Coal Mine Accidents
Most people react with horror at the idea of a coal mine accident simply because they are always so destructive and deadly. Visiting the Mine Safety and Health Administration website (MSHA) reveals just how dangerous the mining industry remains in the United States, with 16 fatalities and scores of injuries occurring in the coal mining industry in 2014 alone. (MSHA.gov, 2014)
When coal mine accidents occur, however, it becomes a case of figuring out just what wrong. The MSHA does an investigation and report, along with other regulating agencies. And things can get very confusing simply because there are so many groups involved. For instance, it might be easy for someone who is unfamiliar with coal mining to think that the errors and mistakes that lead to accidents are going to be due to the miners or to the machinery at work. However, that is not at all accurate.
The Groups Involved
In coal mining there are the miners, but there are also the coal or mine owners, the property owners, the various contractors, and more. Rarely are miners involved in the different arrangements and agreements that the business owners create, and this sets the stage for hardship after coal mine accidents.
Why? If you start to navigate the sea of contracts, indemnity agreements, and other documents, you’ll discover just how and why coal mining is an industry rife with safety violations, accidents, and deaths. The corporate structure at work can leave regulations by the wayside, and because so many of the incidents (fatal or not) are related to the secondary activities of mining, it can make it very challenging for a miner (or their surviving dependents) to understand who was at fault for an accident.
Getting Legal Help
Additionally, any owner or contractor involved in coal mining is going to have a fleet of attorneys on hand to help reduce or eliminate liabilities if accidents occur. In addition to financial penalties, there is always the risk of legal violations, and so the groups involved in mining do their best to create a strong defense against almost any possible threat.
This can easily leave a bereft family without any ability to seek compensation for wrongful death or serious injury. And this is why a qualified attorney with experience in coal mine accidents is going to become a major and effective resource.
Understanding the Challenges
It is of the utmost importance for anyone injured or their surviving dependents to recognize the challenges ahead of them. Waiting for the MHSA to do its investigation and preliminary report is unwise because there is always the threat that the report will be inadmissible or redacted for confidentiality. This evidence of guilt may prove vital to obtaining compensation and damages, and yet the companies liable may have set the stage to keep this evidence from working against them in a court case.
However, attorneys with experience in coal mine accidents will have their own methods of getting valid information through investigators, experts, and other resources. They can then use this to help a client win the compensation due to them.
Heavens Law has many years of intense experience fighting for the rights of coal mining accidents, and their families. With an in-depth knowledge of every facet of the industry, as well as experience in working with the mining companies themselves, this group is going to be able to give victims a serious edge and the best outcome possible. Don’t hesitate to get in touch to discuss your case and learn what steps to take after such a horrible incident as a coal mining accident. Consultations are free and you pay nothing if you do not win your case.
- MSHA.gov. Coal: Preliminary Accident Reports for 2014. 2014. http://www.msha.gov/fatals/coal/2014/