Offshore Hearing Loss Attorneys
Hearing Impairment from Offshore Accidents & Exposure
Offshore workers may be at risk of suffering hearing loss from accidents or exposure to loud noises. Chronic or acute exposure to certain decibels of sound can permanently damage the hearing, as can trauma to the ear or head. Falls, explosions, and being struck by an object are examples of maritime incidents that can cause hearing impairment.
When offshore workers experience catastrophic injuries like hearing loss, they may face significant physical, financial, and emotional challenges. Their right to full and fair compensation from all at-fault parties must be protected, and Arnold & Itkin is here to do just that. Our offshore hearing loss lawyers represent workers who have been injured in maritime accidents in inland waterways as well as national and international waters.
Understanding Hearing Impairment
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 1.5 billion people are living with hearing loss worldwide. 430 million suffer from disabling hearing loss. Hearing impairment can occur for various reasons, including disease and trauma. For cases involving trauma to the ear or head, a person may suffer partial or complete loss of hearing in one or both ears. When an offshore worker suffers this type of injury, the entire course of their life is shifted as a result.
The human balance system, known as the vestibular system, works together with the eyes, inner ear, and other sensory systems to successfully help a person walk, run, or even stand without falling over. Without the function of a person's inner ear, their balance may be thrown off, causing further injuries in some instances.
There are many different causes of hearing loss, including cases of sudden deafness where a person loses their hearing over a very short period of time. Among these causes, many researchers believe that chronic noise exposure can contribute to hearing loss, with an estimated one in three Americans exposed to dangerous sound levels.
How Does Offshore Hearing Loss Occur?
While working offshore, hearing loss can occur in one of several ways:
- Traumatic Injury: The physical nature of offshore work, involving heavy machinery and equipment, poses a risk of traumatic ear injuries. Accidents such as falls, blows to the head, or being struck by objects can cause immediate damage to the ear structures, leading to temporary or permanent hearing loss. These injuries can affect the ear canal, eardrum, or the delicate bones in the middle ear, disrupting normal sound transmission to the inner ear.
- Chronic Exposure to Dangerous Sound Levels: One of the most common causes of hearing loss in the offshore industry is prolonged exposure to high levels of noise. Machinery such as drills, pumps, and engines on offshore platforms and vessels generate significant noise, often exceeding safe levels. Over time, this continuous exposure can lead to noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL), a gradual but irreversible condition. NIHL can affect one or both ears, and its severity typically correlates with the noise level and duration of exposure.
- Explosions and Sudden Loud Noises: Offshore environments are also susceptible to sudden, extremely loud noises, which can cause immediate and severe hearing damage. In extreme cases, an explosion or collision could produce a shock wave that ruptures the eardrum or damages the inner ear. This type of trauma can cause temporary or permanent hearing loss, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), or other auditory dysfunctions.
Strict safety measures, including the use of protective hearing equipment, must be implemented in the offshore industry to mitigate these risks. Regular hearing tests and monitoring of noise levels are essential for early detection and prevention of hearing loss. For workers who have already suffered hearing impairment, understanding the cause and extent of their condition is crucial in seeking appropriate medical treatment and compensation under maritime law.
Our Offshore Hearing Loss Lawyers Are Here to Help
Under maritime law, you have the right to maintenance and cure if you have suffered any type of injury at an offshore job site. If negligence was involved, you may have grounds for a Jones Act case, which would allow you to pursue additional compensation such as loss of future wages and pain and suffering. Pursuing maximum compensation is essential if you are to rebuild your life, and Arnold & Itkin is here to assert your rights under all applicable state and federal laws.
Contact our offshore hearing loss attorneys today for your free consultation.