Mining is an inherently dangerous profession. No matter what type of mining, the men and women who work in this industry face various risks every time they show up for work. These risks are due not only to the threat of an accident, but also because of the various illnesses linked with the mining profession.
Because of all the coal dust and other toxic materials associated with mining, lung diseases are rather common for miners. As you may know, one of the most common of these is black lung.
What is black lung?
Black lung is also known as coal worker’s pneumoconiosis. It is a serious disease that results from breathing in coal dust, graphite and other toxins found in mines and coal. Generally, black lung develops from prolonged exposure over time. If you are a coal miner, your risk of developing black lung relates directly to the amount time you spend around these toxic materials. Signs and symptoms of black lung include:
- Shortness of breath
- Expelling black material from the respiratory system while coughing
There are ways to manage this disease, and miners who have it may find that they need various types of medication and medical care. Some of the most common ways to treat black lung include:
- Rehabilitation to improve pulmonary function
- Medication to reduce the production of mucus
- Therapy with oxygen
Medical treatment of any kind is costly, and it can be devastating for an Alabama family to have to manage these expenses, especially when a work-related illness leaves an income provider unable to work. Fortunately, you may have legal recourse to obtain compensation for costs resulting from the illness. If you are ill or injured due to your job as a miner, you could be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits or financial compensation through a third-party claim.
Benefits for occupational illnesses
When your job makes you sick or injured, you have rights. As a miner with black lung disease, you are likely eligible for benefits through your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. Occupational illnesses are valid grounds for a claim, and you have the right to fight for the financial support you need.
The workers’ compensation claims process can be complex and difficult for anyone, especially a person who is already dealing with a serious illness or injury. Before you attempt to navigate the claims process, talk to an injury lawyer about your options.