Deafness can be caused by a number of reasons such as being exposed to loud noises in the workplace, being exposed to a sudden loud noise, attending concerts, and of course old age among others. With the majority of on set deafness, deafness can be result of a combination of factors mixed in with age and no-one in particular is to blame, but sometimes deafness can be the result of someone else’s negligence or mistake and therefore in such circumstances, the victim may be entitled to make a personal injury claim for compensation.
Select A Section
- A Guide To Claiming Compensation For Deafness
- What Is Deafness And When Could I Claim Compensation?
- Time Limits To Claim For Deafness
- What Circumstances Could Cause Deafness?
- Early Signs And Symptoms Of Deafness
- Employees At Risk Of Industrial Deafness
- At What DB Level Is Hearing Damaged?
- Work-Related Hearing Loss
- Hearing Loss In The Military
- Claiming For Tinnitus
- Compensation Claims For Acoustic Shock
- Deafness And Hearing Loss Personal Injury Claims Calculator
- What A Deafness Compensation Claim Could Compensate You For
- No Win No Fee Hearing Loss And Deafness Compensation Claims
- Talk To Accident Claims UK
- More Information On Hearing Loss
If you have suffered from a form of deafness such as noise induced hearing loss, tinnitus, or industrial deafness, you may be able to claim compensation if it was someone else’s fault. Making a compensation claim however, can be a very complex and a lengthy process and so having some guidance on how to go about starting the claim and what to do in order to get the right amount of compensation is a great help. Therefore we have produced this guide in order to provide lots of useful information for anyone considering making a claim. In this guide, you will find information such as what may cause noise induced hearing loss, early signs and symptoms of hearing loss, claiming for tinnitus, claiming for acoustic shock, claiming for industrial deafness, what you can include in the compensation claim, how much you may be awarded if your case is successful, the benefits of hiring a personal injury solicitor, and how no win no fee claims work, and much more. If after reading through the guide you’d like further help and guidance, don’t hesitate to call us at Accident Claims UK on 0800 073 8801.
Deafness can be a temporary or a permanent state of hearing loss that can occur suddenly or over a period of time and can be caused by a variety of different reasons and present itself in different ways. Deafness may occur to one or both ears and vary in severity.
Deafness compensation can be sought if the hearing loss was caused by the actions of someone else’s negligence who owed you a duty of care. Statistics show that one of the largest causes of deafness among adults is work related noise induced hearing loss (NIHL). Employers are expected to provide personal safety equipment such as ear defenders to protect their employees and also make sure that the noise in the working environment doesn’t exceed the maximum legal limit, and if it does, to take steps in order to reduce the noise. If they fail to take all necessary steps to protect their employees and an employee is injured as a result, they will be deemed negligent in their duty of care and so liable to pay compensation should a case be brought against them.
Regardless of whether the hearing loss is severe, or if it is minor hearing loss, if it was caused by someone else’s mistake or negligence, you may be eligible to make a claim providing liability can be proven.
With all personal injury claims, there is a personal injury claims time limit in which you have to start a claim for compensation. In most circumstances, the personal injury claims time limit for deafness or the industrial deafness claim time limit, is three years from the first date of diagnosis. Hearing loss claims for children are slightly different in that they have three years following their 18th birthday if a claim hasn’t already been made on their behalf before they turned 18.
|Type Of Claim||Claim Time Limit|
|Personal injury claim for deafness for an adult||3 Years from diagnosis.|
|Personal injury claim for deafness for a child under 18 years of age||Up to 3 Years from 18th birthday (unless claim already made on their behalf )|
In cases where the hearing loss has occurred gradually over time such as with industrial deafness, the time limit will start from the date the hearing loss was first recognised or diagnosed. Time limits can sometimes vary in exceptional circumstances. If you are unsure as to whether you are still within your time limit to start your claim, speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer such as those at Accident Claims UK, and they will be able to determine if you can make a claim.
There are many things that may cause someone to suffer with deafness. In the majority of cases off on set deafness its from being exposed to loud noise over a period of time that eventually causes hearing damage, but sometimes it can also be a sudden loud noise in close proximity such as an explosion which causes what’s known as acoustic shock syndrome. Hearing loss occurs due to damage to the cells in the inner ear causing either partial or complete deafness in one or both ears, but also, damage to the ears can result in a condition called Tinnitus which is a buzzing, ringing or whistling type of noise in the ear which can be intermittent or permanent.
Hearing loss can occur gradually, except in the cases of acoustic shock syndrome, and is usually down to exposure to noise above a certain level on a regular basis and so most cases of on set hearing loss are work related cases. If it can be proven that deafness occurred due to negligence of someone else, i.e. your employer a claim could be made for compensation.
Initially, deafness isn’t always obvious and may not be immediately noticed, but as it progresses, signs and symptoms of deafness will become more apparent. Some of the most common signs and symptoms of suffering from deafness include:
- Having difficulty in being able to hear clearly what another person is saying especially in noisy environments.
- Finding yourself having to increase the volume of the television or radio.
- Constantly finding yourself having to ask people to repeat themselves.
- Having to really concentrate and try hard to be able to hear what other people are saying making it hard to keep up in a conversation.
- Having difficulty hearing what someone is saying when talking over the phone.
- Tinnitus – Sound of buzzing, ringing or whistling noise which may occur intermittently or permanently in one or both ears.
Hearing loss or deafness may occur in one or both ears and so symptoms may differ slightly.
You can find further information regarding hearing loss on the NHS website.
Some employees are more at risk than others from developing noise induced hearing loss depending on their type of occupation. The most common types of employment where employees are most at risk include:
- Nightclubs / Bars
- Music Venues
Employers have a duty of care to ensure their employees have a working environment that is as safe as possible by carrying out risk assessments and putting provisions in place to counteract any risks found, and providing personal protective equipment to reduce the likelihood of hearing damage (or any other injuries) occurring to their employees. If they fail to fulfil this duty of care and an employee suffers from hearing loss, they may be found liable for deafness compensation if the employee decides to make a hearing loss claim.
Decibels (DB) is the name of the unit in which sound is measured. When sounds go over a certain level, hearing can be affected either temporarily or permanently depending on the level of noise and the length of exposure. Typically noises under 75 decibels are very unlikely to cause any damage to hearing even when exposure to the noise is lengthy. But constant repeated, or lengthy exposure to noise levels of 85 decibels and above, can cause noise induced deafness. In the table below we give a few examples of common sounds, their average decibel level and the average length of time you can be exposed without protection before hearing damage starts to occur:
|Noise||Decibel level||Length of unprotected exposure before hearing damage occurs|
|An electric drill||94||60 Minutes|
|Rock or pop concert||103||7.5 Minutes|
|Personal music player played at its maximum volume||106||3.75 Minutes|
|Ambulance Siren||109||Under 2 minutes|
|Jet taking off||130||0|
Noise exposure, particularly in the workplace or any public areas, need to be regulated and the highest excepted noise level is 85 decibels over an eight hour period, typically a full working day on average.
Work-related hearing loss, often better known as industrial deafness, is when hearing loss has been caused by the working environment. Employers are supposed to regulate noise levels and put into place provisions to reduce noise exposure and to also provide personal protective equipment such as ear defenders when necessary. They have a duty of care to their employees to abide by the health and safety requirements set out in The Control Of Noise At Work Regulations 2005. Industrial deafness very often is a gradual process and hearing loss isn’t noticed straight away, but instead after a number of months or years of being continuously exposed to noise in the work place, hearing loss may then start to become apparent.
If you are suffering from industrial deafness, regardless of whether you are still working for the company who you believe to be responsible for your hearing loss, you may be eligible to claim for deafness compensation. Call us at Accident Claims UK and speak to one of our expert solicitors to discuss your case today.
Repeated exposure to on-going or loud noise can result in some form of noise induced hearing loss temporary, or permanent, occupational hearing loss or tinnitus. This can have devastating consequences as it can mean the end of the victim’s military career and also cause further problems in civilian life later on too. If you have suffered NIHL whilst in the military and believe that it is down to someone’s negligence, you may be eligible to make a hearing loss claim for deafness compensation. There are a number of different types of claims that may be made for military NIHL, these include:
- Claims for the incorrect diagnosis of medical grading for personnel who has NIHL.
- Claims for further hearing damage may occur due to delayed referral, late or misdiagnosis of hearing loss.
- Claims for hearing loss that was caused by negligent discharge of explosions and weapons.
- Claims for negligence of the employer due to complete lack of personal protective equipment resulting in NHIL.
- Claims for being exposed to excessive noise either continuous or in short bursts, or short bursts of high intensity or high frequency sounds whilst in training or on exercise without being given correct instruction.
At Accident Claims UK, our personal injury solicitors have expert knowledge regarding the military medical grading structure and can use this knowledge to determine if you have been treated negligently medically, and will also be able to use their experience and expertise in military claims and general personal injury claims to assess your eligibility for making a claim, and then to start to put things into action in order to begin your claim to get you the deafness compensation you deserve.
The majority of people that suffer with tinnitus describe it as a constant or sometimes intermittent buzzing sound. It can also be described as a ringing, whistling or white noise sound as well. Tinnitus is the result of damage to the cochlea which is part of the inner ear. The cochlea is made up of thousands of tiny cells that detect noise and sound, and when these are damaged, the brain looks for sound elsewhere in the body resulting in tinnitus. Although there are a number of possible causes of tinnitus, a common is exposure to excessive noise within the work place. The NHS website has some useful information on tinnitus here – www.nhs.uk/conditions/tinnitus.
If you suffer with tinnitus and you believe that it is the result of someone else’s negligence, you may have a legitimate deafness compensation claim.
Acoustic shock is when the ears are exposed to a sudden burst of noise at high intensity or high frequency which causes sudden damage to the hearing. In some cases acoustic shock occurs in the workplace with call centre staff being particularly at risk due to wearing head sets for long periods of time. Acoustic shock results in long lasting and significant damage to the ears due to the unexpected intense noise experienced causing muscle contractions in the ear which can then lead to tearing of the ear’s inner membrane. This can be extremely painful and very uncomfortable for the sufferer and have an on-going impact on their life. Some of the most common symptoms of acoustic shock include:
- Nausea and dizziness
- Ear pain.
- Face, neck and jaw pain.
- Hyperacusis – This is a condition where the ear is more sensitive to certain sounds that it used to be able to tolerate resulting in discomfort and pain.
- Depression as a result of the injury.
- Unusual noises in the ear such as fluttering noise sensations.
- Distortion of hearing.
- Hearing sensitivity.
Acoustic shock doesn’t just result in physical symptoms, but can also cause psychological trauma as well especially when symptoms are severe as these can impact heavily on normal daily life and also sometimes affect a person’s working ability.
If you have been affected by acoustic shock and it was caused by negligence, you may have a valid cause to make a compensation claim.
You may be wondering ‘How much compensation do you get for hearing loss?’ Compensation claims are made up of a number of different items (we discuss these further in the guide), and so each individual claim is unique as the different factors of the claim will vary from person to person, and so unfortunately we cannot say what amount of the compensation you may receive accurately. However, the part of the compensation that is purely for the injury itself, we can show by looking at the compensation amount boundaries according to the latest Judicial College Guidelines for a range of injuries associated with deafness to at least give an idea of what can be claimed.
|Reason For Compensation||Average Amount Paid||Comments|
|Total Deafness||£79,560-£ 96,150||The lower amount will be for those who have suffered total deafness but have had no tinnitus or speech impediment, the higher end for those that have suffered all of the above.|
|Total Deafness In One Ear||£27,450 - £39,940||The higher end of the compensation would be for those who are also suffereing other associated side effects such as headaches, dizziness and tinnitus.|
|Severe Tinnitus And NIHL||£26,040 - £39,940||The amount awarded will be based upon severity of tinnitus, degree of NIHL, age and life impact.|
|Moderate To Severe Tinnitus Alone, Moderate Tinnitus And NIHL, Or NHIL Alone,||£13,080 - £26,040||The amount awarded will be based upon severity of tinnitus, degree of NIHL, age and life impact.|
|Mild Tinnitus With Some NIHL||£11,040 - £13,080||The amount awarded will be based upon severity of tinnitus, degree of NIHL, age and life impact.|
|Slight NIHL With Slight Or Occasional Tinnitus||£6,450 £11,040||The amount awarded will be based upon severity of tinnitus, degree of NIHL, age and life impact.|
|Slight Tinnitus Without NIHL Or Slight NIHL Without Tinnitus||Up to £6,140||The amount awarded will be based upon severity of tinnitus, degree of NIHL, age and life impact.|
|Loss Of Earnings||£5,000 - £500,000||This will depend on the claimants current paygrade.|
|Loss Of Benefits||£5,000 - £500,000||This will depend on the claimants current paygrade.|
If you have any queries regarding your injury and the amount you may be able to claim, just call us at Accident Claims UK for further help and advice.
As mentioned earlier in the guide, personal injury claims are made up of a number of different factors. Compensation claims are made up of the following:
- General Damages – These account for the actual injury itself and its physical and psychological effects. In most cases, the more severe an injury is, the higher the compensation award.
- Medical Expenses – Any medical expenses that you have incurred can be included in the claim, these may be prescription costs, counselling costs, private healthcare costs and so on.
- Travel Expenses – Just the same as medical expenses, if you incur any travel expenses as a direct result of your injury, you can reclaim the costs.
- Care Claim – If you have had to have any help around the home due to your injury, you can file a care claim.
- Loss Of Earnings – If your injury has caused you to have to take time off of work, your can put in a claim for lost earnings according to your paygrade.
It is important to remember that evidence is required when making any claims for expenses so be sure to keep any receipts as proof otherwise they will not be able to be included.
When making a claim, unless you are very familiar with the legalities and process of making a personal injury claim, it is much better to hire a legal representative if you can to make your claim on your behalf, to give you the best chance of a successful outcome, and be awarded the highest possible amount of deafness compensation for your case. However, we understand that often the reason people are put off of hiring legal help is that the cost of hiring a personal injury solicitor can be high. This is why at Accident Claims UK, all of our solicitors work on a no win no fee basis. No win no fee put simply, means that there are no upfront costs to pay, or any costs during the claiming process, and if the solicitor is unsuccessful in securing you compensation, there are no costs to pay your legal team.
The only time we expect our costs to be paid is if we are successful in winning your compensation for you, and this is paid as a one time payment taken as a small percentage, no more than 25%, of the final settlement amount therefore not having any impact negatively on your current finances. No win no fee gives anyone who has been injured due to someone else’s negligence the opportunity to hire a personal injury solicitor to claim for the compensation they deserve without the worry of financial loss and regardless of their current financial position.
Accident Claims UK have been involved in the personal injury claims industry for a number of years and so have many years of experience of making successful claims. We always aim to get the highest amount of compensation for our clients in regards to what their cases deserve. We work strategically and efficiently to get the best possible outcome in a timely manner whilst keeping our clients informed every step of the way. We are honest, reliable and client focused giving great customer service. We really feel that we offer a fantastic, successful service, with our great customer service, expert and experienced solicitors and no win no fee policy.
If you would like to discuss making a claim for deafness compensation, all you need to do is call us at Accident Claims UK on 0800 073 8801 and we will take it from there. We offer a free consultation session where we can discover the details of your case and determine if you have a legitimate claim, and you can also use this as an opportunity to find out more about the claiming process, the service we offer and what the next steps will be. You really have nothing to lose.
This shows some statistics regarding compensation claims made by mineworkers for noise induced hearing loss.
This is another of our guides regarding making an accident at work claim.
Another of our guides which explains in detail how you can make a claim for loss of earnings due to your injury.
Article by KH
Edited by Mel.