According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), 22 million workers in the United States are exposed to potentially damaging noise levels in the workplace each year. Some of these workers will experience hearing loss in one or both ears. The hearing loss may come on suddenly as a result of one very loud noise or it may come on gradually due to repeated exposure to loud sounds. Additionally, other workers may experience hearing loss after a blow to the head or another injury.
All of These Workers Deserve Benefits
If you work in Iowa for an employer that is required to provide workers’ compensation insurance, then you are entitled to workers’ comp benefits if you suffer partial or total hearing loss in a work-related incident. Your benefits should pay for all your relevant medical expenses and weekly income benefits for time lost from work.
Your weekly benefits depend on the extent of your injury. Currently, Iowa workers’ compensation law provides you with 50 weeks of benefits if you suffer permanent and total loss of hearing in one ear and 175 weeks of benefits if you suffer permanent, total loss of hearing in both ears. Those weeks will be reduced if you suffer only a percentage of hearing loss, rather than 100% hearing loss, or if your hearing is expected to return.
Additionally, you may be able to recover for things such as vocational rehabilitation and travel to and from medical appointments.
What to Do to Protect Your Recovery
While the law is clear about your benefits, you still need to take action to make sure that you get the recovery that you deserve. You need to:
- Inform your employer about the accident that led to your injury or of your injury as soon as possible and within 90 days of the incident
- Seek medical care from the provider(s) approved by your employer.
And you need to talk to an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer who will advocate for your full and fair recovery of workers’ comp benefits after an Iowa workplace injury. To learn more, please contact us today via this website or call us directly at 800.800.5678 for a free consultation.