Hearing Loss Compensation Claims
If you suffer from hearing loss at any point in your life, it can lead to a massive change in your lifestyle. You may think it’s simply a symptom of ageing but there are cases where the loss can be attributed to other things like noise exposure in the workplace. In these cases, hearing loss compensation may be required to help you to make adjustments to ease the impact of the hearing loss.
In this guide we’re going to explain some of the causes of hearing loss, how you might be able to make a personal injury claim, and how much compensation a personal injury lawyer might be able to achieve for your suffering.
If you’d like to discuss this right away, our team of specially trained advisers can be contacted on 0800 073 8801 today. If you’d prefer to find out how we could help you with hearing claims first, then please continue reading this useful guide.
Select A Section
- A Guide To Making A Hearing Loss Compensation Claim
- What Is Loss Of Hearing?
- Time Limits To Claim For Noise-Induced-Hearing-Loss NIHL
- Common Causes Of Damage To Your Hearing
- Hearing Loss Symptoms Explained
- When Are Employers Liable For Noise Induced Hearing Loss?
- Workplaces And Employees At Risk Of Hearing Loss
- How Do I Prove I Am Suffering From Noise-Induced Hearing Loss?
- Statistics Highlighting Hearing Loss In The Workplace
- Hearing Loss Compensation Claim Calculator
- What You Could Be Compensated For If You Experienced Hearing Loss
- No Win No Fee Claims For Hearing Loss Compensation
- How Our Team Could Help You Claim Hearing Loss Compensation
- Contact Accident Claims UK
- Support Services And Information If You Have Experienced Hearing Loss
A Guide To Making A Hearing Loss Compensation Claim
Hearing loss can be a gradual process which might take many years to occur. You might think it is impossible to sue for something that happened years ago, but, in fact, it could be possible.
This guide is going provide examples of how your hearing loss could’ve been caused. It will also set out how to prove you’re suffering from hearing loss, why an employer might be responsible and how much compensation you may be able to claim.
In general, to file personal injury claims for hearing loss, you’ll need to show that the person or company you blame owed you a duty of care which they breached, and because of that breach you lost or partially lost your hearing. Our expert advisers will assess your claim, for free, and help you decide whether that is the case, and whether you could claim compensation or not. You could also use our personal injury claims calculator, later in this guide, to work out how much hearing loss compensation you might receive.
This type of claim can be tricky, especially if the defendant denies responsibility. Our accident claims solicitors have the experience, skills and knowledge to be able to prove your claim by using medical evidence and specialists.
What Is Loss Of Hearing?
Hearing loss is sometimes instant but may also happen over a number of years. It can result in reduced hearing in either one or both ears. There are 3 definitions of hearing loss:
- Conductive hearing loss. This affects either the middle or outer ear
- Sensorineural hearing loss which affects the inner ear
- Mixed hearing loss which is combination of both of the above
Generally, hearing loss caused over a long time is not reversible, and a hearing aid will be required to reduce the sound loss. This could be a reason to seek compensation for your suffering.
Time Limits To Claim For Noise-Induced-Hearing-Loss NIHL
Any claims for hearing loss, whether it be partial or permanent, must be made within the personal injury claims time limit. The table below outlines the current UK time limits which must be adhered to.
|Type of Claim||Time Limit|
|Hearing loss claim in adults.||3 years from the date of the loss or from the date a doctor diagnosed the condition.|
|Hearing loss in children.||Up until their 18th birthday, a parent can claim on their behalf. The child has 3 years from their 18th birthday otherwise.|
Don’t leave claiming until the last minute though. Your personal injury solicitor will require time to prepare your case. This can take a while especially in cases where evidence needs to be gathered where the hearing loss was caused many years ago. If a claim is made after the hearing loss claim time limit, it won’t be accepted by the defendant’s insurer or solicitor so please don’t delay beginning your claim.
Common Causes Of Damage To Your Hearing
There are many different causes of hearing loss. Some can result in a compensation claim if they were caused by somebody else’s negligence whereas hearing loss occurring naturally wouldn’t be eligible for a claim.
Common Causes of Hearing Loss
- Age-related: Also known as presbycusis, age-related hearing loss is caused by damage (wear and tear) to the sensory cells in the cochlea (inside the inner ear). It can also be caused by genetic factors
- Genetic hearing loss: Approximately 1 in 1,600 children are born moderately deaf because they have inherited a mutated gene from a parent. The mutated gene may or may not cause deafness in the child depending on whether it is recessive or dominant so a child could become a carrier of the gene but not affected by deafness. They could, however. pass on the gene to their children in the future
- Noise-induced deafness: This type of deafness can take many years to become apparent. It is caused by exposure, over a long period, to excessively loud noises. This might be due to noisy working environments, loud explosions or listening to loud music. One of the first symptoms that cause people to suspect noise-induced deafness is tinnitus
- Ototoxic Medicines: Some medicines, either over the counter or prescription, can damage the inner ear. If you suffer hearing loss while taking medication, seek advice from a doctor to see if it’s related
- Acoustic Neuroma: This is a benign tumour that presses on the nerve that affects hearing. It takes many years to develop and usually affects people in the 30 – 60 years age range. It can affect hearing and balance but can be removed fully and shouldn’t return
- Sudden loss of hearing: While some deafness is caused by long-term exposure to noise, in other cases it can happen instantly. Cases include trauma, infections, wax, Meniere’s disease, ototoxic drugs and neuromas. It’s important to speak to a specialist if you suffer loss of hearing suddenly in one or both of the ears
Claiming for Hearing Loss Compensation
Obviously, it wouldn’t be possible to claim hearing loss compensation for all of the cases listed above but there are some, such as noise-induced hearing loss which may be possible if somebody else was responsible and didn’t take steps to prevent your suffering. We’ll cover this in more detail later in this guide.
Hearing Loss Symptoms Explained
Here are some common signs that you’re suffering from general hearing loss:
- You find it hard to understand what other people are saying to you, particularly in noisy places
- The volume on your radio or television is set higher that it used to be
- When you have to ask others to repeat what they say all of the time
- You struggle to keep up with a conversation
- People on the phone are difficult to hear
- You’re stressed or tired because you have to continually concentrate when listening
You might be suffering from reduced hearing in one ear if:
- You find it difficult to separate different sounds
- It’s hard to tell where a sound is coming from
- You find speech isn’t clear
- Everything seems quitter than usual
If you suspect that you’re suffering from hearing loss, you should seek medical assessment immediately. Speak to your GP first because they might refer you to an ear, nose and throat specialist for further tests.
If you suspect your hearing loss is linked to a lack of preventative measures in your workplace, even if that was many years ago, we could help you begin a claim. Call our team on the number at the top of this page to receive a free assessment of your claim to help decide whether you could seek compensation or not.
When Are Employers Liable For Noise Induced Hearing Loss?
In normal workplace accident claims, the main legislation used is the Health and Safety at Work act 1974. This puts a duty of care on employers to protect staff while at work. However, in hearing loss compensation claims, another piece of legislation can be used. The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 was designed to protect employees “against risk to their health and safety arising from exposure to noise at work”.
This means that your employer should assess the level of noise involved in your work and make changes, where possible, to mitigate the risk of hearing loss. These changes could include:
- Shortening the amount of time spent on tasks involving a lot of noise
- Replacing machinery with quieter equipment if possible
- Providing staff with ear defenders, ear plugs or other personal protective equipment
- Using soundproofing barriers or materials to absorb sound
If they haven’t made any changes, despite the risks being highlighted to them, your employer could be claimed against if their lack of action has caused you to suffer from noise induced hearing loss.
Workplaces And Employees At Risk Of Hearing Loss
According to statistics released by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), there were over 23,000 employees with hearing problem caused by work between 2015 and 2018. The statistics also show a that the number of new claims each year is going down.
There are some industries and workplaces where noise induced hearing loss is more common due to the types of equipment used. These include:
- Factories (and mills)
- The textile industry
- Ship building yards
- Engineering and construction
- Power stations
- Quarries and stone cutters
- Steel workers
Some of the noisy equipment which can cause hearing loss include:
- Jack hammers
- Drills, saws and grinders
- Pneumatic tools and presses
- Looms and weavers
- Compressors and similar equipment
As mentioned in the previous section, your employer might be liable for your hearing loss if they’ve not taken steps to reduce your exposure to the loud noises, especially if you were exposed to it over a long period.
How Do I Prove I Am Suffering From Noise-Induced Hearing Loss?
Because hearing loss doesn’t always show physical symptoms, it can be difficult to prove the level of suffering when making a compensation claim. This could result in a compensation offer not being made, or for a lower amount than should’ve been achieved.
To prove a hearing loss compensation claim, you’ll usually need to be assessed by an audiologist to determine level of hearing loss.
The audiologist will assess your hearing by conducting tests, in a clinical environment, which produces and audiogram graph. This graph shows the level of hearing, at different frequencies, in both ears. Because the test relies on the claimant’s responses, the audiologist will repeat the test at different frequencies to ensure the results are consistent. In some cases, re-tests may be taken as a further measure of consistency.
Once the audiogram has been produced, it might be referred to a specialist consultant who can determine what level of hearing loss has occurred. This will usually be a result that covers both ears and will explain if the loss can be attributed to workplace noise or other factors.
As you can see, proving hearing loss can be complex and might result in objections from the defendant or their insurer. That’s why it’s vital to have a medical claims solicitor on your side to ensure your evidence is sound and to have the understanding to allow them to handle any such objections.
Statistics Highlighting Hearing Loss In The Workplace
According to statistics released by the hearing charity, Action on Hearing Loss, over 10 million people in the UK suffer from some form of deafness or hearing loss. Over 3.7 million of those are in the working age category (age 16 to 65).
According to the HSE, while there were nearly 1400 new claims for work-related deafness over the past 10 years, only 10 were made by women which is less than 1% of all of the claims.
The problem with the statistics could be that some people don’t ever attribute their deafness to the workplace and think that it’s just a part of getting older.
Hearing Loss Compensation Claim Calculator
To help you understand what amount of compensation you might be entitled to, we’ve provided the deafness compensation calculator table below:
|What Injury?||Severity||Payment Range||Notes|
|Total Deafness with loss of speech||Up to £123,310||Includes cases where deafness occurred early in life affecting the development of speech.|
|Total Deafness||Up to £96,150||At the higher end of this bracket, the claimant will be affected by speech deficit and tinnitus.|
|Total Loss of hearing in one ear||Up to £39,940||At the higher end of this bracket, the claimant will suffer with headaches, dizziness and tinnitus.|
|Partial loss with or without Tinnitus||Severe||Up to £39,940||Severe tinnitus and noise induced hearing loss (NIHL).|
|Moderate||Up to £26,040||Moderate tinnitus with NIHL or severe tinnitus or NIHL on their own.|
|Mild||Up to £13,080||Mild tinnitus and some NIHL.|
|Slight||Up to £11,040||Occasional or slight NIHL with slight Tinnitus|
The amount of hearing loss compensation you’ll receive will be determined by the severity of the loss, which is why using a specialist personal injury solicitor is recommended. They can use their knowledge and experience to ensure your case is presented properly and the evidence they supply supports your claim.
What You Could Be Compensated For If You Experienced Hearing Loss
When you make a hearing loss compensation claim, there are a number of different elements to the claim when it comes to the compensation you could receive which your solicitor can use. These include:
- General damages: This is compensation for the pain and suffering caused by your hearing loss. Figures in this category are shown in the table in the previous section of this guide
- Loss of earnings: If you need to take time off from work, because of your hearing loss, you could seek compensation for lost income. If your suffering means you need to stop working altogether or change jobs, you could seek damages to include future lost income too
- Care costs: When you require help while recovering or adjusting, you could claim the cost of any professional care that’s required.
- Medical costs: If you need any prescription medicine or over the counter medication, then you could seek to claim the costs back
- Travel expenses: If you need to visit a doctor or hearing specialist regularly for assessment or treatment, you might want to claim back the travel costs involved
The financial parts of your claim are known as special damages. You should keep receipts or bank statements to prove the expense. You’ll also need to explain how they were linked to your hearing loss.
The general damages part of your claim will require medical evidence, as explained earlier in this guide, to ensure you’re categorised correctly. Failure to provide suitable evidence could mean you receive less compensation than you’re entitled to so it’s important work with a personal injury solicitor who will ensure the right evidence is provided to support your claim.
No Win No Fee Claims For Hearing Loss Compensation
You’ve probably heard of No Win No Fee solicitors over the years, but do you know how they work?
No Win No Fee agreements are frequently called Conditional Fee Agreements. When you sign one with a solicitor it will explain that you don’t have to pay the solicitor unless they are successful, and you receive compensation.
To make things easier, the solicitor’s success fee is automatically deducted from your compensation. This means that you don’t need to find the funds to pay them.
How Our Team Could Help You Claim Hearing Loss Compensation
The team here at Accident Claims UK are professional, friendly and eager to ensure all of our clients receive as much compensation as possible for their suffering. We offer free legal advice about your claim and will answer any questions you might have.
Our panel of solicitors have up to 30 years’ experience handling claims including hearing loss compensation claims. They understand what’s required (and what’s not) to make a successful claim.
We also have a panel of doctors and medical specialists who can be called upon to diagnose exactly how your injuries affected. These reports could be used to ensure you receive the correct level of compensation.
Contact Accident Claims UK
If you’re ready to begin you hearing loss compensation claim today, then you can contact Accident Claims UK by:
- Calling our team of friendly advisors on 0800 073 8801
- Using our online chat facility, 7 days a week
- Filling in our online accident claim form. We’ll call you back when it’s convenient
- Or you can email email@example.com
Support Services And Information If You Have Experienced Hearing Loss
Now that you’ve reached the end of this guide about hearing loss compensation, we’ve added some more useful guides, articles and links below.
Action on Hearing Loss – A charity that has helped many people with hearing loss symptoms since the early 1900s.
NHS Hearing Loss – A guide from the NHS about the causes and symptoms of hearing loss.
Hearing Aids – This guide from the NHS provides information about the different types of hearing aid that are available.
Factory Accident Claims – This guide covers accidents and injuries sustained while working in factory, including hearing loss.
If you have any further questions, or require any further advice, please get in touch with our specially trained advisors. Our aim is to ensure you receive the right level of compensation for your suffering.
Article by BH (Brett)