Hearing Loss in the Airline Industry
Hearing loss in the airline industry can be caused by the work done on aircrafts. Aviation occupations often involve noise exposure. Dangerous noise happens both on the ground by an aircraft and within it while it is in the air. Often rotors, propellers, jet efflux, and aircraft equipment trigger hearing loss. Pressurization and cabin air conditioning systems can also induct hearing loss over a period of time. If you have suffered hearing loss in the airline industry an experienced Chicago workers’ compensation attorney can advise you regarding your legal rights.Hearing Loss in the Airline Industry
Often airline workers, particularly pilots, try to hide their hearing loss but a significant number experience permanent hearing loss, and have some degree of hearing loss is extremely common. This can present a risk for aviation accidents. Cabin and cockpit noise may be so tremendously loud that pilots need to shout in order to provide basic information. The systems in the cabin can also be noisy, such that hearing loss is possible based on prolonged exposure to that noise.
If you are an airline worker who has suffered hearing loss, you may be concerned about letting your employer know. However, a failure to obtain treatment or stay off work can result in further hearing loss and may even contribute to accidents. As such, it’s important to let your employer know about the hearing loss, especially once you realize it’s work-related. A work injury attorney can answer any questions you may have regarding giving notice to your employer regarding your hearing loss.Illinois Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, benefits for airline work-related hearing loss can include reasonable medical care, disability benefits, and vocational rehabilitation. Workers’ compensation benefits aren’t taxable. The amount of disability benefits depends on the degree to which you are disabled and how. If you are temporarily disabled and miss at least three days of work, you can get temporary disability benefits paid by calculating 66 2/3% of your average weekly wage up to a state maximum cap. You can only recover a fraction of the first three days of lost wages once you’ve missed more than 14 work days.
Sometimes hearing loss is total and permanent, leaving an aviator unable to work in aviation again. If this happens to you, you may be able to get permanent disability benefits, which amounts to 66 2/3% of the difference in wages before and after you suffered the hearing injury. Or you may elect a certain number of weeks of payments based on a schedule of injuries.
Although it’s stressful to let an employer know about hearing loss, particularly when you hope it might go away, you should tell your employer for purposes of preserving a workers’ compensation claim. Your notification should be in writing and given to management within 45 days of the date of the hearing loss. If you delay beyond 45 days and then attribute your hearing loss to the workplace you may lose your eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits. Sometimes hearing loss is cumulative or develops slowly, in which case you should provide the written notice once you are aware of the hearing loss and know it’s work-related and suffer disability from it.
Benefits you may be entitled to obtain based on a claim involving hearing loss can include medical benefits, disability benefits, and vocational rehabilitation. The extent of any of these benefits depends partly on the severity of your hearing loss.Consult a Knowledgeable Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Chicago
Although the Illinois workers’ compensation system was meant to make it easier for workers to seek out remedies for work-related injuries, it can present its own challenges. If you have suffered hearing loss in the airline industry in Chicago, it is wise to consult an experienced workers’ compensation attorney about your situation. The skillful workers’ compensation attorneys of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca have long represented injured airline workers in Champaign, Quincy, Aurora, Springfield and Rockford as well as Kane County, Cook County, Sangamon County, Winnebago County, and Adams County. We can also assess whether other avenues of relief are available, such as third party lawsuits or SSDI. Contact us toll-free at 800-444-1525 or at 312-263-6330 or via our online form.