We live in a noisy world. For many of us, this means spending hours at work with deafening sounds that make it hard to communicate. Although that can have ramifications on the efficiency of your work, it can also lead to physical health problems, especially hearing loss.
Losing your hearing can have a profound impact on your future, too, making it challenging to continue in your profession and causing strain in your personal life. You’ll also likely have medical expenses tied to acclimating to your new life with hearing loss, which could leave you on rocky financial footing, especially if your hearing loss has negatively impacted your ability to work.
So, what can you do to try to remedy this situation? You might be able to recover workers’ compensation for your hearing loss, but you’ll need to be fully prepared going into the claims process, as hearing loss-based cases can be fraught with difficulties.
The challenges of workers’ compensation claims based on hearing loss
There are sometimes complications when it comes to pursuing a workers’ compensation claim after suffering hearing loss. Here are some of the biggest challenges that you’ll face:
- Determining cause: This is going to be the biggest difficulty with your case. Since hearing loss typically develops over time, it can be hard to pin down an exact cause, especially since there can be several contributing factors. Aging, medication, insertion of foreign objects, and exposure to loud noises can all contribute to hearing loss. So, as you prepare to proceed on your workers’ compensation claim, you’ll want to ensure that you have a medical opinion that ties your hearing loss to noise exposure in your workplace.
- Assessing use of protective gear: Your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance provider is going to look for any way possible to deny your claim. Therefore, they’re going to look to see if you wore appropriate protective gear. If you didn’t, then there’s a strong chance that your initial claim is going to be denied.
- Notifying your employer: Typically, when you’re injured on the job, you should immediately notify your employer. But given the length of time it can take for hearing loss to present itself, you might struggle to determine when you should notify your employer. If you wait too long, then the insurance company might try to deny your claim.
- Analyzing pre-existing conditions: An insurance company is probably going to look to see if you had a pre-existing condition that contributed to your hearing loss. If they find one, then they’re likely going to latch onto that to try to deny you the compensation you’re owed. Remember, though, you might be able to recover workers’ compensation benefits even if your job contributed to but was not the sole cause of your hearing loss.
Build the effective workers’ compensation case you need
There are several issues that can come up during a workers’ compensation case. You need to be able to anticipate each of them and respond appropriately. That’s where solid preparation plays its role. By taking the time needed to learn the law and how it applies to your set of circumstances, as well as what you can do to gather the evidence you need, you can put yourself in a stronger position to recover the compensation you deserve.
Thinking about the legal process can be incredibly stressful, especially when you’re trying to focus on your recovery, but you don’t have to feel your way through the dark here. Resources and help are available if you need them. Knowing that, you can take the steps needed to ensure that you can properly advocate for yourself throughout the process.