Can I File A Workers’ Compensation Claim For Hearing Loss?
Often, when we think about workplace injuries, we imagine back strains or repetitive motion injuries, like carpal tunnel syndrome. While it is true that thousands of people sustain these kinds of injuries in the workplace every year, a surprising number also file claims based on injuries that are more difficult to discover, including hearing loss suffered while at work. Unfortunately, hearing loss is often permanent, which can leave a person suffering with limitations and disability for the rest of his or her life. Sometimes, an employee may no longer be able to work in the same industry or earn the same pre-injury wages. Fortunately, in Pennsylvania, workers who suffer hearing loss while on the job can qualify for worker’s compensation benefits, so if you or a loved one suffered this kind of injury at work, you should think about reaching out to a Wilkes Barre workers’ compensation lawyer for help filing your own claim.
Hearing Loss Benefits
In Pennsylvania, employees who can prove that they suffered hearing loss while on the job could be entitled to benefits, including:
- Reimbursement for diagnosis, treatment, therapy, and hearing aids;
- Wage loss replacement; and
- A specific loss award in an amount that is based on the percentage of permanent hearing loss a person has suffered.
However, to qualify for these benefits, an employee must be able to prove that he or she has:
- Suffered hearing loss of at least ten percent in both ears; and
- Been exposed to hazardous levels of noise while working.
If these elements are satisfied, an employee will then need to obtain the opinion of a physician who can establish a link between the level of noise at work and the employee’s injury.
Challenges You May Face
Hearing loss claims are often more difficult than other types of workers’ compensation cases to resolve. This can be attributed to a number of factors, including:
- The types of tests used to evaluate the extent of a person’s hearing loss, including whether the diagnosis comes from general screening, tuning fork evaluation, or an audiometer test;
- The difficulty of linking hearing loss to work duty, with many insurers arguing that an employee’s hearing loss is due to age or was not work-related; and
- Claims by insurers that hearing loss doesn’t always impact a person’s ability to work or his or her ability to earn the same wages.
These problems, however, can be overcome with the proper evidence and legal assistance, so if you are suffering from hearing loss because you were exposed to hazardous levels of noise at work, please reach out to our legal team for help determining whether you could qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.
Did You Suffer Hearing Loss at Work?
Hearing loss can have far-reaching consequences not only for a person’s ability to work, but can also affect quality of life and personal relationships. Employees who find themselves in this situation can and should recover compensation for their losses. To learn more about your own legal options following a workplace injury, please call the Figured Law Firm at 570-954-9299 today.