Whether you’re in the construction trades, airline or transportation industry, or manufacturing, hearing loss is a risk of the job. In other scenarios, an accident or explosion at work may cause hearing loss. Whether hearing loss develops over time or is the result of one incident, hearing related injuries may be covered under workers compensation benefits in New Jersey.
Hearing Loss Must Be Related to Your Job
One of the most important elements of your workers compensation claim for hearing injuries will be proving that the impairment is related to your job. In circumstances in which an accident caused partial or complete hearing loss, proving the connection may be more straightforward. In cases where the hearing loss happened over time, proving the link can be more challenging. Certain occupations are known to have risks for hearing loss, which may help your claim if that’s your case.
Regardless of the circumstances that led to hearing loss, your doctor will need to provide documentation that shows the extent of which you’ve lost your hearing in each ear. Further, the ear injury should be consistent with the type of noise you were exposed to in the workplace.
Because hearing loss workers compensation claims can be challenging to prove and may be disputed, it’s critical to discuss your case with an attorney. Experienced New Jersey workers compensation lawyers, like the attorney team of Brandon J. Broderick, can advise you on your claim and build evidence to prove your case. If your employer or its insurance company attempts to deny your claim, they can fight the denial on your behalf.
Workers Comp Benefits for Hearing Loss
Workers compensation provides many types of benefits to injured workers, regardless of fault. These benefits include medical benefits, which pay for hospital and healthcare bills as a result of the injury or illness, as well as a portion of lost income for the period in which the employee cannot work. In New Jersey, workers compensation benefits are 70% of the workers’ weekly pay, up to the state maximum. For 2021, the maximum is $969/week.
Depending on the severity of the injury or illness, workers compensation benefits can be temporary or permanent and may include the full benefit amount or a partial amount. For hearing loss injuries, the benefit payments will also depend on the extent of the hearing damage in each ear. Potential benefit types include:
Compensation for Medical Expenses: Covers medical treatment, surgeries, prescription medications, rehabilitation services and devices.
Permanent Disability: If your injury leaves you unable to ever return to work, you can file a claim for permanent disability. Permanent disability may be partial or full, depending on the extent of the injuries.
Temporary Disability: You may be able to receive 70 percent of the wages of your average weekly amount if your temporary disability claim is approved.
What to Do if Your Hearing Loss Claim is Denied
Your employer or it’s workers compensation insurance provider may deny or devalue your claim for hearing loss. If your claim is fully or partially denied, you should contact a workers compensation lawyer to review your case. New Jersey has an informal and formal appeals process for situations where employers and employees are in a dispute about workers comp benefits. Having a skilled, experienced lawyer on your side can make all the difference in the outcome of your case.
Get Help for your Workers Compensation Claim
If you’ve suffered a hearing loss injury at work or if your claim has been denied, it's in your best interest to discuss your case with an experienced workers comp lawyer. At Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, our team offers expertise in workers compensation and employment law. Our compassionate client care and tenacious negotiation can get you the compensation you are entitled to.
Contact us immediately for a free consultation to understand your options.