Vision and Hearing Loss for Auto Workers
Auto industry work environments are especially likely to have dangers related to hearing or vision. Losing your hearing at work as an auto worker is a common workplace injury because of the noisy machinery, high decibel noise, and loud power tool sounds. Similarly, vision is endangered in auto industry workplaces because of flying debris from projects and chemicals. Sometimes protective gear is available. If you suffer vision or hearing loss as an auto worker, the dedicated Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca can advise you of your rights.Vision and Hearing Loss for Auto Workers
Auto industry environments can be hazardous places. Sometimes material such as glass flies out from a task and hits a worker’s eye. In other cases, a worker may be handling a chemical cleaning solution and accidentally get some in his eye. If a worker doesn’t wear protective gear like earplugs and goggles, he or she can be at greater risk of suffering serious injuries and disabilities. Vision or hearing problems can leave an employee permanently disabled and not able to do his or her job. Safe workplaces must be provided to stop injuries. Workers that suffer vision or hearing loss can be eligible for temporary or permanent and total or partial disability benefits. If you suffer vision or hearing loss while working in industrial environment, you may be able to obtain benefits through the workers’ compensation system.Workers’ Compensation Claims for Vision and Hearing Loss
Employees who suffer vision and hearing loss are entitled to workers’ compensation for job-related injuries or occupational illnesses regardless of their own fault or their employer’s fault. Even if you’ve entirely lost your vision or hearing, however, an insurer may deny your workers’ compensation claim on the grounds that these losses weren’t the result of workplace injuries and were instead pre-existing conditions or were caused outside of work. Sometimes insurers conduct surveillance either in real life or on social media to determine whether something other than work could have caused your vision or hearing loss.
If you were denied benefits on the basis that your injury was a pre-existing condition, it’s important to realize that this is not a valid blanket denial. If workplace conditions or a job-related accident aggravated or worsened a pre-existing condition, you may be able to obtain benefits, and a skilled work injury lawyer can help.
Sometimes vision or hearing loss is not the result of an acute trauma on the job, but instead is the result of a chronic exposure. For example, if you are constantly exposed to very bright lights, you could suffer vision loss over time. For another example, if you don’t wear appropriate safety gear while you weld, you may suffer minor eye injuries from debris that lead to vision loss.Benefits
There are various types of workers’ compensation benefits for those who suffer vision and hearing loss. Workers who suffer permanent hearing and vision loss can collect different workers’ compensation benefits than those who suffer temporary losses. If you miss work as a result of hearing and vision loss, you should be able to collect disability benefits. These may be temporary or permanent, and they can be partial or total.
You may be able to bring a third party lawsuit, too, if your vision or hearing loss as an auto worker was inflicted by a third party (not your employer or a coworker). For example, if your protective earplugs were defective you might have a third party claim against the manufacturer of the earplugs in addition to your workers’ compensation claim.Consult a Seasoned Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Chicago
If you suffer vision and hearing loss on the job as an auto worker in Chicago, our experienced workers’ compensation lawyers can help you understand your legal options. At Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca, we also represent workers injured on the job in Rockford, Springfield, Champaign, Quincy, and Aurora, as well as Winnebago, Adams, Cook, Champaign, Sangamon, and Kane Counties. We evaluate the facts of each client’s case to determine whether damages in a personal injury lawsuit or SSDI benefits may be pursued in addition to workers’ compensation benefits. Call us at 312-263-6330 or toll-free at 800-444-1525, or contact us online.