Hearing loss is silent. It often arises gradually, and the sufferer will usually not be aware that they have it until significant damage has occurred. This makes it both insidious and dangerous, for if there is an external cause it may be that awareness comes too late for anything to be done to stop the damage. Indeed, as you are reading this, the damage may already have been done to you.
Hearing loss can have many causes. Some benign, perhaps even reversible, others more serious and indicative of underlying conditions. It is often permanent. Noise exposure is a common work-related cause. It can also be caused by other factors such as exposure to certain types of chemicals known to enter the body and cause damage to the hearing (a phenomenon known as “ototoxicity”).
Hearing loss is a quality-of-life condition. There is a tendency to treat it as insignificant and stoically shrug it off (or worse, have others dismiss it) but hearing loss is a pervasive and life-altering permanent disability and it must be regarded with due seriousness. Experiences with hearing loss can range from not being able to hear family members (especially children and grandchildren) when they speak, through to being unable to hear the smoke alarm if it goes off during the night. Daily hurdles impact different people differently, and can be inconvenient, frustrating, isolating, and even devastating. This is to say nothing of the effects of tinnitus (ringing or other sound that is perceived by the brain) which often arises in tandem with hearing loss itself and which can run the gamut from an occasional buzzing through to constant, blaring noise. Without proper management, these conditions can become all-consuming and those who suffer from them need understanding and, above all, support. Especially when these life-altering conditions are inflicted upon them by their work environment.
What Can Be Done If You Have A Hearing Loss?
If you have a hearing loss and were exposed to noise or chemicals known to damage hearing in the course of employment, then you should arrange a consult to speak to a lawyer about it. In South Australia, it is better to make a claim either while you are still working or within 2 years of retirement, but even if the exposure was many years ago, or you have been retired for a while, you may still be able to make a claim. It is better to ask the question than to leave the issue unaddressed.
If successful in a claim you could get both a lump sum payment as well as high-quality hearing aid devices and associated battery and maintenance costs covered on an ongoing basis.
You can contact Boylan Lawyers on 08 8632 2777 to arrange a free 30-minute consult.