Workers Compensation For Hearing Loss
Long Beach Attorneys Explain:
Workers Compensation for Hearing Loss & Deafness–
Many people are surprised to learn that hearing loss is the most common work-related injury in the United States. And most workers are unaware that hearing loss is a work-related injury that is covered by Workers’ Compensation!
Workplace Hearing Loss & Deafness Statistics
It is estimated that 22 million workers are exposed to hazardous noise levels in the United States. And 18% of these people have suffered hearing loss as a result, according to the National Institute for Occupational safety.
Additionally, nine million American workers are exposed annually to chemicals in the workplace – called “ototoxic” substances – that may cause hearing loss.
Hearing loss from noise exposure is called Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL). NIHL is defined as hearing loss resulting from continuous or intermittent noise exposure and duration. NIHL typically develops slowly over the course of many years.
However, a one-time traumatic event in the workplace – such as an explosion – may also cause a hearing loss.
Who Can Get Workers Compensation for Hearing Loss?
When noise exposure causing deafness occurs in the workplace it is called Occupational Hearing Loss or “OHL”. Occupational Hearing Loss (or “deafness”) occurs across a wide number of industries.
Obviously, construction workers and manufacturing employees come to mind when one thinks of workers who are exposed to loud noise at work. And these employees are indeed among the most likely to have an increased risk of noise exposure – and are at the highest risk for OHL.
However many other types of workplace noise exposure can lead to hearing loss, including and law enforcement personnel (gunshot noise), teachers (student noise), airport workers (jet engine noise), and customer service employees (headset noise exposure).
In fact, any occupation in which the employee is exposed to a noise environment of 100 decibels or more increases the risk of hearing loss by 3.6 times.
CLICK HERE to Read Workers Compensation Hearing Loss FAQs
How Do I Know if I Qualify for Workers Comp for My Deafness?
To collect Workers Comp in California for hearing loss in California, you must:
- Prove that you have a partial or total hearing loss; and
- Prove that the hearing loss was caused by the workplace (by noise, injury, chemicals, etc.)
Proving a hearing loss is done through a medical examination by an ENT physician (or other specialist) AND “Audiometric” testing to determine the amount of your hearing loss. Hearing loss for purposes of workers’ compensation cases is measured by a “pure-tone audiometer” and a percentage of hearing loss will be assigned to you.
While proving the hearing loss is fairly objective, proving that the hearing loss resulted from noise (or chemical) exposure in the workplace can be much more difficult. The Workers Comp Insurance adjusters will blame your partial or total deafness on: your age; a prior trauma or pre-existing disease; use of prescription or recreational drugs; inherited conditions; hobbies such as playing rock music or hunting; or, even previous employers – that could have caused or contributed to your deafness.
Attorneys Can Help Collect Workers Comp for Hearing Loss & Deafness
If you applied for and were denied Workers Compensation for a partial or total hearing loss, it is important to contact a Workers Compensation attorney who is experienced in Hearing Loss Cases immediately.
Injured workers have a limited time to appeal a Workers Comp denial. And a Workers Comp attorney who is has experience with hearing loss cases will be able to help you present more or better documentation to help you obtain the benefits you deserve.
Our Long Beach Workers Compensation attorneys have obtained millions of dollars for disabled, deaf and hearing impaired workers. We know how the California Workers Comp system works and how to obtain the maximum benefits for which you qualify.
Long Beach Workers Compensation Attorneys: 562-622-4800