Hearing loss affects the lives of thousands of people in the UK, and while most experience this condition as a result of natural causes, such as old age, there are those who are affected as a result of negligence that could have been avoided.
Noise-induced hearing loss is an industrial disease that typically occurs in loud workplaces in which an employer failed in their duty of care. Noise-induced hearing loss can have life-changing effects such as a loss of hearing, extended periods of time off work and a negative change on the individual’s quality of life.
If you have suffered from noise-induced hearing loss in the workplace as a result of a negligent employer, you may be entitled to make a noise-induced hearing loss claim.
Signs of hearing loss
There are various common symptoms of noise-induced hearing loss that may indicate the condition, including the following:
· Tinnitus – One of the early warning signs of hearing loss is tinnitus. This is a buzzing or ringing sound in the ear that continues for an extended period of time.
· Temporary deafness – Temporary deafness typically follows tinnitus. This can nullify sounds and make it much harder to understand conversations.
· Permanent hearing loss – Permanent hearing loss happens over time, normally following a slow deterioration of hearing ability. This can range from partial deafness in one ear to complete deafness.
· Sudden hearing loss – Sudden hearing loss, otherwise known as acoustic trauma, is caused by a sudden isolated loud noise. The severity of this condition can vary dramatically and depends on how quickly you receive treatment to limit permanent damage.
If you have experienced any symptoms listed above, you should consult a medical professional immediately in order to assess your hearing loss by completing a hearing test, determine its severity and receive any treatment that is required, like a hearing aid.
It is essential to do this as soon as possible as the permanent damage to your hearing could worsen the longer it is left untreated.
Employers’ duty of care
The majority of noise-induced hearing loss claims are connected with high levels of noise in the workplace, especially in industries such as construction and factories. Even though most noise in these workplaces is unavoidable, employers are required by law to make sure that noise levels are safe in terms of repeated exposure.
Employers must do everything they can to protect their employees from exposure to loud noises to reduce the risk of noise-induced hearing loss, and they should ensure that protective measures are put in place. These measures can include soundproofing rooms, providing personal ear protection equipment like earmuffs or investing in reduced-noise equipment.
If your employer has failed to put these measures into place, which lead you to suffer hearing loss, you may be eligible to make an occupational deafness claim for compensation through their insurance company, as they are legally responsible for your injuries.
Time limits for making noise-induced hearing loss claims
The law on time limits for noise-induced hearing loss claims is similar to most other personal injury claims. The general rule is that you have three years from the date on which you realised your hearing loss was associated with noise in your workplace.
The three-year time limit for claiming compensation does not apply to those under 18; however, it will come into effect after their 18th birthday. There is also no time limit for individuals that lack the mental capacity to make a claim themselves.
How are noise-induced hearing loss claims calculated?
It can be difficult to determine the exact amount of compensation you will receive from the outset of your case. All noise-induced hearing loss claims are unique; therefore, there is no set amount of compensation. A personal injury claim is made up of two areas, general damages and special damages.
General damages refer to the compensation you will receive for your pain, suffering and loss of amenity. These damages take the severity of your illness into consideration, as the more severe your hearing loss is due to negligence, the higher the compensation levels are likely to be. General damages also cover any costs you have incurred as a direct result of your hearing loss.
Special damages cover the financial impact the negligence has had. This includes loss of earnings which will depend on the severity of your injuries and the type of job that you do. Special damages also cover any care and assistance that you may require, such as training for sign language, travel expenses, hearing aids, home adaptations and medical expenses.
If the defendant admits liability for your case, you may also be able to receive an interim payment, meaning that you could receive a part-payment of compensation during litigation. These payments are made by the other side before a case is settled in order to aid you to fund a number of vital things, such as assistance in daily living or urgent medical care.
If your family, friends or others have been required to provide you with additional care due to your injuries, then they may also be eligible to receive compensation for their time.
How much do noise-induced hearing loss compensation claims cost?
We will always be 100% transparent about what our charges are; if we take on your case, we will almost always do so on a no win no fee basis (also known as a conditional agreement).
This means that if you do not win your case, you do not pay us any fees at all. If we win the case, we take a small percentage of your compensation, which we will agree with you beforehand, to cover our costs.
We will never ask you to sign anything until you are completely happy with what it is that we are proposing.
For more information on your claim, please contact Wildwood Legal to get in touch with one of our medical negligence teams today.
How can Wildwood Legal assist?
At Wildwood Legal, our core strength is in personal injury claims. We are experienced in helping Claimants make accident at work claims. We aim to give you not only quality aid but flexibility and clarity as we know that these qualities are just as important. The law relating to accidents at work is complicated and can be a minefield for the unwary. We will guide you professionally through every step of the journey and make sure that your injury at work claim is presented in the best possible way to ensure maximum possible injury compensation.
We value the opinion of our clients. We will always listen to you and take on board what you say. With 25 years of experience in personal injury law, we can help you with your industrial deafness claim. We always strive to put you at ease and explain the process clearly.
Our aim is to obtain a great outcome for your case, we value the opinion of our clients, and we will always listen to you and take on board what you say. Most importantly, we are on your side.
Our law firm is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority; therefore, we provide everything that is needed to meet their high standards, meaning that we are a trusted law firm. Our legal services are registered in England and Wales and have registered offices in Harrogate and London. To make an enquiry in order to start a claim, get in contact with us either email us email@example.com or call us 01423 209 046
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