedule a free consultation with our Wytheville workers compensation lawyer to learn about the legal options available for seeking maximum compensation.