Occupational Hearing Loss Lawyers
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What is Occupational Hearing Loss?
Occupational hearing loss is hearing loss that occurs as a direct result of a specific type of employment. More than 20,000 cases of loss of hearing due to employment conditions are reported each year, and this number makes up almost 15% of reported occupational illnesses in any year. Of the 20,0000 reported cases in a given year, about 80% of them are reported by people who work in manufacturing.
Is Occupational Hearing Loss Covered by Worker’s Compensation?
A new employee should have a hearing test administered by the company, prior to starting a job where constant exposure to noise is an essential part of the position. But if the employee can prove that the hearing loss occurred as a sole and direct result of the employment conditions, occupational hearing loss can be covered by worker’s compensation. But there is a lot a company can do to protect against these kinds of claims.
Before filing an occupational hearing loss claim, it is important to understand the difference between a worker’s compensation claim and a personal injury claim. A personal injury claim is based on neglect and will seek damages, while a worker’s compensation claim doesn’t have to assign fault to be successful.
Can I File a Disability Claim?
A disability claim can be filed for years after leaving the company, so it is important that employers hold on to the audiogram records, or hearing test records, of all current and former employees, including those who have left the company.
Audiograms should be conducted yearly when employees are regularly exposed to potentially damaging sounds such as chainsaws, bulldozers, jackhammers, or lawnmowers. This can help the company chart the hearing loss, which may be helpful in defending against an occupational hearing loss claim.
Do I Need a Lawyer?
Yes. If you have hearing loss that you think occurred because of conditions at your place of employment, or because your employer did not take proper precautions in protecting you from occupational hearing loss, then you should consult an employment lawyer.
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Last Modified: 10-14-2016 12:33 PM PDT
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