Win Your Case With Hearing Loss Work Injury Attorneys in San Diego
Many people think of a work-related injury as a dislocated shoulder, a deep cut that requires stitches, or a crushed limb. But not all accidents lead to obvious injuries that can be seen. Hearing loss is a serious condition that can result from a single incident or repeated exposure to noise or non-noise agents.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) estimates that 30 million workers are exposed to noise levels high enough to cause permanent hearing loss. Another 9 million workers are thought to be at risk of hearing loss from non-noise agents, like organic solvents, certain metals, and carbon monoxide. Without preventative measures, employees in many occupations, from coal miners to airport baggage handlers, can suffer permanent damage from noise in the workplace.
Partial Hearing Loss Because of Work Activities
Employees who suffer partial hearing loss because of their work activities are protected under workers’ compensation. Because hearing loss is typically permanent, these workers are entitled to lifelong benefits that will cover all medical expenses related to the injury. Depending on how severe the hearing loss is, a worker may be entitled to extra compensation for his or her disability. A workers’ compensation attorney can help you file the proper forms on time, arrange appointments with a physician, and negotiate a strong settlement on your behalf.
How to Make a Claim for Hearing Loss
Before filing a workers’ compensation claim for partial hearing loss, it’s important to notify your supervisor. If you believe your hearing loss developed gradually, report it to someone in management as soon as you learn the damage was caused by your job. Reporting your hearing loss promptly helps avoid delays in receiving your benefits, including getting the hearing aids you may desperately need.
If you do not tell your employer about your hearing loss within 30 days of becoming aware of the condition, you may lose your right to collect workers’ compensation.
After filing for workers’ compensation, your employer’s insurance company will begin investigating your claim. You will be required to undergo a hearing test administered by an audiologist or otolaryngologist to determine your current hearing abilities. This is called an audiogram, and it produces a graph that reflects your ability or inability to hear various levels of sound.
Claims Adjuster and Audiograms
While examining your medical history, the claims adjuster will be looking for an old audiogram to compare to your new one. It can be difficult for the insurance company to locate this record, especially if you worked for a different company at the time of your initial test. If your previous audiogram cannot be located, or if there is no previous audiogram, the claims adjuster will rely on the audiologist or otolaryngologist to establish the amount of hearing loss that can be attributed to your job.
This is where having a workers’ compensation attorney becomes invaluable. Since everyone loses their ability to hear to some degree as they age, it can be challenging to prove how much of your condition is related to work. A workers’ compensation attorney will be able to develop the proper medical evidence and call on expert witnesses to prove your hearing loss is related to your job activities and fight for the compensation you deserve.
Contact a Hearing Loss Work Injury Attorney in San Diego
If you have suffered partial hearing loss as a result of your job activities, you are eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits for your injury. At the Law Office of Gerald Brody & Associates, we have defended numerous workers who have become partially deaf due to an explosion, repeated exposure to a noisy work environment, and accidents with solvents and chemicals. Our decades of experience allow us to accurately estimate hearing loss settlement amounts for our clients so they can plan for the future.
Call us today at (619) 528-9800 to schedule your free consultation and see what your case is worth.