Did you know that about 22 million U.S. workers are exposed to hazardous noise levels at work? Did you know that about $242 million is spent each year on workers’ compensation benefits for hearing loss disabilities? Those statistics from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, under the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will tell you clearly that if you are experiencing hearing loss issues because of your workplace environment, you are not alone.
In fact, you might not have even known that you could file a workers’ compensation claim for hearing loss injuries related to your work environment. You can, and you should if you work in a noisy environment, or are exposed to toxic chemicals, at work. That said, hearing loss injuries, unlike more obvious physical injuries, can be more of a challenge to present to a workers’ compensation insurer.
In this article, we will talk about those obstacles to a workers’ compensation claim that are unique to hearing loss injuries. If, after reading this article, you have additional questions pertaining to your own personal circumstances, then we invite you to contact the hearing loss claims lawyers in Jacksonville, FL – RITE Law. Our number is (904) 500-RITE or you can fill out our contact form online. Remember, we provide a free case evaluation, so call today.
The List of Obstacles You May Face
As you may already know, the goal of insurance companies is to avoid paying benefits as much as possible. No judgment towards insurance companies. That is simply their business model.
Indeed, if insurance companies paid on every single claim, without some verification, then they would probably go belly up, so you should expect a workers’ compensation insurance provider to push back – sometimes very hard – against claims for hearing loss injuries.
Here are the main challenges that you might face when making a workers’ compensation claim for hearing loss:
1. Is It Aging?
It is commonly understood that hearing loss will occur naturally in the aging process. So, if you are a worker who is older than, say, 45 years old, you should expect an insurance company to question whether your hearing loss can actually be attributed to work, rather than normal aging.
To combat this challenge, you will want to determine the amount of hearing loss that you have suffered. That means that you will need to go to a doctor (like an audiologist or otolaryngoloist) to get a tested with an audiogram to calculate the degree of hearing loss.
2. What Type of Hearing Loss Is It?
After getting an audiogram, you should be able to understand what type of hearing loss you have suffered – conductive loss, perceptive loss, or mixed-type loss.
Conductive loss of hearing is caused by a defect in the middle ear, or external ear, due to disease or injury. By contrast, perceptive loss of hearing occurs in the middle ear and may be caused by advanced age, an infection, or noise. Mixed-type loss is, as you may expect, a mixture of both.
Conductive loss is not caused by noise. Thus, you may find a workers’ compensation insurer poking around your claim to inquire as to whether your type of hearing loss was conductive, with an eye of course in denying the claim.
3. Did You Wear Protective Gear?
In any noisy working environment, laws require that employees wear protective safety gear. Thus, you should expect a workers’ compensation insurance company will try to find out whether you appropriate used protective gear at all times. Any evidence that you did not do so could put your claim in jeopardy. Accordingly, make sure to head that challenge at the pass by providing some kind of statement, affidavit, or proof that you did in fact wear protective gear at all appropriate times.
In sum, proving a workers’ compensation hearing loss claim could be an uphill battle. Consider getting an experienced hearing loss claims lawyer in Jackonsville on your side.
Get Help from an Experienced Hearing Loss Lawyers in Jacksonville – RITE Law.
Our RITE Law attorneys focus on a workers’ compensation practice. That experience can be invaluable if you make a claim under Florida’s Workers’ Compensation Law, particularly in a new area such as illness from the coronavirus.
The Florida Workers’ Compensation Act was established to help injured and/or ill employees and their families overcome the financial issues that result from work-related injuries and illnesses that occur within the State of Florida, outside the coverage of any type of federal coverage. If you are injured as a result of a work-related incident, or if you develop a condition or disease as a result of the type of work you do, your employer’s workers’ compensation coverage may entitle you to medical, partial wage replacement, and possible permanent damage benefits.
At RITE Law, we started the firm for one reason – to help those in Florida and elsewhere have the resources of a firm that was “big enough to fight but small enough to care.” At Rudolph, Israel, Tucker & Ellis (RITE law), we have the resources and experience to go to trial when it is necessary, and we have the wisdom to advise you appropriately.
Without help from the hearing loss lawyers in Jacksonville on the RITE team, trying to make insurance claims can lead to a lot of frustration and time and money lost. When you turn to our firm, we spring into action, making sure every detail of your claim is addressed. We answer any questions you have and stand in your corner to give you the best opportunity to receive all the benefits you deserve.
Expect lots of attention, passionate representation and a healthy disdain for big insurance companies. We believe that leads to the best result possible. Unlike larger firms, your case isn’t handed to a paralegal or assistant to do the heavy lifting. The attorney you meet initially is the one who will be by your side every step of the way.