Mining Accident Attorneys in Billings, Montana

Mining is one of the most dangerous occupations in the United States. Every single day, thousands of miners in Montana and across the country expose themselves to hazardous working conditions and dangerous machinery.

Miners deserve safe working environments. Miners also deserve to be treated with respect when mining accidents happen. When miners find themselves injured while working in the mine, they should be fairly compensated for their losses and damages.

At Gerstner Adam Law, we understand the devastating physical, emotional, and financial toll mining accidents can take on miners and their families. That is why we are committed to seeking maximum compensation on behalf of injured coal miners and their loved ones. Our firm has represented injured miners from the Stillwater Mine, Signal Peak Mine, Sping Creek Mine and several other mining operations throughout Montana. Although we are located in Billings, we continue to represent clients across Montana and in eastern Montana communities such as Glendive, Miles City, and Sidney.

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Common Causes of Mining Accidents

The mining industry remains the backbone of our country’s economy. Despite the risk of injury and death, miners sacrifice their health and lives working in the mines to extract coal, clay, rock, sand, ore, chalk, or other minerals.

Miners are exposed to numerous hazards on the job, which is why the mining industry has some of the highest fatal occupational injury rates in the United States. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the rate of fatal occupational injury in coal mining was 24.8 per 100,000 full-time workers, compared to only 4.3 in the total private industry.

There are many causes of mining accidents, including:

  • Fires
  • Explosions, including methane explosions
  • Flooding
  • Earthquake
  • Elevator, roof, or floor collapse
  • Electrocution
  • Faulty machinery or equipment
  • Slip-and-fall and trip-and-fall accidents
  • Excavations
  • Exposure injuries

In addition to the risk of mining accidents caused by fires, explosions, flooding, and other causes, miners are also exposed to a number of chemicals, radioactive gases, fumes, heavy metals, and noises. In particular, people working in coal mines can suffer diseases and illnesses, including cancer, caused by exposure to:

  • Coal dust
  • Radon (radioactive gas)
  • Mercury (heavy metal)
  • Welding fumes
  • Noise from heavy machinery and explosions

Every year, thousands of coal miners are diagnosed with silicosis, black lung, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), and other serious conditions due to their exposure to coal dust and other harmful substances in the mines. Coal miners may also suffer back injuries and other injuries caused by lifting heavy weights at work.

Steps to Take Following an Injury

The steps you take following a mining accident can impact your ability to secure maximum compensation in your case. The first thing you should do is seek medical attention as soon as possible to document your injuries.

You should also notify your supervisor or employer of your work-related injury or illness by filing an accident report. The outcome of your workers’ compensation or personal injury case depends on the available documentation and evidence in your case. For this reason, you need to take pictures at the scene of the mining accident, gather medical records, and keep your own account of what happened to support your claim.

Finally, consider contacting a knowledgeable mining accident attorney in Billings, Montana, to strengthen your legal claim and help you pursue the compensation while you focus on your recovery.

Filing a Claim After a Mining Accident

There are various types of claims you may be able to file following a mining accident in Billings or other parts of Montana:

  1. A workers’ compensation claim. In Montana, injured miners are entitled to compensation for their reasonable medical bills and lost wages if they suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. You can receive compensation by filing a workers’ compensation claim.
  2. A third-party personal injury claim. Under Montana law, injured workers generally cannot sue their employers if they provide workers’ compensation insurance. However, if third parties were negligent in causing your mining accident, you might be able to bring a third-party claim against them.
  3. A wrongful death lawsuit. If you lost your loved one in a mining accident, you might be able to recover damages by filing a wrongful death lawsuit.

You might want to work with an experienced attorney to investigate your mining accident and identify all compensation options that may be available to you.

Mining Accident Attorneys in Billings, Montana

At Gerstner Adam Law, our skilled and compassionate attorneys are dedicated to protecting the rights of those who were hurt or lost their loved ones in mining accidents. We are prepared to fight tirelessly to help you receive the compensation to which you are entitled. We proudly serve clients employed at all mining operations in Montana, including the Stillwater Mine, Signal Peak Mine, and Sping Creek Mine in Decker, Montana.