Working in the mining industry comes with a reasonable expectation of dangerous conditions, however, employees also expect their companies and supervisors to adhere to industry standards and regulations in order to maintain safe working environments. If you or a loved one has been severely injured or killed while working in a mine, you may be eligible for compensation.
According to data published by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), approximately 300,000 miners work across 12,500 metal/non-metal and coal mines in the U.S.
MSHA continuously focuses on improving safety for mine workers in areas identified by accident data reports including falls from height, truck loading, and accidents among contractors and inexperienced
miners. While recorded incidents have declined due to changes in safety precautions, preventable mining accidents still occur with frequency. In an effort to educate miners and mine operators on their responsibility to ensure a safe work environment and prevent accidents, the U.S. Department of Labor initiated a new safety campaign, Take Time Save Lives. The program offers safety training resources and information to advise workers on common dangerous working conditions.
Common Mining Accidents
Despite the prioritization of safety, fatal and serious non-fatal accidents still occur regularly at mining sites. The most common cause of fatal accidents is in relation to the operation of heavy machinery, which accounts for about a third of all mining deaths. Other common causes of mining accidents include:
- Powered haulage (trucks and vehicles, conveyor belts, mining cars)
- Slip or fall of a person
- Falling, rolling, or sliding rock material
- Handling materials
- Operating tools
- Structural collapses
- Ignition/explosion of gas or dust
- Striking or bumping materials or equipment
What Damages Can Be Recovered in a Mining Accident Lawsuit?
Receivable damages in a mining accident can vary greatly depending on the specifics of each case. Injuries caused by heavy machinery or falls from great heights can be severe and the resulting medical costs can be overwhelming. The individual or company that is responsible for the negligence that resulted in injury or death is financially responsible for the damages incurred by the incident. Potential damages can include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress experienced as a result of the injuries and those reasonably probable to be experienced in the future
- Disability and/or disfigurement
- Loss of enjoyment of life and any loss of enjoyment of life reasonably probable to be experienced in the future
- Loss of earnings and earning capacity
- Medical expenses
- Caretaking expenses
What is the Statute of Limitations in a Mining Accident Case in Wyoming?
The statute of limitations is a specific time limit within which a plaintiff can file a claim. States govern these laws to maintain specific standards for filing and to protect defendants from wrongful claims. Mining accidents are complicated and cases can potentially fall under different statutes depending on several factors, but many workplace incidents fall under personal injury.
In a personal injury claim in Wyoming, an injured person has four years to file a lawsuit against the defendant. If the lawsuit involves a wrongful death claim, the plaintiff only has two years to file.
A workers’ compensation action in Wyoming must be filed within one year from the date of receiving a medical diagnosis for the work-related injury or illness, and no later than three years from the date of the accident or exposure itself.
There are exemptions and exceptions to these laws and statutes that can vary from one jurisdiction to another. It is extremely important to contact an experienced mining accident lawyer who has intimate knowledge of Wyoming personal injury laws immediately after an accident has occurred to ensure that all deadlines are met in accordance with the law.
How We Can Help
Severe injuries caused by mining equipment, vehicles, and falls can require extensive rehabilitation, and produce chronic pain, emotional trauma, disability, and other lasting long-term effects. When negligence contributes to an accident that causes severe injury, you need to have the most attentive team on your side.
The Fitzgerald Law Firm not only understands the complicated nature of mining accident law and the legal nuances of such cases but also cares greatly about the overall well-being of its clients. Our firm has helped many mineworkers who have suffered injuries on the job receive compensation and damages.
The Fitzgerald Law Firm represented a miner and his family when they sued the mine manager and safety manager for failing to fix dangerous environments that caused the miner to suffer brain injury and paralysis. The jury awarded the family $22,000,000 – the largest verdict for physical injuries ever in the State of Wyoming. By law, the judgment came to $9,460,000, affirmed on appeal.
Contact a Wyoming Personal Injury Lawyers
If you or a loved one has been involved in a serious mining accident at the fault of negligence on the worksite, it is important to contact an experienced attorney immediately. Workplace accidents specific to the extraction industry are unique and require a detailed investigation of what occurred, an evaluation of damages, evidence collection, and communication with aggressive corporation insurance policies. Our firm understands that pursuing justice after a severe injury or loss of life can be frustrating and confusing. Our goal is to help as many clients as possible achieve a full recovery and damages to promote their recovery.
Reaching out to an attorney is the first step in finding out if you have a case. Our experienced Wyoming mining accident attorneys can answer your questions during a free, confidential consultation. Contact us here and let us help you on your road towards justice.
JUSTICE IS HEALING.
The Fitzgerald Law Firm Wyoming personal injury attorneys hold the record for the largest verdicts ever upheld on appeal in Wyoming for injuries and wrongful death.
For over 40 years, our personal injury law firm, based in Cheyenne, has delivered extraordinary results for clients all over the United States with our cornerstone belief: finding the truth and justice.
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If you have been injured or a loved one has been killed, you are welcome to contact us today for a free case evaluation.