Claiming Workers’ Compensation for Hearing Loss in Richmond, VA: Importance of Having a Legal Advocate

A lot of employees in Richmond, Virginia are not sure whether they can pursue a workers’ compensation claim for hearing loss. Hearing loss in the state can be compensable as long as the worker can demonstrate convincing evidence that it happened because of their work. If you are seeking workers’ compensation for hearing loss, consult a skilled worker’s comp lawyer to understand your options and rights. You can visit this website for legal advice. 

What to Know When Seeking Compensation for Hearing Loss

If you are looking to get compensated for work-related hearing loss, you should establish that your average decibel loss is at least 27 and that the hearing loss happened due to your work or while performing your job duties. 

Determining your decibel loss requires an evaluation from an audiologist. Under state law, such an assessment must be done without the use of a hearing aid and using a pure-tone audiometer by air conduction. A lawyer can help you establish your hearing loss’s cause. Work-related hearing loss can take place as a disorder or an injury and is compensable. It can result from the following work incidents:

  • Noise exposure. Intense exposure to loud sounds, no matter how brief, can lead to hearing loss. Also, this condition can develop after being exposed to loud sounds consistently for a long time. Workers who work with or close to power tools, explosions, loud music, gunfire, and heavy machinery are susceptible to hearing loss. 
  • Ototoxic exposure. Ototoxic chemicals damage the ear when inhaled, come into contact with your skin, or ingested. They include carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide, mercury compounds, and lead. 
  • Head trauma. When your head is subjected to a forceful blow, you can experience hearing issues such as tinnitus and hearing loss. Sometimes, the issue is mechanical such as a dislodged ear bone or a torn eardrum. Other times, the effect causes a traumatic brain injury or TBI that develops when the brain’s auditory regions are damaged. 

Hiring a lawyer can be vital in a compensation claim for a hearing loss. Even if you obtain the opinion of an audiologist, the insurance adjuster may assert their evaluation. A skilled attorney can gather evidence and argue the severity and job-related nature of your hearing issue. 

How Much Compensation Can You Get for a Hearing Loss?

In the state of Virginia, the workers’ compensation award is 66 and 2/3 of the average weekly wage of the injured worker. However, the duration depends on the seriousness of the injury. For hearing loss, average decibel loss is used to measure severity. 

If one ear has total and permanent hearing loss, it has at least 90 decibel loss. For this hearing loss, you can get compensation for 50 weeks. For cases that have lower decibel loss, the duration period will be just a percentage of this 50-week period. 

Calculating your workers’ compensation for hearing loss can get complicated. Plus, the adjuster can make it harder for you. Hire an experienced lawyer to advocate for the compensation you deserve. The best attorney to work with offers skilled and fearless legal representation in your workers’ compensation case. 

The insurance company might challenge your audiogram results. in this case, your attorney can verify the test results by presenting medical evidence and expert testimony. Also, they will determine whether your workplace violated OSHA regulations on ear protection and noise levels. You can rely on your lawyer to counter the tactics of the insurance adjuster to delay or deny your claim. If the insurance company denies your claim, the lawyer can appeal it. Lastly, your attorney may be able to negotiate a lump-sum settlement with the insurance company. 

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