Millions of Americans are living with some degree of hearing loss, a condition which can have a significant impact on a person’s day-to-day activities and quality of life. While hearing loss is often considered a normal part of the aging process, in reality only one in three people between the ages of 65 and 74 has hearing loss, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. For this reason, it is important for anyone experiencing hearing loss to determine whether their hearing loss was the result of exposure to loud sounds or to certain chemicals at work. If so, hearing loss victims may be entitled to significant benefits through the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Program.
How Does Job-Related Hearing Loss Occur?
It has long been understood that repeated exposure to loud noises can damage the inner ear, resulting in hearing loss. It follows, therefore, that any type of work that exposes individuals to sufficiently loud sounds on a regular basis could potentially damage a person’s hearing. In some cases, even a single incident, such as an explosion, could cause significant hearing loss. Some of the jobs that can often cause work-related hearing loss include the following jobs and industries:
- Musician/stage hand;
- Construction worker;
- Ambulance driver/Firefighter/EMT;
- Mining; and
Importantly, it is not necessary for victims of job-related hearing loss to show that their employer was somehow negligent in allowing the condition or conditions that resulted in the hearing loss to exist. Because the workers’ compensation program operates as a no-fault insurance system, it is usually sufficient for workers to establish that they have hearing loss and that their hearing loss was the result of a workplace condition or accident.
How can Hearing Loss affect Victims?
Most people who have been able to hear their entire lives take their ability to do so for granted. As a result, it can be hard to understand how hearing loss can impact victims. Hearing loss can make it difficult for people to engage in daily tasks such as driving a vehicle or even watching television. In addition, many people who have hearing loss suffer from social isolation due to being unable to communicate with others or follow conversation.
Hearing loss can also be extremely expensive to treat. Identifying and assessing hearing loss can result in thousands of dollars in medical expenses, and treatments such as hearing aids can significantly add to a person’s medical expenses. Finally, hearing loss victims often lose a significant amount of income due to not being able to return to their previous employment.
Contact a Greenwood workers’ compensation attorney today to discuss your claim
Individuals who have developed hearing loss or any other type of medical condition that they believe is related to their work environment should talk to an attorney immediately. The Greenwood, South Carolina workers’ compensation lawyers of Ayers, Smithdeal & Bettis, P.C. are committed to helping people that have been hurt in workplace accidents or who have developed occupational diseases obtain the full value of their claim. Call our office today at 855-213-4405 to schedule a consultation.