Firefighters work hard to save lives, but they must also protect themselves from health dangers beyond contact with fire. Ear damage, for example, is becoming an issue due to exposure to loud sirens. That's why thousands of firefighters are suing manufacturers of sirens for permanent hearing loss.
How Sirens Cause Hearing Loss Among Firefighters
Exposure to high levels of noise over a long period of time often causes severe hearing damage and may even result in permanent hearing loss. If you are exposed to sound levels of more than 85 decibels constantly, it may greatly damage your hearing with further deterioration over time.
Firefighters are exposed to sirens on a daily basis, which produces a sound level of nearly 120 decibels, which is an extremely loud sound to be exposed to on a frequent basis. Sirens not only lead to eventual hearing loss among firefighters but also cause tinnitus, a medical condition causing ringing in the ears.
The Dangers of Hearing Loss in Firefighters
Firefighters really cannot afford occupational hearing loss for obvious reasons, an important one being that in such a case, they won’t be able to help someone in need if they can’t hear them. This would render them unable to do their job properly. This is really the biggest danger of hearing loss in firefighters, which potentially affects the safety of people who are victims of a fire outbreak or even their team members.
Filing a Hearing Loss Lawsuit
Firefighters must alert their departments with complaints about hearing damage. Workers compensation attorneys can represent both fire departments and individuals, depending on the case. You should consult a workers compensation lawyer who has a strong reputation for winning settlements involving hearing loss, such as one at Gaylord & Nantais. They will guide you through the steps to filing a suit, whether it's an individual case, a class action civil case, or worker’s compensation case.
The largest hearing loss lawsuit settlement to date involving sirens has been for $3.6 million in 2011, in which 1,069 Philadelphia firefighters were awarded compensation.
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