Hearing loss is a covered injury or condition under worker’s Compensation in Georgia. Georgia law treats this condition differently depending on whether the hearing loss is a traumatic hearing loss verses a occupational hearing loss. These two types of worker’s compensation hearing loss claims are further explained in the following:
- Traumatic Hearing Loss: A traumatic hearing loss is one that is caused by a traumatic injury rather than due to a prolonged exposure to loud noises at work. These types of claims normally allow 75 weeks for hearing loss in one ear and 150 weeks if the hearing loss is in both ears. [O.C.G.A. Section 34-9-263]
- Occupational Hearing Loss: An occupational hearing loss is a hearing loss that is brought on by a prolonged exposure to loud noises at work. [O.C.G.A. Section 34-9-264]
What is the burden of proof for each type of hearing loss claim? Georgia law treats these two types of hearing loss very differently. Traumatic hearing loss has the same basic requirements that the accident occurred while the claimant was arising out of and in the course of his or her employment without any additional elements that must be proven. Occupational hearing loss under O.C.G.A. Section 34-9-264 requires the claimant to prove the following:
- The hearing loss must be permanent.
- The hearing loss must be sensorineural and not tinnitus or pyschogenic hearing loss.
- The hearing loss must be present in both ears unless the hearing loss is due to congential deafness, trauma, or disease in one ear.
- The hearing loss must be present at 500, 1000, or 2000 cycle per second frequencies levels.
- The average hearing loss must average more than 15 decibels.
- The hearing loss must be from “prolonged” exposure to loud noises which has been defined as at least 90 days of exposure.
- The loss of hearing must be from “harmful noise” which is noise that is at least 90 decibels of sound intensity.
- You cannot file for occupational hearing loss unless at least 6 months have pasted since the claimant was exposed to the “harmful noise”.
Atlanta worker’s compensation attorney Richard Griffin and the Griffin Law Firm specialize in all types of worker’s compensation claims whether the injuries are for hearing loss, spinal injuries, disc injuries, fractures, broken bones, traumatic head injuries, shoulder injuries, knee injuries, foot or ankle injuries, arm injuries, hand injuries, carpel tunnel syndrome, or any other injury or occupational disease that is caused by accidents or exposures on the job.
For your free worker’s compensation consultation call us at 877-PAIN-LAW (877-724-6529). You can also submit your case to us for a free Georgia workers comp case evaluation at [Pain Law Case Review].