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West Virginia coal miner wins workers' comp


When a worker is injured at the workplace, it is important that they fully recover so they can return to work. Medical treatment and rehabilitation can be costly, especially when insurance does not cover all of it. In addition, some work injuries can require a lengthy recovery. This prevents the worker from returning to work and subsequently results in them losing wages. Workers' compensation is an important benefit for West Virginia employees because it not only allows them to take the time needed to recover but it also encourages workers to get the needed medical attention required to fully recover.

A coal miner was recently awarded workers' compensation following a wrist injury that occurred approximately two years earlier. It was over a two-year battle to receive this benefit for the worker who was injured while using a sledgehammer to lay down tracks for an underground mine in West Virginia. The miner was originally denied compensation based on a medical report that indicated that he had old fractures.

The miner fought this denial, claiming that previous injuries do not negate the fact that he was currently injured while on-the-job. The review board reversed the denial and the coal company appealed the reversal to the state Supreme Court. Based on the facts that caused the review board to reverse the denial, the Supreme Court affirmed their ruling. This resulted in the injured worker finally receiving workers' compensation for his wrist injury.

When a worker is injured, costs can accumulate while they seek medical attention and recover. In addition, the worker is losing wages while they are recovering. Workers' compensation can cover medical bills, rehabilitation and lost wages.

It is important that a worker focuses on healing and returning to work rather than the bills that pile up during the recovery process. Workers' compensation is an important benefit for injured workers and an employee that is injured o-the-job should seek out what options they have following a workplace accident.

Source: West Virginia Record, "Coal miner wins Workers' Comp for wrist injury," Nathan Bass, June 21, 2013

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