Hearing loss can result from a variety of different factors. In the work environment, in particular, there are numerous noise hazards that can damage workers’ ears and result in temporary or permanent loss of hearing. If you are suffering from hearing loss or hearing impairment, and you believe that your condition may be work-related, you should consult with a New Jersey workers’ compensation attorney promptly.
Fundamentally, seeking workers’ compensation for hearing loss is no different from seeking workers’ compensation for any other type of job-related injury or medical condition. However, there are some unique challenges involved in securing benefits for hearing loss, and it will be important for you to work with an experienced attorney to make sure you recover the compensation you deserve.
5 Important Facts about Recovering Compensation for Work-Related Hearing Loss in New Jersey
What do you need to know before you file a workers’ compensation claim for hearing loss in New Jersey? Here are five important facts from the attorneys at Petro Cohen Petro Matarazzo.
1. If Your Hearing Loss Is Work-Related, You Are Entitled to Workers’ Compensation Benefits
If your hearing has been impaired as a result of exposure to loud noise at work, you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits under New Jersey law. Of course, this assumes that you otherwise qualify, but most workers in New Jersey are covered. Workers’ compensation covers all types of job-related injuries and medical conditions, and this includes hearing loss both from isolated events (e.g., sudden accidents and explosions) and from wear and tear (e.g., being exposed to loud noise at work over a prolonged period of time).
2. You Will Need to Be Able to Demonstrate That Your Hearing Loss Is Work-Related
While workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, you must still be able to prove that your hearing loss is work-related. If you suffered ear damage at home that makes it difficult or impossible to do your job, this is not a situation in which workers’ compensation would apply. However, if you can demonstrate that you have been exposed to loud noise at work, and if your doctor can provide documentation that your hearing loss is consistent with the type of noise to which you were exposed, then you should be able to file a successful claim.
3. Your Employer (or Its Insurance Company) May Try to Deny Your Claim
Employers and their workers’ compensation insurance companies routinely deny workers’ claims, even though workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. With regard to hearing loss, denials are usually based on either (i) alleged lack of evidence of hearing impairment, (ii) alleged lack of evidence that the impairment is work-related, or (iii) allegations that the employee waited too long to file his or her claim for benefits. A workers’ compensation attorney at Petro Cohen Petro Matarazzo can help make sure that you file your claim on time with all of the necessary evidence. If your employer or its insurance company attempts to deny your claim, we can fight the denial on your behalf.
4. Workers’ Compensation Provides Coverage for Medical Expenses, Loss of Income (Disability), and Rehabilitation
When you file a workers’ compensation claim for hearing loss in New Jersey, your claim should include three separate types of benefits. These are:
- All reasonable and necessary medical treatment;
- Wage replacement (these are your workers’ compensation “temporary disability” benefits); and
- Permanent disability benefits.
Your employer or their workers’ compensation insurance carrier are obligated to pay for an provide all reasonable and necessary medical treatment. If you are put out of work by the authorized doctor, you will be entitled to 70% of your average weekly wage until you are cleared to return. If you are able to prove by demonstrable medical evidence that you have a permanent loss of function that impacts your daily life then you will be entitled to permanent disability benefits. A workers’ compensation attorney at Petro Cohen Petro Matarazzo can help make sure that you receive all benefits that you are entitled to under the law.
5. You May Be Entitled to Additional Money Outside of Workers’ Compensation
The impacts of hearing loss can be substantial, and they can impact all aspects of your life – not just your ability to work. As a result, many employees who experience hearing loss will suffer losses that far exceed those for which workers’ compensation benefits are available. If someone other than your employer was negligent in causing your hearing loss, you may have grounds to file a personal injury claim. If you do, you can recover compensation for your full loss of income, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and other financial and non-financial losses.
Speak with a Workers’ Comp Lawyer Today
If you have suffered a hearing loss on the job in New Jersey, the experienced worker’ comp attorneys at Petro Cohen can help you recover the full financial compensation to which you are legally entitled.
The law firm of Petro Cohen Petro Matarazzo has been consistently recognized as one of New Jersey’s leaders in the area of workers’ comp. The firm has consistently received the highest rating by Martindale-Hubbell – the world’s foremost authority on law firm credentials – in Professional Excellence and Ethical Standards and Legal Ability. Petro Cohen has also been named on the prestigious U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” list every year since 2011.
In addition to the firm’s outstanding reputation, Frank Petro, who serves as the head of the workers’ comp department, is respected locally, regionally, and nationally as a leading attorney in this practice area, and has received numerous accolades in his 40+ year career. Mr. Petro has been recognized as an outstanding attorney by Best Lawyers® every year since 1995 and by Super Lawyers® every year since 2005. He has also achieved a rating of “Superb” on the leading lawyer-review website, Avvo®, which is the highest achievable rating.
Along with Stephen M. Matarazzo, Suzanne Holz Meola, Terri Hiles, Steven Lubcher, and Daniel Rosenthal, our New Jersey workers’ comp attorneys have more than 100 years of combined experience, having successfully handled thousands of litigated workers’ comp cases throughout New Jersey. This experience and winning track record means that you are going to have a skilled New Jersey work injury lawyer who will work for you.
To learn more in a free and confidential consultation, call us at 888-675-7607 or request an appointment online today.