When most people think of injuries on boats, they probably think of falls or accidents with machinery. These kinds of dangerous situations do happen all the time, but there are some more insidious hazards on ships too. One problem that many seamen end up facing is hearing loss. This can be hard to detect at first as your hearing subtly gets worse and worse, but eventually it becomes impossible to ignore. If this issue can be linked to your job on the sea, then you may need the assistance of a Snohomish County tug & barge injury lawyer.

What Should I Do If I Suspect Hearing Loss?

If you do suspect that your job onboard a ship has led to hearing loss, you need to get to a doctor and have your hearing evaluated. Your hearing can be tested and there may be treatments that can help you regain some of your ability to hear others. The earlier you address this, the better, but it will be impossible to completely reverse the damage.

Does Hearing Loss Entitle Me to Benefits?

Ships can be loud places to work. If your workplace was the main driver of your hearing loss, you could be entitled to benefits. Maritime workers do not go through the traditional workers’ compensation system. Instead, they are protected by maritime law and can receive maintenance and cure benefits meant to pay their expenses while they recover from medical issues.

These benefits pay out until everything reasonable has been done to make a worker feel better. This may not mean a full recovery from an injury, especially when you’re dealing with something like hearing loss, but it usually means that the worker is able to return to their position and draw a paycheck again. It’s also important to note that these benefits are paid out regardless of fault.

Can I Sue Under the Jones Act?

What if someone was at fault though? If your hearing loss was caused partly due to your boss or supervisor’s negligence, you may be able to sue for additional benefits under the Jones Act.

A good example of this would involve noise standards set by OSHA and the International Maritime Organization. These organizations have done the research and determined what a safe level of noise exposure is for a working seaman. An employer who does not try to keep noise to a safe level or give their employees protective equipment that can reduce the chance of hearing loss might be accountable under the Jones Act.

Contact Our Maritime Injury Attorneys

If your hearing loss developed as a result of your time working on a ship, make sure that you get the benefits you deserve. Contact Amy C Brown Law, PLLC and ask to schedule a consultation with our team. We can tell you more about your rights, your legal options, and what our attorneys can do to assist you.