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Worker’s Compensation For Occupational Diseases

Loss of Hearing

Claims for occupational loss of hearing attack the very fabric of Workmen’s Compensation insurance by destroying the wage loss concept upon which this form of insurance is based.

A schedule award is fixed in anticipation of future wage loss because of a permanent injury suffered by a worker. On the other hand, it has been found in many of the loss of hearing cases thus far established, that the claimants had not lost any wages and there was no prospective loss of wages. Beyond that, it was found that the disease is not crippling or debilitating. With local lawyer you will develop a better understand of what this case is all about.

Just as occupational diseases present difficult diagnostic problems to the physician, so do they affect the approach of the compensation investigator. His job in handling these claims is unique. In working up any type of occupational disease claim, one thing is of paramount importance: a thorough history must be secured.

Medical diagnosis is greatly abused in occupational disease cases. Many attending physicians are not sufficiently well trained to arrive at a correct diagnosis and find it easier and, more profitable, immediately to attribute the pathology to the occupation of the patient rather than even attempt to determine the exact cause.

Because the compensation laws in many states make a variety of disease types compensable if it can be demonstrated that they were aggravated by industrial exposure, the carrier must arrange for prompt examinations by well qualified physicians to ascertain whether the primary disease or the industrial exposure is responsible for the condition.

Loss of Hearing

Recent awards for occupational loss of hearing made to employees who did not lose any time from work and consequently did not lose any wages, have led to increased study of this phase of the compensation field by those intimately concerned with its significance. The awards, largely in New York and Wisconsin, have raised the possibility that employers operating in states which construe these claims as compensable, will face an inordinate financial burden reflected in their Workmen’s Compensation rates, and may well be placed in a disadvantageous position competitively with businesses in other state not so burdened.

The individual noise problem has captured the interest of all people concerned with Workmen’s Compensation insurance. The effect on labor is substantial from a moral point of view since it establishes fertile grounds upon which to base claims. Its effects on employers can well be staggering because of its creation of a potential liability which, it does not appear, was ever contemplated in the formulation of insurance coverage. Settling with personal injury claims will not be easy. But things will be much easier with the help of an attorney.

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