Hearing Loss and Texas Workers’ Compensation
Many employees work in nice, quiet offices, but others labor in much noisier environments. Employees in factories or on construction sites must frequently cope with constant heavy machinery noise.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 22 million workers are exposed to potentially harmful workplace noise every year.
Proving Work-Related Hearing Loss
Long-term exposure to noise levels above 90 decibels can lead to a permanent loss of hearing. This is known as noise-induced hearing loss, and it's the most common industrial illness worldwide. Employees experiencing hearing loss due to working around intense noise may be eligible to receive workers’ compensation. As with any workers’ compensation claim, the injured employee must demonstrate his hearing loss is work-related.
Unfortunately, workplace injuries that occur over a long period of time, such as hearing loss, can be difficult to prove. Workers’ compensation insurance companies frequently argue that hearing loss is due to advanced age or listening to loud music, rather than workplace noise. However, a doctor can determine just how much hearing loss has occurred over time, and this information may be used to determine the appropriate level of compensation.
Receiving Workers’ Compensation
If you’re suffering from work-related hearing loss, you’re entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Under Texas law, you must report your injuries to your employer within 30 days of discovering your hearing loss. You’ll also need to file a claim with the Texas Division of Workers’ Compensation within one year. The insurance company then reviews your claim, and makes a determination to either honor it or reject it.
If the insurance company fights your claim, you'll need representation by an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. Your lawyer can help you receive the medical treatment, payments to cover lost income, disability compensation, and job retraining you deserve.
To learn more, contact the law offices of Steve M. Lee, P.C., by clicking the Live Chat button on this page.