The U.S. Department of Labor reported that Wyoming coal operators worked 314,869 hours and produced 2,424,369 short tons of coal in 2020.
Wyoming coal mines had 4,747 employees working in Wyoming in 2020.
Still, the state reported only three nonfatal injuries with days lost and no fatalities throughout the year.
Although mining accidents in Wyoming happen less than in other coal-producing states, coal mines remain extremely hazardous places to work.
If you were injured while working in a mine, you likely have costly medical bills piling up and may not be able to work.
Our attorneys at Platte River Injury Law have Wyoming roots, and we have dedicated our practice to helping injured Wyomingites get the financial recovery they deserve.
As experienced mining injury lawyers, we are here to help you. We’ve written this page to explain your legal options for recovery after a mining accident.
What Is a Mining Settlement?
State and federal safety laws exist to prevent coal mining accidents. Further, Wyoming requires all employers to register with the Wyoming Workers’ Compensation Division, which ordinarily pays disability benefits for injuries.
However, workers’ comp benefits are usually not enough to cover your bills.
For example, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health calculates the median workers’ compensation payment for a back sprain at only $1,400. Workers’ compensation also protects your employer from a lawsuit, even if the employer violated a safety rule.
In many cases after an injury, filing a lawsuit is your best option. You may be able to recover the cost of missing work, medical expenses, and loss of future wages. In addition, a lawsuit is the only way to recover costs for pain and suffering.
When you sue your employer, they may choose to offer you a settlement rather than fight in court. The settlement amount will depend on the severity of your injuries and the negotiations you are willing to go through.
What Amount Can I Receive for My Injury?
Coal mining truck accidents involving haulage trucks caused one operator fatality and 22 nonfatal injuries in 2020. Mining machinery accidents comprised 119 of the 1,318 nonfatal coal mining accidents reported in 2020.
While only 28% of coal mines are underground, 74% of all nonfatal time-lost accidents in 2015 were underground mining accidents.
The most frequently reported nonfatal lost-time accidents involved handling materials followed by slip or fall of the worker.
Small injuries like sprains or lacerations will receive smaller settlements. More severe injuries, like concussions or crushed limbs, usually receive more.
Ongoing injuries such as disc disorder or carpal tunnel syndrome caused by repetitive motions will receive the largest settlement amounts.
Settlements can range from a few thousand dollars in small cases to several million dollars in cases involving serious injuries.
It’s important for you to seek medical care and contact an attorney as soon as possible after your accident so they can begin tracking your expenses and negotiating with the liable party.
Platte River Injury Law Will Fight to Get the Settlement You Deserve
After a mining accident, you may be tempted to claim workers’ compensation. However, workers’ comp benefits are usually not enough to cover even your necessary medical expenses.
You will likely have a choice between taking workers’ comp benefits and filing a lawsuit against your employer for a safety violation.
Although filing a lawsuit can seem daunting and expensive, it is usually the first step to getting a mining settlement.
The attorneys at Platte River Injury Law aren’t afraid to negotiate with large companies that try to pay the bare minimum after mining accidents, even when it’s their fault.
We will fight for the settlement you deserve, so you can spend time recovering and not worrying about how to pay the bills. Contact us online so that we can help you.