What Is Required To Claim Compensation For Industrial Deafness?

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Industrial deafness, which is also sometimes referred to as ‘occupational deafness’, is a life-altering injury that can have a profound impact on a person. Industrial deafness may be caused by one incident or come about gradually as the result of damage to one or both ears over a period of time.

People who experience industrial deafness due to their working conditions may be entitled to make a workers compensation claim through WorkCover Queensland. Here’s what is required to claim compensation for industrial deafness.

Who is most at risk of experiencing industrial deafness?

Industrial deafness can be caused by exposure to dangerous levels of noise in a workplace, and it is estimated that almost one million workers in Australia are subject to these levels of noise. Due to a lack of hearing protection, thousands of workers are at risk of suffering from hearing loss. The most common occupations that result in the loss of hearing through industrial deafness include those working in mines, operating machinery, factory and construction workers, and truck drivers.

Any worker who has experienced hearing loss due to their workplace is entitled to make a claim for compensation, regardless of their occupation or the industry they work in.

What type of expenses can I claim compensation for?

If your employer has been negligent in supplying you with protective equipment to protect your hearing or you have experienced permanent hearing loss due to a one-off incident during the course of your work, you may be entitled to:

  • reimbursement for medical costs and expenses related to attending medical appointments;
  • weekly payments to supplement the loss of income based on your current capacity to work and your average income prior to the injury; and/or
  • a lump sum payout if you have suffered significant, permanent hearing loss.

You cannot seek compensation for the cost of hearing aids in Queensland.

How much compensation will I receive for hearing loss due to industrial deafness?

The amount of compensation you are entitled to depends on your whole-person impairment rating. This means that upon assessment for hearing loss, the more your hearing has decreased, the more you will be entitled to.

For workers with a degree of permanent impairment (DPI) of more than 20% the option exists to claim damages as well as accepting a lump sum payment. Workers whose hearing assessment reveals a DPI of between 5 – 19% will have to choose between accepting a lump sum or claiming damages.

Workers with a DPI of less than 5% are not entitled to claim compensation as this area of personal injury law accounts for a 5% decrease in hearing loss of all people in their lifetimes, regardless of their exposure to dangerous levels of noise in the workplace.

How do I make a compensation claim for industrial deafness?

It is possible to commence a worker’s compensation claim for industrial deafness without a lawyer, however, given there are various complexities to compensation claims it is wise to seek the assistance of a lawyer. A personal injury lawyer can advise you on the legal process, manage deadlines, and help you put forward a strong case to maximise your entitlements.

How long will it take to receive the outcome of my industrial deafness compensation claim?

No two compensation claims are the same, but claimants should expect to wait around six months to a year before their claim is finalised. Your workers compensation lawyer will be able to advise you of a more accurate timeline and will keep you informed of any updates that may shorten or lengthen the timeline.

If you need assistance with your compensation claim, contact Cairns Compensation Lawyers today.