Unfortunately, some workers in suffer hearing or vision loss as a result of workplace injuries. If you’re a worker who lost either of these senses due to job-related activities, you may be able to recover benefits by filing a workers’ compensation claim.
Causes of Hearing or Vision Loss in the Workplace
Often times, workers in certain industries, like the construction industry for example, are at risk of sustaining hearing or vision loss due to work-related tasks. In many cases, hearing and vision loss is not instantaneous but occurs over a period of time.
Vision loss can result from exposure to extremely bright light or debris that gets into the worker’s eyes. For example, failure to wear proper safety gear while welding can lead to eye injuries and, ultimately, vision loss. Flames or chemical exposures may damage the eyes, and explosions may send dangerous debris flying into the worker’s eyes. Vision damages also can be caused by a workplace head injury.
Hearing loss, on the other hand, is caused by exposure to extremely loud noises. Sometimes, a single loud noise can cause hearing loss, such as in the case of an explosion. Other consistent or even intermittent exposures to loud noises, such as loud construction equipment, can cause hearing loss over time.
Recovering Workers’ Compensation for Hearing or Vision Loss
Workers who suffer permanent hearing and vision loss may collect various types of workers’ compensation benefits, depending on the health effects of the condition. If a worker must miss work while recovering, for example, he may recover time loss or wage replacement benefits.
Meanwhile, workers who experience vision or hearing loss may be eligible for permanent partial disability benefits. These are benefits reserved for those who suffer a permanent disability, which a doctor will rate. Hearing and vision loss are specified disabilities, which means that the award is set by law.
If the condition developed over time, the worker must usually file his or her claim for hearing or vision loss within two years of the date that the doctor diagnosed the condition; otherwise, the worker forfeits the right to disability benefits. If the vision or hearing loss was caused by a one-time workplace injury accident or incident, then the claim must be filed within one year of that accident.
In addition to filing a claim for workers’ compensation, some workers who have experienced hearing or vision loss may be able to file a third-party liability claim. This type of claim can be filed when a third party is responsible for your injury, impairment, or disability. For example, if your vision loss was caused by a head injury inflicted in a traffic accident caused by a third party while you were working, then that third party may be liable for your injuries and damages, which may allow you to recover additional compensation beyond what you can recover through workers’ compensation.
Consult an Attorney in about a Workers’ Comp Claim
If you’re a worker who sustained vision or hearing loss due to work-related tasks, you need the help of a workers’ compensation attorney. An attorney can help you file a workers’ compensation claim for benefits, help manage your claim and can assist in filing an appeal if your claim is denied or handled unfairly.
At Ron Meyers & Associates PLLC, our attorneys understand how critical your hearing and vision is and how important recovering compensation for either loss can be. To set up a free case consultation today, call us now at 844-920-2324.