If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with Coal Workers’ Pneumoconiosis (CWP), often referred to as Black Lung Disease, it can be a life-altering and terrifying experience. Our experienced West Virginia black lung disease attorneys at Hartley Law Group, PLLC can be an invaluable ally during this challenging time.
We represent miners and other workers who have been injured on the job. We also represent the families of miners who have died due to work-related accidents and diseases. With over 40 years of legal experience, our attorneys work tirelessly to support our community—and we can review your case and help you understand your options for receiving workers' compensation benefits.
Our skilled personal injury attorneys can:
- Assess your case and ensure all relevant medical records, work histories, and other evidence is properly documented
- Help you understand your legal rights and options
- Advocate for you and represent your interests during negotiations with insurance companies or when presenting your case before a judge or jury
- Help calculate the full extent of your damages
- Identify potential pitfalls and strategize to overcome them
It is our goal to provide the professional assistance and encouragement you deserve throughout the legal process. Call our firm today at (888) 510-6547 to receive a free case evaluation.
What Is Black Lung Disease?
Black lung disease is not a single condition, but a collection of various diseases that affect the lungs and breathing. The most severe form of black lung disease is coal workers’ pneumoconiosis (CWP), which can only be diagnosed by a doctor after reviewing x-rays of the lungs.
CWP is caused by breathing in coal dust over many years. It is the result of working in an environment with high levels of coal dust.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has a set of standards for how much coal dust can be in the air in a coal mine. These standards, known as the Federal Coal Mine Dust Standards, are designed to protect coal miners from developing black lung disease. If a coal mine is in violation of the Federal Coal Mine Dust Standards, the workers at that mine can file a black lung disease claim against the mine operators.
Symptoms of Black Lung Disease
Black lung disease can develop over time. Symptoms may not appear for years, even decades, after a person is first exposed to coal dust. Symptoms may also be mild at first, but they can worsen over time.
Symptoms of black lung disease include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest tightness
- Problems sleeping
- Facial or neck swelling
Symptoms of black lung disease can be similar to other respiratory conditions. A doctor can usually diagnose black lung disease after reviewing medical records, x-rays, and other testing. In some cases, a doctor may need to perform a lung biopsy.
If you have been diagnosed with black lung disease, you may have legal options. You may be eligible to file a workers' compensation claim against your employer. Workers' compensation is a form of insurance that employers must buy to protect their employees. It provides benefits to workers who have been injured on the job or who have developed certain occupational diseases.
Workers' compensation benefits may include:
- Medical care
- Wage replacement
- Rehabilitative services
- Death benefits
West Virginia law requires employers to provide workers' compensation to their employees. If your employer failed to provide workers' compensation, you may be able to sue them for your benefits. You may also be able to sue your employer for failing to provide a safe workplace if you were exposed to unsafe levels of coal dust.
Call Hartley Law Group, PLLC today at (888) 510-6547 to schedule your free initial case evaluation.