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Hearing problems are some of the most common work-related hazards workers face, especially for those who work in industrial settings, construction, and other occupations where loud sounds and noises are part of the job. Fortunately, North Carolina provides for compensation that covers permanent hearing loss caused by prolonged exposure to harmful noise during the course of employment.

Conditions to Be Entitled to Hearing Loss and Work Comp in North Carolina

To be entitled to benefits, an employee must have been exposed to workplace noise that exceed 90 decibels for at least 90 days. The loss of hearing must also occur in both ears. However, the loss of hearing does not have to be the same in both ears, as long as the disability is due to exposure to loud noise at work.

If you have been exposed to loud noise through the  years from different employers, the liability falls on the employer in whose employ you were exposed to 90 decibels or more of noise for 90 working days.

It is important to note that North Carolina laws require that the damage must be permanent to be eligible for compensation. You may also not be entitled to compensation if it is proven that you failed to make use of employer-provided protection equipment to prevent or reduce any work-related hearing loss, and such failure resulted to the disability.

When to File a Work-Related Hearing Loss Claim

Any complaint must be filed with the north Carolina Industrial Commission within 12 years from:

  • the date the employee was advised by a medical professional that he or she has developed work-related hearing loss
  • the date the disability first appeared
  • within the two years since the last payment of medical expenses by employer (if the employer paid for medical expenses in the past)

Notice Requirements

North Carolina laws require workers to file an official notice to the employer within 30 days of being advised that he or she has work-related hearing loss or the first onset of disability. A formal notice is a procedural requirement that must be given even if the employer already knows about the condition.

The process of filing for workers compensation for work-related  hearing loss can be tedious and complex. You need to cover all grounds to ensure that your hearing loss cannot be attributed to any other cause than your occupation. The best way to do this would be to work with top work comp lawyers in North Carolina. They can help you craft  solid grounds for compensation, ensure that all  documentary and procedural requirements are complied with, and protect your rights throughout the duration of your application for compensation. Get in touch with a work comp lawyer today to get the assistance you deserve.

Sources:

https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/001048.htm