West Virginia Coal Mining Accident Lawyer
A West Virginia Coal Mining Accident Lawyer Explains Workers’ Compensation Benefits
If you were recently in a coal mining accident, you need the help of a West Virginia coal mining accident lawyer from Adams Legal Group, PLLC. Workers’ compensation benefits are one of the best ways of getting some type of compensation after sustaining a coal mining accident and these benefits can help you recover financial losses when you receive medical treatment and even for a salary that you are unable to collect because you cannot go back to work. However, some people wonder if they can file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits and sue their employer for their injuries. Below, a West Virginia coal mining accident lawyer offers more information on when it is appropriate to file a lawsuit or file for workers’ compensation benefits and why it is not recommended that you do both.
When you work in the coal mining industry, you likely know that you are at a much higher risk than people in other jobs when it comes to personal injuries. If you have sustained a coal mining injury that is leaving you struggling to go back to work or struggling to pay your medical bills, you need the help of a coal mining accident lawyer in West Virginia. If you are not sure how to pay for your bills, one of the options that we advise you to pursue is through workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation after your injury can help you with the financial losses that you sustain like high medical bills or the great financial loss you may face if you are unable to go to work or if you could not go back to work for some time. A West Virginia coal mining accident attorney discusses the different options you have below.
What are common types of coal mining injuries?
Unfortunately, because of the type of work, there are many different injuries that you may sustain on the job and they can range from minor to severe and life-threatening.
Crush Injuries. In many instances, a coal miner might be around large equipment or natural landscape that could crush them. This can be a huge problem if the machinery you are using is found to be defective. Additionally, a roof could collapse or a coal stockpile could collapse causing serious injuries.
Burn Injuries. There are many different ways that a coal miner could sustain burn injuries. This could happen from methane gas explosions, fires, or even chemical-related burns. Miners are frequently around smoke and different toxins that can also cause internal burns as well. Burns are incredibly dangerous because they can take a very long time to heal and can leave the victim severely scarred or disfigured.
Wrongful Death. If someone at the coal mining site is acting negligently or if the equipment the coal miner is using is found to be defective, it is possible that someone else’s negligence could result in a wrongful death. When this is the case, your West Virginia coal mining accident lawyer can help advise you or your family members about the best legal steps to take if a loved one’s life was lost in a coal mining accident.
It is important to note that if you choose to pursue filing for workers’ compensation, you are not able to also file a lawsuit against your employer for further forms of compensation. You should discuss the different options with your attorney to determine what could potentially get you the most compensation for your injuries and what kind of evidence you need to substantiate your claims.
Do All States Have Workers’ Compensation Benefits Laws?
All states have some form of workers’ compensation benefits, however, these laws vary from state to state. A coal mining accident lawyer can explain what the workers’ compensation laws are in the state of West Virginia.
Generally, when you file for your workers’ compensation benefits, you are not allowed to file a lawsuit against your employer to receive further damages. You are essentially waiving that right when you file your claim. Although many people might think that filing a lawsuit will get them more money, workers’ compensation is typically more predictable and allows the injured employee to begin receiving their monetary benefits sooner, thus, there is less payment for your injuries out-of-pocket.
If, for some reason, your employer has no form of workers’ compensation insurance of they refuse to cover your insurance, speak with your attorney about filing a lawsuit.
What Do You Need For a Lawsuit?
To file a lawsuit, you will need to provide some form of evidence that shows your employer did not have the necessary insurance or that they intentionally harmed you.
Are There Any Drawbacks to Receiving Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
While a lawsuit is often lengthier and costs a great deal of money, workers’ compensation benefits claims are not perfect. Two major drawbacks are:
- There are limits to the number of workers’ compensation benefits
- You cannot file for punitive damages in a workers’ compensation claim
When Is It More Appropriate to File a Lawsuit?
In some cases, your injury may be grounds for filing a lawsuit instead of a workers’ compensation claim. There are a few reasons this may be the case:
- Your employer cannot cover you with workers’ compensation insurance. If your employer has no workers’ compensation insurance or if their insurance is so insufficient that it does not cover your damages, a coal mining accident lawyer can help determine if filing for a lawsuit will be a better tactic for recovering the damages you need.
- Your employer intentionally set out to harm you. If you were up on a ladder and a damaged step caused you to fall and break your arm, you likely have a reasonable workers’ compensation claim. However, if your employer was walking by you while you were up on a ladder and intentionally pushed the ladder to make you fall, then a lawsuit may be a better route to take.
How Can a West Virginia Coal Mining Accident Lawyer Help Me?
An attorney can help determine the best route to take with your case, whether it is more appropriate to file for workers’ compensation benefits or if you should file a lawsuit. If you have any questions regarding workers’ compensation benefits and sustaining an on-the-job injury, contact a West Virginia coal mining accident lawyer at Adams Legal Group, PLLC.