Hearing Loss

Hearing loss is a serious, life-changing injury and many workers do not realize that it is compensable under workers’ compensation. If you sustained a hearing loss injury while on the job, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits and should consult with a qualified South Jersey workers’ compensation lawyer who can evaluate your case and assist you with filing a claim.

When an employer does not carefully monitor the workplace for decibel levels (dBa) that meet Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations or provide protective gear, hearing damage can be the result. According to OSHA, nearly 30 million workers are exposed to hazardous noise levels each year.

Hearing loss can happen over time when noise levels in the workplace are too high. It can also happen after an isolated incident of sudden and extreme noise, such as an explosion. Chemical exposure is another source of hearing loss as certain chemicals are toxic enough to damage the hearing of those working with or near them. A worker who suffers head trauma in a fall or another work accident may damage the auditory nerve and experience hearing loss.

Who is at Risk?

The OSHA limit for workplace noise exposure is 90 dBA for eight hours a day and two hours per day of any noise at 100 dBA. Manufacturing jobs often have high levels of noise that can damage hearing over time as can working around highly amplified music. Anyone who uses power tools or heavy machinery is also at risk. Employees who work with chemicals, including heavy metals, carbon monoxide, and organic solvents may experience chemically induced hearing loss. According to a 2016 study by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the highest incidence of hearing loss occurs in the mining, manufacturing, and construction industries.

Hearing Loss Injuries

The ear is a highly sensitive organ and susceptible to many types of hearing loss injuries. A worker can experience partial hearing loss or total deafness. Tinnitus is a condition where the sufferer hears ringing, buzzing, or other sounds when no external sound is present. It can be distracting enough to interfere with the ability to concentrate and work.

Filing a Claim for Hearing Loss

If your hearing loss occurred as a result of your work, you can file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. You may be eligible for some or all of the following benefits:

  • Medical benefits
  • Wage loss benefits
  • Temporary Disability benefits
  • Permanent Partial Disability benefits

Benefits will be calculated on the hearing loss percentage and whether the hearing loss affected one or both ears. You should report your hearing loss injury immediately to your employer and see a medical professional for treatment. Consult with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer to make sure you are within the time limit to make a claim.

South Jersey Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Pietras Saracino Smith & Meeks LLP Help Workers Who Suffer from Work-Related Hearing Loss

If you were injured at work, the South Jersey workers’ compensation lawyers at Pietras Saracino Smith & Meeks LLP will fight to help you obtain the maximum compensation available for your case. Call us today at 856-761-3773 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, we help injured workers throughout South Jersey, including the City of Camden.

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Coronavirus COVID-19 UPDATE:

Coronavirus COVID-19 UPDATE:

Please be advised that in accordance with Governor Murphy’s Executive Order 107, which imposed strict limitations on the operations of "brick-and-mortar" businesses and required telecommuting to the greatest extent possible, all N.J. workers’ compensation courts will continue to be closed to the public and to non-essential court personnel until April 13, 2020.

In response to overwhelming requests from the Workers’ Compensation Bar to hold non-emergent matters electronically or by teleconference, as of April 6, 2020, the following Workers’ Compensation Judges shall be designated by the N.J. Department of Labor and Workforce Development and the N.J. Division of Workers’ Compensation as essential personnel and shall report to their home vicinages for the purpose of hearing as many Workers’ Compensation matters as possible by telephonic conferencing, including all emergent matters and the following non-emergent matters, pre-trial conferences, general motions for medical and temporary benefits, and settlements by affidavit:

Hon. Audrey Kernan, S.J., Atlantic City WC Courthouse
Hon. Arthur Marchand, A.S.J., Bridgeton WC Courthouse
Hon. Ingrid French, A.S.J., Camden WC Courthouse
Hon. Lionel Simon III, A.S.J., Freehold WC Courthouse
Hon. Diana Ferriero, S.J., Hackensack WC Courthouse
Hon. Jill Fader, S.J., Jersey City WC Courthouse
Hon. Glenn Kaplan, S.J., Lebanon WC Courthouse
Hon. Michael Luther, S.J., Mt. Arlington WC Courthouse
Hon. George Geist, S.J., Mt. Holly WC Courthouse
Hon. Ashley Hutchinson, A.S.J., New Brunswick WC Courthouse
Hon. Philip Tornetta, A.S.J., Newark WC Courthouse
Hon. William Roca, S.J., Paterson WC Courthouse
Hon. Maria Del Valle Koch, S.J., Plainfield WC Courthouse
Hon. Eugene Mulvaney, S.J., Toms River WC Courthouse
Hon. David Puma, S.J., Trenton WC Courthouse

The Division’s plan is to limit physical interactions in our workers’ compensation courts to the greatest extent possible and shift to the use of telephone conferencing, and if possible video conferencing for judges, attorneys, and litigants. There will be no in-person Workers’ Compensation Court proceedings (except for extremely limited emergent matters and certain ongoing motions for medical and temporary benefits and trials in which case social distancing will be enforced). Court offices will remain closed for in-person submissions. Filings will continue to be accepted electronically through COURTS On-line.

The N.J. Division of Workers’ Compensation’s number one goal is to limit the exposure and spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus to court personnel, attorneys and their staff, litigants, witnesses, and members of the public at large.

Pietras Saracino Smith & Meeks, LLP also continues to closely monitor the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation and its impact on our local community and the world at large. In accordance with Governor Murphy’s Executive Order 107, our office is closed and the members of the firm continue to work remotely. As such, the members of the firm may have limited access to information during this time. We continue to appreciate your understanding. We encourage our current clients, new clients, and fellow members of the bar to contact us via e-mail as that remains the best form of communication. All attorneys and paralegals have access to e-mail and case information. We have designated essential personnel to report to our office for the purpose of handling emergent matters only and to complete essential administrative tasks. Pietras Saracino Smith & Meeks, LLP remains committed to complying with all health and governmental regulations. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with those most affected by this situation.