West Virginia is full of hard-working coal miners, and some of them can trace their family’s history in the industry back for over a hundred years. Generations of Mountaineers have spent countless hours underground, facing dangerous conditions and long-term health problems to make a living and provide for their families. Sometimes, coal mine accidents are so terrible that the stories are told for centuries.
In 1907, an explosion rocked a West Virginia coal mine. The miners inside had no warning, and nearly 400 were killed. Others suffered severe burns, but they were unable to reach the safety of the surface because a collapse blocked all escape routes and they ran out of oxygen trying to dig out. The total death toll is still unknown.
This accident prompted citizens to lobby for new safety regulations in coal mines. Though this particular disaster was a long time ago, regulations and modern technology still fall short of making mining a safe career. Today’s coal miners face similar dangers, and some do not even have access to the latest safety equipment. In 2009, December 6th became National Miners Day in remembrance of miners past and present.
When coal mine accidents cause serious injury or death, victims and their families may wonder what kind of legal recourse is available. Fortunately, there are attorneys in West Virginia who are familiar with these types of cases. An attorney can help a client seek justice in a court of law. In many cases, a favorable verdict or settlement includes monetary compensation that can help victims and their families cover expenses like medial bills, mental health services, loss of wages due to inability to work and other financial burdens that coal mine accident victims often face.