Is your workplace noisy? We are not talking about the occasional irritating noise, the ongoing chatter of coworkers, or the clattering of keyboards. Instead, we are talking about a high level of ongoing sound that makes it hard to have a conversation in a normal tone of voice.
If so, you are likely in danger of developing hearing loss, which turns out to be one of the most common medical issues related to work and working conditions.
While there are some things you might be able to do to protect your hearing—requesting quieter equipment, reducing time in noisy spaces, choosing to wear earplugs in loud environments—the fact is that the burden of ensuring that your workplace is not damaging your hearing falls to your employer.
And while a continually noisy environment is particularly hazardous, there are several other ways your hearing might be damaged in the workplace. For example, head trauma can lead to hearing loss. So, too, can extremely loud explosions or other significant noises in an industrial environment. Depending on the circumstances and cause, hearing loss can be sudden or gradual, permanent or temporary, mild or severe.
But in all of these cases, if the cause of the problem is something that happens while you are at work, your employer may be liable, and you may be entitled to compensation. How you might acquire that compensation depends on whether or not your employer participates in the workers’ compensation program.
Is Your Employer a Non-Subscriber?
In Texas, employers can opt-out of the workers’ compensation program. That means that instead of following the procedures of a workers’ comp claim, you may have to take your employer to court in order to get fairly compensated for your hearing loss. While that may sound like a lot of trouble, the fact is that your employer should be held responsible for workplace injuries of all kinds—and opting out of workers’ comp should not be a strategy to avoid compensating workers who are harmed in the workplace.
In non-subscriber cases, you need an experienced lawyer negotiating and arguing on your behalf. Otherwise, your employer and their insurance company may attempt to get you to settle for a lowball offer. That’s good for them because it makes the problem go away. But it is potentially disastrous for you because they will likely offer you far less than you are actually entitled to collect.
It is important to remember that hearing loss can lead to ongoing medical costs. Your compensation package should include money to pay for future medical needs, procedures, or other costs associated with the partial or complete loss of your hearing.
Your attorney will make sure your employer does not take advantage of you—and will likely consult with experts like ear/nose/throat doctors, audiologists, and others who will be able to determine the extent of your injuries and what ongoing costs may be likely. If necessary, these experts can be called to testify to demonstrate to the court that your injuries may have lasting impacts—and that those impacts could well be expensive for the foreseeable future.
We Will Hear You Loud and Clear
If you have suffered hearing loss in the workplace, we are ready to hear from you. While SJ Injury Attorneys does not handle workers’ compensation cases, we do readily accept cases involving non-subscriber employers. We are ready and able to investigate the cause of your hearing loss and to determine what a fair settlement might be. If your employer and/or their insurance company does not want to negotiate a reasonable settlement that compensates you for your injuries and their impacts on your life, we will happily advocate for you in court.
Don’t shrug off hearing loss that may have been caused by workplace conditions. Instead, pursue a fair settlement with help from SJ Injury Attorneys. Contact us today for a free consultation.