Yes! Hearing loss is covered by workers’ compensation in Oklahoma. Workers’ compensation is designed to continue providing workers with a percentage of their paychecks when they suffer serious injuries or illnesses while on the job that affect their ability to work. Hearing is important for so many reasons, and when it’s impaired or lost, it can have profound effects on workers and their families.
People who suffer hearing loss may experience an impairment in their ability to work, and that means no paychecks for weeks, months, or even years. That’s why it’s important for all workers who have experienced hearing loss due to the conditions of their job to tell their employers right away and begin the process of filing for workers’ compensation benefits.
What to Know About Work-Related Hearing Loss
Certain injuries and illnesses can threaten any of the five senses. Hearing is among the most vulnerable of the senses, especially for people who work in loud, industrial environments like foundries, construction sites, mines, and more.
Whether it’s due to a single loud noise, an infection, or a gradual impairment, hearing loss is common for many workers in Oklahoma. In fact, America’s most common workplace injury is hearing loss.
Experiencing impaired or lost hearing can significantly impact your life for the worse. You may find it difficult to have conversations with others, take in new information and instructions at work, watch television and movies, and listen to music. It can even put your health and safety at risk, as you may be unable to hear potential dangers while driving or walking.
In addition, hearing loss-related issues such as tinnitus can have a negative psychological impact on your day-to-day life. The impairments associated with hearing loss can be equal to or even greater than many other workplace injuries, but affected workers don’t always seek compensation, even though it’s available, because they don’t know they can.
What Benefits Are Available for Hearing Loss Sufferers?
Because hearing loss is generally a long-term condition, people who experience hearing loss from work or while doing work-related duties are eligible to receive permanent partial disability benefits.
Payments are capped at 70% of workers’ average weekly wages with a maximum weekly payment of $323. Workers can continue to receive those benefits for up to 110 weeks if they lost hearing in one ear and up to 330 weeks if they lose hearing in both ears. The amount you receive may be paid in one lump sum or spread out as weekly payments.
It’s important to note that those benefits can be earned even if you’re able to return to your job. That’s why it’s so important to have a law firm on your side as soon as possible. You suffered a serious injury that will forever impact your life, and you deserve to be compensated for it, even if you’re able to go back to work.
Why Do You Need a Lawyer to Help With Your Hearing Loss Claim?
Although hearing loss is covered under Oklahoma’s workers’ compensation insurance program, that doesn’t mean it’s easy or straightforward to get approved for benefits. Every state’s workers’ compensation commission is notoriously strict when it comes to approving applications, and many otherwise valid applications are denied every day.
At Parrish DeVaughn, our Oklahoma workers’ compensation lawyers help employees who lost some or all of their hearing get compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If you or someone you love suffered hearing loss at work or while doing job-related duties, you need experienced representation when submitting your claim to the Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Commission, and we’re here to help.
Having a lawyer on your side can help you avoid common pitfalls during the application process, such as missing paperwork, improperly filled out forms, and failing to send essential and required documents in a timely manner. In addition, our years of experience working with and for injured clients means we know the workers’ compensation system like the backs of our hands.
We’ll use that experience to improve your application’s chances of success while expediting the process. It’s our goal to not just get you paid, but to get you the money you deserve as quickly as possible.