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Mining Accident Lawyer

Mining operations play a crucial role in modern society. Unfortunately, even though modern technology and strict mine safety regulations have drastically reduced the number of mining accidents, these accidents still occur. The incidence of occupational exposure diseases such as “black lung” have also decreased but new cases are diagnosed each day. On this page the mining accident lawyer at the Doan Law Firm provides an introduction to mining accidents and occupational exposure diseases. He then explains how a mining accident lawyer can assist the victims of these accidents.

Mining operations are broken down into two major categories: “underground” and “surface” mining.

Underground mining

In the US, coal mining operations account for most of the output of underground mining operations, with salt and precious metals ores accounting for all but a few percentage points of the rest.

According to the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) there were 9 deaths in underground mining in 2016 (the most recent year with complete data available):

  • Powered Haulage Accidents (3 deaths)
  • Machinery Accidents (3 deaths)
  • Fall/Collapse of Rib Accidents (2 deaths)
  • Asphyxiation (1 death)

Although there were 9 deaths due to underground mining accidents in 2016, there were thousands of non-fatal injuries that were serious enough to require medical attention and caused the injured miners to miss at least one day of work. Of these accidents, there were undoubtedly hundreds of injuries that resulted in temporary or permanent disability. Furthermore, although mine health and safety regulations have drastically reduced their occurrence, mine workers are still at risk of developing lung disease and cancer due to their exposure to coal dust and toxic gases.

Surface mining

Some type of surface mining can be found in every state and can range from 10-foot gravel pits to strip- and open-pit mines that cover hundreds of acres. Surface mines are economically feasible when large amounts of coal, ores, and minerals are located close to the surface.

Products of surface mining include:

  • Coal
  • Iron ore
  • Bauxite ore (aluminum)
  • Precious metals (gold, silver, platinum)
  • Kaolin

Surprisingly, there are more above-ground mining accident fatalities than in underground mining even though surface mining has been traditionally thought to be safer. In part, this is due to the use of larger explosive charges as well as the use of large trucks and loaders. According to data collected and analyzed by the MHSA, there were 17 surface mining deaths in 2016.

  • Power Haulage Accidents (4 deaths)
  • Machinery Accidents (4 deaths)
  • Falls (3 deaths)
  • Falling Materials (2 deaths)
  • Inundation (“drowning,” 2 deaths in the same incident)
  • Blasting Accidents (1 death)
  • Electrocution (1 death)

As is the case with underground mining, surface miners are at risk of developing a number of chronic diseases as well as cancer as a result of exposure to dust and other byproducts of surface mining operations. The most frequently-encountered of these occupational exposure diseases is a condition known as silicosis.

Silicosis is the result of exposure to fine-grained “dust” containing silicone, a major component of the earth’s crust and found in its high concentrations in sand, quartz, and granite. Silicate dust is frequently created in the surface mining of granite and may cause acute respiratory failure or, more commonly, a chronic form of lung disease that is similar to the “black lung” disease of coal miners. There is even some evidence that family members of “hard rock” miners may also develop symptoms of silicosis as a result of breathing silicate dust attached to a worker’s clothing.

The Role of a Mining Accident Lawyer

Modern technology and strict safety regulations have reduced, but not eliminated, both underground and surface mining accidents. In fact, these measures have proven so successful that the occurrence of a mining accident is often taken as an indicator that negligence must have occurred!

In order to successfully represent mining accident victims, a mine accident lawyer must have a thorough knowledge of each state’s:

  • State-specific regulations for underground and surface mining operations
  • Each state’s rules and procedure for filing a lawsuit
  • Time limits under which a lawsuit must be filed (Statutes of Limitations)
  • Workman’s compensation laws and appeals

As you can see, mining accident lawsuits can be very complicated and will require the services on an experienced mine accident lawyer. One such mining accident lawyer can be found at the Doan Law Firm, a nationwide personal injury and wrongful death law practice with offices in major cities throughout the country.

When you contact our mining accident lawyer to discuss your potential mining accident lawsuit, your initial consultation with out firm is always free of any charges to you and does not obligate you to hire our firm as your legal representative. If you decide that we should act as your law firm in your mining accident lawsuit, we are willing to assume responsibility for all aspects of preparing your lawsuit for trial in exchange for an agreed-upon percentage of the final settlement that we will win for you.

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