For many Florida workers, the roar of machinery, the clang of tools, and the constant buzz of activity form the soundtrack of their daily lives. While these sounds may contribute to productivity, they can also pose a hidden threat: occupational hearing loss. Fortunately, employees can claim workers’ compensation for hearing loss that is job-related.
Our Coral Springs workers comp lawyers are here to help you get the benefits you deserve.
Who Can Get Workers’ Compensation for Hearing Loss?
The foundation of any successful workers’ compensation claim rests on meeting specific eligibility criteria. In Florida, to qualify for workers’ compensation for hearing loss, you must establish the following.
Work-Related Hearing Loss
You must demonstrate a clear causal connection between your hearing loss and your work environment. This generally means proving two things.
- The noise levels in your workplace exceeded permissible limits set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards (29 C.F.R. § 1910.95) or industry-recognized standards.
- This excessive noise exposure was the primary cause of your hearing loss.
Hearing Loss Severity
Your hearing loss must meet the specific thresholds for compensability. This requires an audiometric evaluation showing a specific degree of hearing impairment in one or both ears.
What Benefits Could You Receive?
If you meet the eligibility criteria, you may be entitled to a range of workers comp benefits under Florida law. Workers’ compensation for hearing loss in Florida can include the following benefits.
Florida Statutes provides comprehensive coverage for all necessary medical expenses related to your hearing loss, including diagnostic testing, hearing aids, and ongoing audiological care.
Temporary Total Disability (TTD)
If your hearing loss temporarily prevents you from working at all, you are entitled to 66% of your average weekly wages up to 104 weeks.
Temporary Partial Disability (TPD)
If your hearing loss impacts your earning capacity, you may receive 66% of the difference between your pre-injury and post-injury wages.
Permanent Impairment Benefits
Should your hearing loss be deemed permanent, you are entitled to a one-time lump sum payment based on the severity of your disability.
Filing a Workers’ Comp Claim for Hearing Loss
Filing a successful workers’ compensation claim for hearing loss requires careful adherence to the established procedures.
- Prompt Reporting: Notify your employer immediately of your hearing loss, ideally in writing. Under Florida Statutes Section 440.185, you must notify your employer within 30 days or your claim may be denied.
- Seek Medical Attention: Obtain comprehensive medical documentation of your hearing loss diagnosis and its connection to your work environment.
- File a Workers’ Compensation Claim: Submit the necessary paperwork to the Florida Division of Workers’ Compensation within two years of the date of discovery of your hearing loss.
- Medical Evaluation: Be prepared to undergo an independent medical evaluation by a doctor chosen by the employer or insurer.
- Negotiation and Resolution: Work with your employer or the insurer to reach a fair settlement agreement regarding your benefits. If an agreement cannot be reached, the case may proceed to a hearing before the Office of the Judges of Compensation Claims.
How a Coral Springs Workers’ Comp Lawyer Can Help
The journey to securing workers’ compensation for hearing loss can be riddled with potential challenges.
- Claim Denials: Employers or insurers may deny claims based on various grounds, such as pre-existing hearing conditions, insufficient evidence of a work-related link, or procedural errors in the claim filing process.
- Benefit Disputes: Disagreements may arise regarding the type and amount of benefits you are entitled to, requiring legal expertise to advocate for your fair share.
An experienced Coral Springs workers’ compensation attorney is crucial in overcoming these hurdles. An attorney can:
- Help gather and present evidence to support your claim.
- Advocate for your rights during negotiations with the employer or insurer.
- Navigate the appeal process if your claim is denied.
- Represent you in a hearing before the Office of the Judges of Compensation Claims.
- Help you receive the maximum benefits you deserve under the law.
Call Work Injury Rights for a Free Consultation!
Occupational hearing loss is a preventable tragedy that affects countless Florida workers. If you have suffered hearing loss due to your work, reach out to our experienced Florida workers’ compensation attorneys to discuss your specific situation and explore your legal options.