What Are a Few Typical Ear Injury Examples?
Typical ear wounds include:
- Work-related hearing loss
- Temporary loss of hearing
- An earache that rings
- Obstructions in the ears
- Infected ears
- Ruptured eardrums
- Loss of hearing forever
- Loss of capacity to differentiate between nearby and distant sounds (as in background noise)
Who Is Responsible for Ear Injuries?
An individual or a company can be held accountable if their carelessness results in ear harm either directly or indirectly. This can apply to work or circumstances like:
- Construction firms
- Concert locations
- Sports stadiums
- Individuals (if they assaulted another individual and ear damage ensued) (if they assaulted another person and an ear injury resulted)
A claim may be made based on negligence. Certain components must be present in negligence claims. The plaintiff must demonstrate that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care, that the duty was broken, that the breach caused harm, and that the harm was a direct outcome of the harm.
Medical malpractice or gross negligence claims may be made in personal injury cases. Last but not least, worker’s compensation cases may be brought if an ear injury occurs at work to treat the injury and pay the affected party’s lost wages. It is crucial to recognize the distinction between personal injury lawsuits and workers’ compensation cases since they are not the same.
Claims for Hearing Loss
Loud noises and trauma can harm your ears, which can lead to hearing loss or tinnitus (ear ringing). Although many people can manage their hearing loss with medical care and hearing devices, others suffer from incapacitating wounds.
You might be entitled to compensation if your hearing loss was brought on by your line of work or a personal injury.
What if a Work-Related Injury Caused You to Lose Your Hearing?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), hearing loss is the most frequent work-related injury in America. Workers’ compensation benefits frequently include coverage for hearing loss caused by the workplace. Workers in the mining, building, and manufacturing industries are most at risk for hearing loss due to their jobs.
To qualify for workers’ compensation, you must demonstrate that your hearing loss was brought on by your job (and not other non-occupational factors). You need not experience a single mishap because repeated or cumulative noise exposure can result in hearing loss.
The system of workers’ compensation is no-fault. Failure to wear ear protection is not a defense in the majority of states. However, if workers don’t use protective gear, several states cut their benefits.
Under workers’ compensation law, you should get the reasonable and essential medical care you need for your hearing loss. This covers the price of visiting the doctor, doing diagnostic tests, purchasing hearing aids, and receiving other necessary care. You may be eligible for lifetime reimbursement of your medical costs relating to your hearing in some states.
If your hearing loss stops you from working, you may potentially be eligible for wage loss or disability compensation. The calculation for wage loss benefits varies from state to state. There may be minimum or maximum benefits, but they are typically two-thirds of your average weekly wage. You may be eligible for lifelong wage loss payments if you meet your state’s standards.
Finally, if your hearing loss is related to your job, you may be eligible for vocational help (such as job retraining). The majority of states provide disabled workers with vocational rehabilitation. Job training, coaching, and job search aid may all be a part of vocational rehabilitation.
What Causes Industrial Deafness?
There are two ways that this specific job accident might occur. The first way it can happen is by spending a lot of time working near noisy machinery. One becomes deaf from continual exposure to noises. Acoustic shock is the name for the second way it happens.
Acoustic shock occurs when someone is unexpectedly exposed to loud noise above a certain decibel level. The abrupt loud noise immediately and permanently causes hearing loss.
Does Permanent Hearing Loss Always Follow from Industrial Deafness?
No. Even though the most typical outcome of occupational deafness is permanent deafness, a worker may also encounter:
- Loss of hearing in one ear
- A buzzing or ringing sensation in the ears that are constantly coming and going
- Having trouble hearing sounds clearly due to background noise
What dB Range Can Result in Occupational Deafness?
The inner ear can be harmed by sounds that are louder than 80 dB. Damages are more likely to occur when sounds are longer.
Which Professions Are Most Prone to Industrial Deafness?
A greater risk of developing this work-related injury exists among those who perform the following jobs:
- Construction personnel
- Ground staff for aircraft
- Working around noisy equipment, especially in factories where the noise can be increased
What Can I Do If My Hearing Is Impairing My Performance at Work?
A significant workplace risk is hearing loss connected to work. When an individual develops hearing loss due to their work, their personal safety and health are in danger. Your coworkers, union, or employer may implement hearing loss prevention programs or improve working conditions as a result of your raising their awareness of your problems.
You can think about speaking with an attorney who is knowledgeable about employment laws and regulations if the situation doesn’t alter and continues to be problematic.
What About Hearing Loss Not Brought on by Employment?
There are also personal harm lawsuits involving hearing loss. These cases relate to negligence that caused an ear injury physically.
Suppose your hearing was harmed as a result of an airbag deployment, sudden loud noises (such as explosions brought on by faulty products or careless behavior), head trauma, product responsibility for subpar hearing protection, or medical negligence. In that case, you may be entitled to compensation.
Additionally, lawsuits claiming culpability for excessively loud concerts, protests, and other public events have been filed. These lawsuits based on entertainment have varying degrees of success.
However, it could be more challenging to prevail in a personal injury case where hearing loss is included. Personal injury claims require proof of carelessness or liability, whereas workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. The defendant may also raise defenses, including assumption of risk, comparative or contributory fault (for instance, failing to use earplugs), and causation (alleging that other factors caused the hearing loss).
If you require assistance determining the viability of your hearing loss claim, speak with a personal injury attorney.
Which Damages Might Be Awarded?
Again, your damages may change depending on whether your claim is tied to your place of employment. Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system that provides a range of benefits, such as essential medical care, pay replacement, and vocational assistance (like job retraining).
In a workers’ compensation case, you cannot be compensated for your pain and suffering.
If your hearing loss wasn’t due to your line of work, you might be entitled to economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages.
Your damages may differ based on the seriousness of your wounds, the expense of your medical treatment, your capacity to work again, and the merits of your responsibility claim.
Do I Need an Attorney?
Yes. Companies vigorously defend themselves from personal harm claims. If the matter proceeds to court, a workers’ compensation attorney will represent you there and during settlement discussions.
If you win the lawsuit, a lawyer will also assist you in obtaining the best damages judgment available.