Princeton, West Virginia Coal Mining Accidents Attorney
Coal mining is an integral part of the West Virginia economy, and the coal mining industry employs thousands of West Virginians. Historically, coal mining has been considered one of the most dangerous occupations. Heavy machinery, unstable earth, explosions, fires, and dark, narrow passages all factor into coal mining accidents. Although coal mining accidents have substantially declined since the early 1900s, coal mining accidents still affect West Virginia families. If you or a loved one has been injured in a West Virginia coal mining accident, then you need to contact attorney Kathryn (Kay) Bayless at the Bayless Law Firm in Princeton. Ms. Bayless is an experienced personal injury attorney who has the knowledge and skill to hold mining companies accountable when miners are injured or killed on the job.
Coal Mining Accident Facts
Coal mining accidents can happen for a variety of reasons. The combination of machinery, persons, and natural materials all potentially can cause coal mining injuries. Common coal mining accident classifications include fires, ignition or explosion of gas or dust, powered haulage (injuries suffered from use of powered machinery), slip and fall, hoisting, and entrapment.
Workers’ Compensation and West Virginia Deliberate Intent Law
Due to the dangerous nature of coal mining, accidents happen. When a coal miner is injured, the miner will often rely on workers’ compensation insurance to help pay for medical bills and to provide support for lost income while out on leave. Workers’ compensation insurance typically covers many types of injuries or illnesses sustained while performing job functions. Coal mining companies prefer workers to submit these types of claims rather than filing lawsuits. Workers’ compensation keeps employers immune from general tort (injury) liability unless the employer acted with “deliberate intent.” The West Virginia Deliberate Intent Law protects coal miners who have suffered serious injury or death as a result of coal mining companies placing miners in unsafe working conditions.
Under the West Virginia Deliberate Intent Law (W.Va. Code § 23-4-2), coal mining companies can be held civilly liable when:
- The company has consciously, subjectively and deliberately formed intention to produce the specific result of injury or death to an employee;
- It is determined by the judge or jury that all of the following are proven:
- An unsafe working condition existed that provided for a high degree of risk and a strong probability of serious injury or death;
- Prior to injury, employer had specific knowledge of this high degree of risk and strong probability of injury or death;
- The unsafe working condition violated a state or federal safety statute, rule, or regulation or a commonly known/accepted safety standard in the industry;
- Despite knowledge of the unsafe working condition, the employer nevertheless exposed the worker to the unsafe condition; AND
- The employee suffered some serious injury or death as a result of the unsafe condition.
Get Help From Princeton, West Virginia Coal Mining Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured in a coal mining accident, contact experienced coal mining accident attorney Kay Bayless at the Bayless Law Firm. Coal mining companies are looking out for their own interests and have attorneys working hard on their side. Ms. Bayless will advocate for your rights and fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Contact our office for a free consultation