Do you have to shout or raise your voice to talk to a co-worker? Is hearing protection part of your daily uniform? If you answered “YES” to either of these questions, you have likely been exposed to hazardous noise.
One of the most overlooked worker’s compensation claims is hearing loss. The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) reports, “every year, approximately 30 million people in the United States are occupationally exposed to hazardous noise.” While most noise exposure happens over a period of time, sometimes an accident (explosion, head injury, etc.) can cause very damaging hearing loss. The workers compensation insurance carrier may try to tell you your hearing loss is due to hunting or hobbies using small hand powered tools (woodworking, remodeling, etc.). Many workers do not realize even constant use of hearing protection can result in permanent, irreversible hearing loss.
There is a table the Virginia Workers' Compensation Commission uses to determine the amount of hearing loss you have suffered and how to compensate you for the loss. With an audiogram (hearing test), the workers compensation team at Kalfus & Nachman PC will be able to tell you exactly how much compensation you are entitled to receive.
Under Virginia workers’ compensation, hearing loss is generally considered a consequence of aging, not an occupational disease. The General Assembly made this ruling because hearing loss is very common for a number of reasons, including but not limited to noise exposure both on and off the job, aging, and infection.
This does not mean, however, that an employee is prevented from getting workers’ comp benefits for occupational hearing loss. Rather, it means that an employee suffering from hearing loss has a higher burden of proof to obtain workers’ comp benefits.
Do you need or already wear hearing aids? Do not worry. You still may be eligible for payment of your past and future hearing aids. Hearing aids are expensive and these benefits can offset that cost.
If you are retiring or are no longer working in a noisy environment, you still may be eligible for benefits from hearing loss. Remember, no surgery or medication can ever restore your hearing. To discuss your work-related hearing loss claim, contact one of Kalfus & Nachman PC’s experienced workers compensation attorneys.
We’re Your Work Comp Experts
Have you been injured on the job or contracted an illness due to an unhealthy work environment? If so, then the Norfolk workers’ compensation attorneys at Kalfus & Nachman PC can help you file your lawsuit. There are several laws that can affect on the outcome of your case, so it’s extremely important to have a workers' comp lawyer on your side to assist you through the entire process. Get help with your workers’ compensation lawsuit. We specialize in workers’ compensation and help employees who have been injured within the State of Virginia. Contact us today by calling (855) 880-8163.