Hearing loss is a common problem in the workplace. This condition can arise from exposure to loud noises over time, such as those generated by power tools or machinery. The risk of developing this type of hearing loss increases with age and duration of employment in noisy work environments.
If you are experiencing symptoms such as ringing in your ears, difficulty understanding speech or other sounds, or just not being able to hear well anymore, you may be eligible to receive workers’ comp hearing loss compensation. You should consult an attorney who specializes in workers’ compensation cases for help navigating the legal system and getting compensated for your injury.
At Raphaelson & Levine, our heading loss attorneys will ensure that you receive fair compensation and benefits. If your doctor blames your hearing loss on years in loud occupational environments, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation. An NYC work injury attorney at our firm can assess your claim and review options with you to cover medical costs and even receive weekly disability payments. Call us today at (212) 268-3222 to schedule a free consultation and see if you can benefit from workers’ compensation for hearing loss.
We rely on our ears to stay safe, enjoy life, and interact with loved ones. However, many of us never realize that our workplaces fill with dangerous noise that may compromise our hearing.
According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), hearing loss is the third most common physical condition among adults. Approximately 12 percent of adults experience diminished hearing, and of that 12 percent, 24 percent lost hearing through occupational hazards.
Hearing loss reverses if you receive treatment and removal from the noisy environment. However, workers become accustomed to loud noise in their workplace and wait too long to pursue medical care. Once hearing decreases significantly, workers may face reduced career options and expensive long-term treatment to maintain their remaining hearing ability.
New York workers’ compensation law refers to two types of hearing loss. Traumatic hearing loss results from a sudden event, like an injury accident or explosion. Occupational hearing loss develops over time as workers perform their duties in noisy environments.
OSHA and NIOSH refer to these environments as hazardous noise, meaning the occupational noise level reaches 85 decibels for eight hours at a time. At that volume, you must shout for a person three feet away to hear you. If that is part of your working conditions, you may be facing noise-induced hearing loss and need an evaluation.
Besides noise, hearing problems also result from chemical exposure and occupational disease. Ototoxic chemicals leave ears vulnerable to damage from noise and other environmental factors. These chemicals may include:
OSHA requires employers to reduce hazardous noise under its Noise Standards. Measures include engineering controls, administrative routines, and providing hearing protection devices (HPDs) to employees. If your employer failed to take any of these steps, you might also have a negligence claim in addition to your workers’ compensation claim.
If your doctor believes your hearing loss resulted from your workplace, you should consider hiring a workers’ compensation attorney. The process in New York is complex, and there are many forms and procedures. It is easier if you allow us to handle this matter on your behalf.
Once we form an attorney-client relationship, you can expect the following:
Once successful, the claim entitles you to medical care and equipment for your hearing loss. This coverage includes hearing aids and the appointments needed to adjust them or change them out. Since hearing aids and other hearing loss devices are expensive, it is often worth pursuing workers’ comp to secure this support.
You should contact our attorneys early in this process. Not only do you want your claim presented in the most accurate way possible, but there are deadlines to filing your claim. For traumatic hearing loss, you must file a Form C-3 within two years of the event date. The statute of limitations for occupational hearing loss is two years and 90 days from when you discovered your hearing loss was due to workplace noise. If you miss these deadlines, you forfeit your claim and any medical assistance you gain from it.
Workers’ compensation addresses provable economic damages rather than subjective items like pain and suffering. When you receive benefits, you enjoy coverage for:
You may receive weekly benefits while you are out of work. Right now, the maximum weekly benefit is $966.78 for accidents occurring between July 1, 2020, and June 30, 2021. The WCB determines your amount of compensation based on your average wages and the extent of your hearing impairment. You may also be eligible for a loss of use award if you permanently lose your hearing.
If you face work-related hearing loss from your work environment, it is worth investigating whether you may receive workers’ compensation benefits. This assistance may prove vital in ensuring you receive the medical support you need and access to hearing aid devices.
Hearing loss threatens careers and quality of life. There is no reason you should avoid a workers’ comp claim or try to navigate one alone. The law firm of Raphaelson & Levine started serving New York workers in 1992 and continues to help them receive support for injury treatment and rebuilding their lives. We offer free consultations and case reviews and do not charge fees unless we secure a settlement. Call us today at (212) 268-3222 to set up an appointment or fill out our online form.