Working in the mining industry comes with a certain amount of known hazards, including a certain risk for coal mine accidents. Mine safety is a critical component of working in this field, and when coal mine accidents do occur, the injured party does have certain rights. The Mine Act, which grants industry employees specific rights, applies to any individual who works in the mining industry.
When a West Virginia resident is injured while working in a mine, benefits are typically granted through workers' compensation insurance. If these benefits are denied or a claim is disputed, that individual has certain options for recourse. After a work accident of any kind, miners are always granted the right to file a claim and seek compensation for lost wages and medical bills.
Miners also have the right to withdraw themselves from a particular job if he or she has not had the proper training. Additionally, if a miner has been diagnosed with a lung disease, that individual has the right to a medical evaluation in order to be considered for a different job. If a West Virginia miner feels that he or she has been exposed to toxic or harmful fumes, it is important to fully understand rights granted by The Mine Act and the MINER Act.
Coal mine accidents can result in serious injuries or even death. Due to the serious nature of these accidents, an injured individual may consider securing legal counsel in order to protect his or her rights and to fight for deserved compensation. A lawyer experienced in workplace accident cases can determine the options for a victim and family.
Source: msha.gov, "Miners' Rights and Responsibilities", Dec. 30, 2014