Coal mining is a dangerous job. Around 50 to 60 coal miners die in this country every year. These workers face exposure to methane gas, carbon monoxide, explosions and the possibility of cave-ins. Another danger is black lung disease, which occurs from the exposure to coal mine dust. Read on to find out how to get compensation for black lung disease.
Notify Your Employer Immediately
Most states have time limits on when someone with black lung disease should file a workers' comp claim. The date starts when one of the following happens:
- The date when you were last exposed to coal mine dust
- The start date of your symptoms
- The date of your black lung diagnosis
The time limit is different for every state. However, if you become ill due to your job, then you are supposed to notify your employer within 10 days of the incident.
Submit Your Claim Forms
You can find the forms to file your claim through your employer. After filling out the forms, you would give them to your employer to submit. Your employer must submit your workers comp claim to his insurance carrier. If your claim is not disputed by your employer, then it will be approved. The insurance adjuster will contact you with instructions on how to submit your medical bills for payment.
If your employer disputes your claim, then it is time to hire a workers comp attorney. Your attorney can help you negotiate with your employer and help with proving your claim. If you cannot come to an agreement, then you may have to fight it out in court.
File Separate Claims
Workers with black lung disease may have to file a separate claim. This claim is filed under the Federal Black Lung Benefit Act. You can recover damages for this disease if it makes you unable to work. This means you are unable to perform your job as a coal miner. Black lung disease can make it impossible to breathe normally.
This is where you need a lawyer. It helps to hire a lawyer who has experience in representing clients with black lung disease. Your lawyer can refer you to a doctor who has experience with diagnosing patients with this disease.
If you plan to pursue a job as a coal miner, then it helps to know the risks. Black lung disease can cause permanent scarring in your lungs. It is important to see a doctor after being exposed to coal mine dust.