Smith & Baltaxe, LLP

Job Injuries and Hearing Loss

By Byron Smith on February 19, 2019

Audible sound entering the earWork-related hearing loss is a common job-related disability that affects workers throughout the San Francisco, CA area. From construction workers and firefighters to plant factory workers and paramedics, people in all types of industries may be exposed to loud and damaging noises.

Regardless of your occupation, if you suffered a hearing loss injury at work, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation or awarded personal injury damages.

Discuss your options with a workers’ compensation attorney at Smith & Baltaxe. We will fight on your behalf to help you receive the compensation you deserve.

Causes and Symptoms of Hearing Loss

According to data compiled by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), 15 percent of adults in the United States have difficulty hearing. According to a NIDCD study, depression is more common in individuals with hearing loss. Further, hearing loss can also place a significant financial burden on a person.

Hearing loss can be inherited, age-related, illness-related, and medication-related. It can also occur on account of an injury in the workplace.

Hearing loss injuries at work are commonly the result of head injury, acoustic trauma, and prolonged exposure to loud noise. Although symptoms depend on the type and degree of hearing loss, people who experience loss of hearing generally have difficulty understanding conversations and experience tinnitus, a ringing or buzzing sound in the ear.

Types of Hearing Loss

There are a few different types of hearing loss. They include:

  • Conductive Hearing Loss: The result of damage or blockage in the outer or middle ear, conductive hearing loss blocks sound from reaching the eardrum. Most often, this type of hearing loss is temporary and treatable.
  • Sensorineural Hearing Loss: The most common type of permanent hearing loss, sensorineural hearing loss happens when the hair cells in the cochlear are damaged or malfunction.
  • Mixed Hearing Loss: When both conductive and sensorineural hearing loss are present, it is termed mixed hearing loss.

Compensation for Job-related Hearing Loss

Work-related hearing loss generally happens on account of exposure to loud noises such as heavy machinery or physical trauma such as a blow to the head. Whether your loss of hearing is on account of a head injury, prolonged exposure to loud noises, or another cause, you can receive compensation for your injury.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulates noise levels in the workplace. Employers are required to exercise precautions to protect their employees when noise levels exceed OSHA standards. If you suffer hearing loss on account of your employer’s failure or neglect to follow these guidelines, they may be at fault for your injury.

Typically, you can’t file a personal injury claim against an employer if you are already receiving workers’ compensation benefits. Our attorneys can help you determine if a workers’ compensation or personal injury claim is the right option for your case.

Contact a Workers’ Compensation Attorney

A hearing loss injury can be a life-altering event. The compassionate attorneys at Smith & Baltaxe can help alleviate some of your burden by filing a claim for your injury.

You may be entitled to receive compensation. Find out by contacting us online or calling (415) 292-7800 today.

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