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What to Know About Workplace Hearing Loss Injuries

 Posted on January 17,2024 in Workers' Compensation

Santa Clara workers' compensation lawyer Losing your hearing can be a devastating experience that profoundly impacts your quality of life. If you lose your hearing because of loud noise exposure in your workplace, you may have legal options to pursue compensation and hold your employer accountable. A California workers’ compensation lawyer can help you with the steps you can take if you lose your hearing because of workplace noise.

Report the Hearing Loss to Your Employer

The first step is to report your hearing loss to your employer promptly. Inform your supervisor and the human resources department in writing about the hearing difficulties you are experiencing and their possible connection to noise in your workplace. Specify what kind of loud noises you are regularly exposed to and for how long each day. Provide copies of any medical examinations or audiograms conducted by your doctor showing evidence of noise-induced hearing loss. Thorough documentation is crucial in proving your side of the story. Under California law, employers must report workplace injuries or illnesses to the state Department of Industrial Relations within five days. So, your prompt notification will ensure compliance with reporting requirements.

Get Examined By an Ear Doctor

Schedule an appointment with an otolaryngologist (ear, nose, and throat doctor) as soon as possible. The doctor will examine your ears and perform hearing tests to evaluate the type and severity of your hearing loss. The doctor can determine whether your hearing difficulty stems from excessive noise exposure rather than natural age-related hearing loss.

If tests confirm noise-induced hearing loss, ask your doctor to write an official narrative report documenting the diagnosis, treatment plan, and medical opinion on the cause of your hearing disability (i.e., loud noise in your workplace). This information can strengthen your claim.

Review Possible Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Workers’ compensation insurance pays for medical treatment and lost wages for employees injured on the job. In California, noise-induced hearing loss is considered an occupational disease and may be covered under workers’ compensation benefits, including hearing aids, speech therapy, vocational rehabilitation, and more.

A workers’ compensation attorney can help you review your options, determine if you meet eligibility criteria, estimate your potential benefits amount, and guide you through the claims process.

Consider Filing an ADA or OSHA Complaint

You may also have cause to file a complaint with government agencies for your employer’s failure to provide a safe workplace. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) enforces noise exposure standards, while the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects those with disabilities from discrimination.

An employment law attorney can advise if you have grounds to file an OSHA complaint about hazardous noise levels or an ADA complaint related to discrimination, failure to accommodate hearing disability, or retaliation by your employer.

Contact a Santa Clara, CA, Workers’ Compensation Attorney

Beyond workers’ compensation and regulatory complaints, you may have grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit against your employer. A civil claim can seek compensation for economic damages like medical bills, lost income, and non-economic damages for physical pain and emotional distress. A Morgan Hill, CA, workers’ compensation lawyer can guide you through the process. Call Cramer + Martinez at 408-848-1113 for a free consultation.

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