There are various forms of tinnitus from temporary buzzing in your ear to what is known as industrial deafness. If this type of injury occurs in the workplace, then you may well be able to seek compensation from your employer.
Many people fail to realise that tinnitus is something which can emerge days, weeks, months or even years down the line. It is not generally part of the “ageing process”, and many cases are traced back to the working environment.
Unless you have suffered from tinnitus, it is difficult to explain the impact this can have on every area of your life. Those who have suffered long-term tinnitus often described a constant buzzing in the ear or loud ringing.
This can stop them sleeping, concentrating and lead to an array of physical and mental issues in later life.
So, if you recognise the symptoms of tinnitus and believe they may have occurred in the workplace, it is advisable to approach a claims management company.
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This is a hearing issue that occurs as a consequence of exposure to periodic loud bangs or constant noise levels which are damaging to your hearing. The symptoms can range from a temporary buzzing in your ear to persistent high pitched ringing or in some cases, industrial deafness.
The vast majority of cases will be temporary, but unfortunately, some may last years and flare up on occasion.
The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 is just one of many pieces of legislation placed on the statute books to protect employees. These acts place upon employers a legal liability to ensure the physical and mental well-being of their employees.
This includes the provision of PPE/safety equipment which in this scenario would protect an employee from potentially damaging levels of noise.
No. It is illegal for your employer to make you pay, as an employee, for PPE/safety equipment required to protect your well-being. In this instance, we are talking about adequate noise protection equipment to protect your hearing.
If you believe that the PPE/safety equipment provided is substandard, then you must report this as soon as possible as this is a form of negligence.
There is a general misconception that if an employee believes they are partially liable for the development of tinnitus, then they are unable to pursue compensation. If this is the case, you might find that the courts believe that your employer may also have been partially liable by not providing the relevant training, disciplinary procedures, etc.
There may be occasions where the employee is held fully responsible for not following company guidelines, but it is certainly worth taking advice.
The first thing to do is collate as much evidence as possible to highlight negligence on behalf of your employer - which led to the development of tinnitus. It is worth noting that it might be weeks, months or years down the line before tinnitus emerges. You may already have left the workplace.
The type of evidence required would include:-
As this can be a relatively complex procedure, it is sensible to approach a claims management company about making a compensation claim for industrial disease.
If you were paying legal fees and costs yourself, this could run into tens of thousands of pounds depending on the type of claim and the duration. Thankfully, many claims management companies will offer a “no win no fee” arrangement if, after reviewing your evidence, they believe you have a minimum 60% chance of success.
This effectively removes your liability to cover their costs when pursuing your case. In exchange, the claims management company will negotiate what is known as a “success fee”.
A success fee is an arrangement whereby the claims management company would receive an element of any compensation awarded. The average level is around 25%, although this can vary depending on the type of complaint, level of compensation and duration of the case.
It is also worth noting that where successful, your claims management company will likely be able to reclaim its expenses from the defendant. However, taking on your claim is a risk that is partially balanced by the “success fee” agreement.
Assuming you are able to prove negligence on behalf of your employer and pursue compensation, there are two elements to consider, general damages and special damages. General damages relate to compensation for your pain and suffering as a consequence of developing tinnitus.
Special damages cover expenses relating to the injury, future funding requirements and other elements such as potential loss of earnings. The level of general damages is defined in a range which takes into account the severity of the injury, while there is no limit on the level of special damages.
In theory, there is nothing stopping you from pursuing your own compensation claim although even the most “straightforward” of claims can become complicated. History shows that claims management companies are generally able to negotiate significantly higher rates of compensation compared to individuals pursuing their own claim.
The fact that the vast majority of industrial disease compensation claims are settled out of court further highlights the skills of a claims management company.
Those who have suffered from industrial diseases such as tinnitus, which have a huge impact on hearing, concentration and general standards of living may well be entitled to compensation if their employer has been negligent.
It is important to take advice as soon as you receive the diagnosis. Also bear in mind that the three-year window of opportunity begins on the date of the diagnosis, not when the injury/medical condition occurred or began to develop.
Here at Money Savings Advice, we have partnered with some of the UK’s leading Industrial illness Claims management companies. They have already helped thousands of people claim compensation for injuries & illnesses they have incurred, and they can do the same for you.
Choosing an independent claims management company means they won’t proceed with a claim unless they are sure it is in your best interests. They are also regulated by the FCA, which gives you an additional layer of protection.
If you would like to speak to one of these claim management companies who can help you make a compensation claim, then click on the below and answer the very simple questions.
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