You may be able to collect workers’ compensation for hearing loss incurred in the course of your job. Silverman, McDonald & Friedman can help you. With offices in Newark, Seaford and Wilmington, our workers’ compensation attorneys are always close by when you need us.
Workplace hearing loss is not uncommon in several industries in the United States. Employers have an obligation to provide a safe working environment for their employees, and if they must work around loud noises, ear protection should be provided. The unfortunate thing about hearing loss is that it is not something that can heal and improve. Once your hearing is lost, it does not come back. Employees who have suffered from occupational hearing loss may be able to get workers’ compensation benefits, which include coverage for medical expenses, temporary partial disability payments and compensation when an injury becomes permanent impairment.
Occupational hearing loss across various industries in the U.S.
Hearing loss is the third most common chronic physical condition in the U.S. It is more prevalent than cancer and diabetes, and it is also the most common work-related illness in the U.S. according to the CDC.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Occupational Hearing Loss Surveillance Project has conducted a study on the prevalence of hearing loss across nine industries where workers were exposed to high noise levels (above 85 decibels) between 2003 and 2012. The CDC study showed that the mining sector had the highest prevalence of workers with hearing impairment, followed by the construction and manufacturing industries. The study found that the prevalence of hearing loss increased with the worker’s age, and was more common in males. The most significant conclusion to the study was the vital importance of prevention because the best way to reduce the risk of hearing impairment in high-risk industries is to prevent the workers’ exposure to loud sounds.
Workers compensation for permanent hearing loss
When your work-related injury causes a permanent impairment such as hearing loss, you may be entitled to compensation for your permanent impairment. If the impairment restricts the kind of work you can do in the future, you may be entitled to a permanent partial disability payment. The state of Delaware Division of Industrial Affairs is the agency that governs the workers’ compensation program for Delaware. In Delaware, permanent partial disability benefits are based on a percentage of “scheduled” losses.
Noise exposure is a workplace hazard, and those who do not take the necessary precautions may find that after performing their work tasks in a noisy environment for decades, they can end up suffering hearing loss. If you are feeling the effects of hearing loss after having been exposed to high noise levels at work, you may want to consider filing a workers’ compensation claim. You are welcome to speak with a qualified workers’ compensation attorney at the law firm of Silverman, McDonald & Friedman to discuss your legal options.
At Silverman, McDonald & Friedman, we strive to make it easy for you to choose the right workers’ compensation attorney. We are here to protect your rights to fair compensation and to represent your interests when you have been injured or contract an occupational disease during the course of your work tasks. You are welcome to call 302-888-2900 fill out our contact form to make an appointment for a free consultation at our offices in Wilmington, Newark or Seaford today.
Attorney Jeffrey S. Friedman joined Silverman, McDonald & Friedman in 2001. He graduated from Widener University School of Law, and is admitted to practice law in Delaware and Pennsylvania, and in several Federal Circuit courts. He areas of concentration include auto accident and workers’ compensation cases. Read more about Attorney Friedman here.