Hearing loss is the most common injury suffered by workers in America. In fact, a recent review by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that more than 4 million Americans are exposed to dangerous level of noise on a daily basis, and roughly a quarter of a billion dollars is spent on hearing loss claims each year.
So while hearing loss is a common threat to workers, it can be a difficult case to prove. Below, we explain why it’s oftentimes an uphill battle proving a hearing loss claim, and how we can build a strong case that can earn you compensation.
Difficult Claim To Prove
There are a number of reasons why hearing loss claims can be difficult to prove, but there are two specific reasons that stand out from the rest. For starters, it can be hard to prove that your hearing loss was a direct result of your work duties because our hearing tends to naturally deteriorate as we age. If you can’t make a case that specific work events led to your hearing loss, then the judge may discern that it could just be natural hearing loss and that you’re not entitled to workers’ compensation.
The second reason why proving your hearing loss claim can be difficult is because the majority of workers suffer from cumulative trauma over time. What we mean by this is that if you’re exposed to loud noises over the years, that’s going to slowly damage your hearing, so many people believe they are actually suffering from natural hearing loss. If you had perfect hearing, and an explosion in the workhouse left you deaf in one ear, that claim is easy to prove. But if the damage was slow and progressive, it’s going to be harder to point to specific work incidents that led to this gradual decline.
Strengthening Your Case
Despite the difficulties, there are a number of ways you can strengthen your hearing loss claim. The first step is to hire a workers’ compensation lawyer, because they know how to best argue the claim and develop a sound argument. Ways your lawyer may help to strengthen your hearing loss case include:
Work Duty Review – We’ll sit down and go over all the tasks you were asked to perform, including what were the noisiest tasks or times when you were exposed to dangerous levels of noise.
Prevention Safety – We’ll assess your employer’s role in providing hearing loss mitigation gear and techniques to see if they failed to provide a safe environment for their workers.
Audiology Tests – We can have an audiologist conduct a hearing loss test and act as an expert witness to provide testimony on your behalf.
Medical Documentation – We can also prove hearing loss by having you examined by a doctor who can look at your ear to determine if there is damage to specific locations.
These are just a few of the tools in our arsenal to help prove your hearing loss case, and we’re confident that we can get you compensation for your work injury. To sit down with Dean Margolis or a member of his team to discuss your hearing damage or another work injury, reach out to his office today.
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