Coal mining has been an influential industry in the United States for more than a century, and many West Virginia residents are still deeply entrenched in the coal industry. The hills of Appalachia are dotted with small towns and neighborhoods in which the local economy relies heavily on coal mining. The way big coal companies do business has evolved for the modern era, but for the average worker, coal mine accidents remain an ever-present danger.
Time Magazine recently covered the plight of coal workers in a fascinating article. According to the piece, the government began to log statistics about coal mine accidents in the early 1900s. Since then, well over 100,000 coal miners have been killed in the United States. Experts estimate that well over 500,000 have become ill or suffered serious injury.
Now, advocates are urging Congress to take action to help injured miners and their families. A pension fund that is supposed to support sick or injured miners is running out of money. Experts attest that if no action is taken, the pension fund, which is supposed to help cover living expenses and medical care for hard-working employees, will be out of money in less than two years.
Victims of coal mine accidents may want to explore avenues for legal recourse. If a miner was injured because another party, like an employer who failed to provide a safe work environment or behaved in a careless or negligent manner, civil action may be appropriate. A West Virginia victim can contact an attorney who is familiar with cases involving the coal industry. An attorney can help a client navigate the legal system and aim for a verdict that provides much-needed compensation for the suffering a victim endured.