Between the risk of cave-ins, heavy machinery accidents, and long-term occupational diseases, danger abounds in mines.
Occupational diseases are just one of the many potential hazards in a mine. And they are perhaps not thought about every day, they are just as serious as any other danger.
If you worked in a mine and developed an occupational disease as a result, you can claim compensation for the diseases that afflict you.
The team at Platte River Injury Law can help you through this process from start to finish. For now, here is some important information on occupational mining diseases in Wyoming.
What Are Occupational Diseases?
Occupational diseases typically occur when an employment activity causes a medical condition, causes a pre-existing medical condition to worsen, or otherwise contributes to the development of a medical condition.
The key factor is causation. The event or long-term exposure must cause the development or the worsening of a medical condition.
To better understand occupational diseases, it helps to explain what they are not. Occupational diseases are not acute injuries themselves. Instead, acute injuries can cause occupational diseases. For example, we can consider having your leg crushed by a mine cave-in as an acute injury.
However, if the acute cave-in injury caused the leg to later develop a nerve disorder—potentially one that leaves you unable to walk—that would more likely fall under the category of an occupational disease.
Types of Occupational Diseases Associated with Mining in Wyoming
There are many types of occupational diseases. We can’t go through them all, so we will consider them in a broader sense. One way to organize occupational diseases is by the bodily system they affect. Another way to do so is by their effect:
- Asthma and other respiratory disorders;
- Heart failure, heart attacks, and other forms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD);
- Carpal tunnel, cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s disease, and other nerve disorders;
- Rashes, allergies, and other skin disorders; and
- Mental health disorders including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
In general, these are some of the most common occupational diseases throughout the workforce. It is possible to develop any of these disorders due to working in a mine. Some, however, are more common than others.
The Most Common Mining Occupational Diseases in Wyoming
By far, the most common occupational diseases associated with mining are in the category of lung diseases. In mines, especially coal mines, it is nearly impossible to avoid inhaling particulates that can cause lung disease over time.
That’s why coal workers’ pneumoconiosis (CWP), more commonly known as “the black lung”, has its name. Aside from occupational lung diseases, the particulates and vapors in mines often cause skin disorders and heart diseases like COPD.
Claiming Compensation for Mining Occupational Diseases in Wyoming
Filing a compensation claim for an occupational disease is an involved process with many intermediary steps. You may have a lot of trouble navigating the process on your own.
That’s why it may be helpful to talk to an occupational disease lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced lawyer can:
- Help you find the right doctor and compile the proper evidence for filing your claim;
- Help you file a workers’ compensation claim;
- Appeal your claim;
- Negotiate as necessary;
- If that doesn’t work, file a lawsuit against the employer or their insurer.
This is just an example of how a case might make its way through the system. In some cases, the process takes weeks, but it can often take months.
The Occupational Disease Legal Team at Platte River Injury Law Is Standing By to Help
If you developed a mining occupational disease, you deserve compensation. At Platte River Injury Law, our team of mining disease attorneys is ready to help you recover your damages and set things right.
We can assess your claim and gather evidence to prove the existence of your disease, and we can even connect you with the right medical specialists for your condition.
We can help you file a workers’ compensation claim and appeal the claim as necessary. Finally, if the time calls for it, we can file a lawsuit on your behalf.
You didn’t cause your disease, so you shouldn’t have to pay for it. Let’s see what we can do to make things right. Get in touch with Platte River Injury Law today!