On a daily basis, workers in nearly every industry face risks of potential illnesses and injuries involving vision and hearing – whether the injuries are caused by swift and serious trauma, or whether it was the result of years of exposure to the work environment. In some cases, the impairments that individuals suffer in the workplace are irreparable.
At Patterson Dahlberg Injury Lawyers, we know occupational illnesses, diseases, and injuries that involve the eyes and ears can forever alter your life and your livelihood. Since these injuries can have protruding and lasting consequences, obtaining needed compensation and benefits will become pivotal.
The Impact of Vision and Hearing Injuries
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, individuals employed in any industry can suffer from an injury to the eyes and/or ears. The injuries to the eyes and ears can be permanent or the injuries can be temporary. The injuries and illnesses can also range in their severity. The impact that these injuries or illnesses can have on an individual can be profound, regardless if the injury is temporary or permanent.
If you suffer an injury to the eyes and ears, this can hinder your ability to do the following:
- Work and continue to earn an income
- Effectively communicate in the workplace our outside the workplace
- Handle everyday tasks that once seemed so easy and basic
- Successfully and safely navigate through the remainder of your life
These hindrances can have lifelong financial and physical implications. The injuries and illnesses may also require the following:
- Medical procedures, medical devices, and medical treatments
- Weekly, daily, or monthly living assistance
Unfortunately, many injured workers will experience other effects of vision and hearing loss injuries, such as the following:
- Emotional effects
- Lack of confidence
Causes of Vision and Hearing Loss in the Workplace
Blindness, vision loss, and hearing loss are among the common work-related injuries. Work-related eye injuries can severely limit their vision and it can cause other health problems, such as fatigue and difficulties staying balanced and coordinated. The most common causes of work-related vision loss include the following:
- Debris from flying objects
- Eye trauma that is caused by brain injuries or concussions that resulted from a fall or flying objects
- Constant exposure to chemicals, gases, liquids, etc.
- Constant exposure to sunlight, glares, computer screens
- Machinery accidents
- Burn injuries
The most common causes of work-related hearing loss include the following:
- Constant exposure to harmful noises
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Exposure to chemicals that resulted in severe damage to the ears
Workers’ Compensation for Vision and Hearing Loss Injuries
There are some workplace environments that expose workers to a variety of hazards and risks that can be devastating. In many accidents in some construction workplaces, industrial workplaces, and manufacturing workplaces, one of the key factors is whether workers have the proper protective gear.
If workers do not have the proper helmets, gloves, goggles, earplugs, etc., it can result in serious damage to the eyes and ears, such as loss of vision and loss of hearing. Blindness, vision, and hearing loss are all treated as a specific loss or claim by workers’ compensation insurance companies.
Before you file a claim for workers’ compensation, it is important to make sure that your paperwork is filed correctly, and it is important that you are not accused of trying to obtain compensation for a preexisting condition.
Workers in Minnesota have several options when it comes to seeking the compensation, benefits, and treatment they need to repair their lives. Workers compensation will provide medical benefits, rehabilitation, income supplementation and more based on the disability rating you are given, and regardless of who was at fault for the vision and/or hearing losses.
Qualifying for Workers’ Compensation
While vision and hearing loss injuries that are mild and moderate can heal fairly quickly, some vision and hearing disorders can significantly eliminate your ability to perform your job on a temporary basis or a permanent basis, especially as it relates to total blindness and partial blindness. As long as the vision or hearing injury or illness took place at the workplace and it stops you from effectively and efficiently performing your assigned tasks, you should be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits for your vision and/or hearing injuries.
Protect Your Benefits
You may think that what happened to you is uncomplicated and straightforward. Maybe debris flew into one of your eyes while you were working on a construction site and you lost vision. Maybe you were exposed to loud noises on a daily basis in a warehouse or manufacturing workplace and your hearing suffered.
You remember what happened, the other employees know what happened, and your employer is aware of what happened. However, the insurance company can still attempt to reach out to you and hope you will settle for an amount that is worth less than what your actual workers’ compensation claim would be worth.
Experienced workers’ compensation lawyers will know how to negotiate with the insurance company and protect your rights. Our law team will make sure that you are aware of all the workers’ compensation deadlines and that all your workers’ compensation documents are completed correctly. We will advocate on your behalf to ensure you receive the financial benefits you deserve, as well as the medical benefits, vocational benefits, and rehabilitation benefits.
We understand that vision and hearing loss injuries can impact your life substantially. Workers’ compensation may not seem like enough to compensate for what you have lost in vision and/or hearing. However, the laws in Minnesota do take into account the seriousness of losing your vision and/or hearing. You may be able to receive wage loss benefits at a greater rate, especially if your injuries are labeled as severe and life-changing.
If you need helping in obtaining workers’ compensation benefits for your injury, Patterson Dahlberg Injury Lawyers will stand up for you and advocate for you. If you would like to schedule a free case evaluation, contact us or call us at 507-424-3000.