newsletter banner

DBA Newsletter – July 2018


Periodically we travel throughout the world to meet with clients. We are happy to announce that we will be traveling to Lima, Peru in early October 2018 to meet with certain clients. If you need to meet with one of our attorneys regarding your case while we are in Lima, please let us know. Further, if you have a friend or know someone who worked overseas and may need assistance with an injury claim, we would be happy to speak with them as well. Please email their name and contact information, or have them email us directly to schedule their own appointment.

Our time in Peru will be very limited, so all meetings will be by appointment only. Please email our office at to set up an appointment, and we will schedule a time to meet with you. You may also use the Voting Buttons in this email to let us know if you would like to meet us in Lima.

If there are specific issues you need to discuss with your attorneys right away, please contact our office at

Hearing Loss Claims

A common injury for contractors working in a war zone is hearing loss. The most regular cause of hearing loss is exposure to loud noises, including the loud noise from machinery, vehicle and aircraft engines, explosions, and firearms. How close the noise is to you, and how long you are exposed to the noise, are equally important considerations.

If you have been exposed to loud noises over a prolonged period of time, even if you were wearing hearing protection, you run the risk of damaging the small sensory structures in the inner ear, called hair cells. Over time, these hair cells become less sensitive and unable to adequately convert sound waves into electrical impulses to your brain. These cells do not grow back, so once they are damaged, it is permanent. In addition to “noise-induced” hearing loss, some people may experience hearing loss due to the pressure changes of a nearby explosion or direct injury (a “burst eardrum”), and people may develop tinnitus, or “ringing in the ears”, as a result of these injuries.

Injuries to your hearing are compensable under the Longshore and Defense Base Acts. The law provides for payment of certain benefits, including medical care and devices (such as hearing aids) and compensation benefits based on an impairment rating, as determined by your audiologist or ENT physician. The actual amount of compensation benefits is limited by the impairment shown in your post-employment audiogram and the type of hearing loss you have (one ear or both ears).

It is very important to have an audiogram done as soon as you return home. This audiogram will form the basis of any hearing loss claim. It will also be compared to any prior audiogram you may have had, such as your pre-deployment audiogram, to see if there was a pre-existing hearing loss and whether your employment worsened the hearing loss. Your audiogram must be done, and any impairment rating calculated, according to the most recent edition of the American Medical Association’s impairment guidelines. Hearing loss is the one injury that has this requirement.

If you were exposed to prolonged and loud noises while working overseas, you should be evaluated by an audiologist or ENT, and have an audiogram done as soon as possible. If your audiogram shows hearing loss, notify your Employer of the hearing loss and contact an attorney about filing a claim. If you have any questions about this or any other issue, please contact one of our attorneys at