Hearing injuries can be devastating and can affect your ability to fully enjoy your life. A hearing injury can affect your ability to communicate, which can present many challenges in both your personal and professional life. It becomes harder to hear conversations and likewise, respond to conversations. When hearing loss is the result of workplace conditions or a work-related accident, victims can typically obtain benefits through Georgia's workers' compensation system. These benefits can cover your medical expenses and lost income that result from your injury.
Workers' compensation claims are not always simple, and many people have their benefits wrongfully reduced or denied. Often, the help of a workers' compensation lawyer can help improve the outcome of your claim and help ensure you receive the benefits you deserve. For assistance with your workers' compensation claim, schedule a free case evaluation with one of the Atlanta workers' compensation lawyers at Slappey & Sadd today.How Do I Determine if I Have Hearing Loss?
If you are concerned you may have suffered any degree of hearing loss on the job, you should not wait to do the following:
- Go see your doctor. Hearing loss can be sudden from things like a gunshot or dynamite blast. However, in most cases, it is a degenerative condition that takes years to degrade. The best record of tour gradual hearing loss will be your medical records from your personal doctor. Always get the written opinion of a doctor that you trust, and if you don't have a general physician who you see regularly, start doing it now so they can evaluate your hearing.
- Monitor your hearing loss. When you start to find it difficult to hear the television, start noting the volume, which should have a number assigned. Do you find the necessary volume level rising? If so, take notes in a notebook to record the changes as they occur.
- Ask your friends and family. Often the best judge of changes in your hearing is not yourself but your friends and family. Do you have a reputation to ask "what?" a lot? Are you the one that goes "left" when everyone said "right?" The concerns of friends and family should lead you to seek a medical evaluation.
- Ringing in the ears. Hearing loss can often have physical symptoms. If you hear high-pitched ringing even in the quietest places, you may be a victim of a condition called "tinnitus." Try to concentrate before you go to sleep or the first moment you wake up when there is the least white noise around. If you experience ringing, consult your physician immediately.
- Seeing an audiologist. In addition to seeing your personal doctor, see an audiologist. An audiologist is a specialist that will be able to diagnose what kind of hearing problem that you may be experiencing. They will be able to determine where in your ear the problem lies (including possible inner ear issues) and be able to create a unique plan for your situation. An expert is also very good evidence in any claim that you may decide to file with your employer.
Hearing injuries can happen anywhere, as our world is a noisy one. In fact, researchers who studied Fulton County found that it was inundated with noise. Especially along Highway 285, which encircles a lot of Atlanta, noise pollution is all around. Certain workplaces may be particularly loud, and the following is a list of common workers that may experience hearing loss:
- Airport Employees. This is not limited to people who work the runways, as employees who work inside or even around the airport may experience hearing loss from frequent exposure to deafening plane engines. In addition, this includes pilots, flight attendants, and others who work on or near airplanes.
- Construction Workers and Carpenters. Despite the fact that they are switching work sites, one constant issue will be noise. Construction sites have power tools, heavy machinery, and other loud noises, including explosions, blasting, and demolition techniques.
- Police Officers. Police are exposed to the general din of noise that Fulton County and Georgia experiences. In addition, policemen and women are prone to loud, immediate exposure, such as gunshots. This exposure is devastating even if it is only occasional.
- Nightclub owners and employees. Atlanta is world-famous for its nightlife, and many people serve, own, and maintain these extremely noisy clubs. Their ears suffer night after night from the loud music, and prolonged exposure may lead to hearing loss over time.
- Manufacturing Workers. Manufacturing plants are filled with loud machinery that is constantly running. Working long shifts in these enclosed buildings can cause hearing to deteriorate.
- Musicians and Support Crew. When musicians play concerts, the volume level of the music is at an all-time high. When people are exposed to such loud music night after night, they can easily suffer hearing loss.
Workers' compensation law exists to help workers just like you struggling with work-related injuries and illnesses. Bear in mind these claims are not handled by your employer, but by your employer's insurance company. It can often be a difficult and frustrating process working through an insurance claim. An insurance claims adjustor's job is to meticulously comb over the details of your claim and determine the validity of your claim. Then, if they find it valid, they will attempt to reduce the claim through whatever means necessary. This includes requiring independent medical examinations and possible administrative hearings. Their job is to get the company to pay as little as possible, which can deny you the benefits you deserve.
If you file a claim on your own, any mistake or misunderstanding can result in an outright denial of your claim and the need to file an appeal. The best way to make sure that your rights are protected and that you receive the benefits to which you are legally entitled as soon as possible is to retain an experienced lawyer as soon as you realize you may have a claim.Call Slappey & Sadd, Atlanta's Workers' Compensation Attorneys Today
Hearing loss is devastating and can directly impact your enjoyment of life. In Fulton County, Cobb County, and the rest of Georgia, the attorneys at Slappey & Sadd, LLC work to help injured workers. To schedule a free case evaluation with a workers' compensation lawyer in Atlanta, call our office today at 888-474-9616 or send us an email through our online contact form.