The ability to hear is one of the most critical of the five senses. Hearing is critical for daily interactions and understanding what is going on around us. Not only does hearing add to enjoyment and allow for communication, but hearing also keeps us safe. When an individual’s sense of hearing is impaired or lost, the individual may lose the ability to do certain types of work as well as the ability to talk with family and friends, interact socially, enjoy certain things or even cross a street safely.
According to a recent report in USA Today, which cites data provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the most common job-related injury in the United States is loss of hearing. In fact, hearing loss is the third most common chronic physical condition in the country. Loss of hearing affects more people than does diabetes or cancer.
Common Causes of Hearing Loss in the Workplace
According to the CDC data, about 22 million workers are exposed to hazardous levels of noise on the job, contributing to or causing hearing loss. The rates of hearing loss are highest among workers in the mining industry, construction industry and manufacturing. Air compressors, jack hammers, motorized saws, and other heavy machinery contribute to harmful levels of noise.
Can I Get Workers’ Compensation for Hearing Loss?
If you have suffered hearing impairment that you believe was caused by acute or chronic exposure to hazardous noise at your place of employment, there is a good chance that you qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.
In the state of Rhode Island, for example, Rhode Island Statutes say that hearing loss that is the result of industrial noise is classified as an occupational disease. Workers suffering from hearing loss from on-the-job exposure to noise are eligible for workers’ compensation. This also is true in the state of Massachusetts if it can be established that your hearing loss would not have occurred except for job-related activities.
The types of benefits that will be available if you have work-related hearing loss vary on a state-by-state basis.
You may be able to receive compensation for lost wages, all medical benefits, and other benefits specifically related to disability.
Our Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Can Help
Hearing loss is a disabling condition, and can leave a person unable to function in the world without a significant amount of assistance, including hearing aids, medications, and one-on-one care. It can limit an individual’s ability to perform certain kinds of jobs and reduce his or her income.
If you believe that your hearing loss is a result of hazardous occupational noise, you need to file your workers’ compensation claim as soon as possible. At the law offices of Marasco & Nesselbush, LLP, our experienced workers’ compensation attorneys can assist you in understanding your options, filing your claim and standing up for your right to benefits. To schedule your free case consultation, contact us online or by phone today.