Visitor Question

Seriously injured after forced to operate a dangerous bulldozer at a coal mine?

Submitted By: Anonymous (Jasper, Alabama)

In a small mine that has 1980s bulldozers, I was told to operate a dozer with no brakes or go home. I did as I was told because I have 3 kids and a partial disabled wife. I ran the dozer for a week, but on Oct 31 2017 the bulldozer came out of gear on the side of a steep hill and stalled out. I had no brakes so the dozer rolled all the way down to a high wall that’s about 150 ft down to the bottom of the pit.

I had like 1 second to decide to ride off the wall or jump out, so I jumped. The dozer rolled and the right track was hanging off the wall through a 1 ft dirt berm. I landed face 1st in rocks from about 12 ft off the ground and messed my whole right side my face up, with huge cuts and busted 3 teeth.

I didn’t get knocked out and was able to flag someone down. They took me to the boss which told another employee to drive me in my car to the ER, so we did. When we got to hospital the owner didn’t want me to do anything on workman’s comp, and I was in no shape to think since I just had a major head injury.

Well the owner paid my copay for my health insurance. I got treated and was off work almost 4 weeks and I’m still not all the way right. They gave me $300 check to get my busted teeth pulled, but I was only able to pay for 1 and still can’t eat on that side. They also didn’t want to pay me while I was off but they eventually gave me 2, 30 hour checks.

What can I do? They are trying to lay me off now. I have pics and witness. Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Anonymous,

When it comes to workers compensation benefits, Alabama is a “no-fault” state. To be entitled to workers comp you must only show that your injuries were sustained while performing your job duties. Because of the no-fault provision you are not required to show your employer was negligent. Based on the facts, you clearly qualify for full workers compensation benefits.

Having acceded to your employer’s request not to pursue benefits under Alabama’s workers compensation rules is irrelevant, especially as your employer appears to have coerced you, or taken advantage of your weakened state. You can not “sign-away” your rights to workers comp benefits in Alabama.

You employer’s workers comp insurance is responsible for 100% of your medical and dental bills resulting from your work accident. You are not responsible to pay any deductible or copay. The costs of treatment are to be entirely borne by your employer and his workers comp insurance company.

To read Alabama’s law on your employer’s legal duty to pay for your medical and dental bills see the following:
Alabama Code Section 25-5-77

Alabama Industrial Relations Administrative Code
Section 480-5-5-.28

Learn more here: Dangerous Work Equipment

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,


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