Sometimes referred to as industrial deafness, tinnitus is an extremely uncomfortable medical condition. While many people may develop this in later life, as a consequence of their work many years earlier, you can still claim for compensation.
So, if you are suffering from tinnitus, it is worth taking advice to see whether you have grounds for compensation.
Tinnitus and hearing problems can develop over time due to workplace factors or accidents. If you suffer hearing problems due to unsafe practices at work, you may be able to claim compensation - up to £112,100 for permanent damage.
Until you have experienced tinnitus, it is impossible to realise how life-changing this condition can be. The symptoms will vary from person to person, from a simple buzzing noise to complete deafness.
The majority of cases of tinnitus can be traced back to loud working environments and a lack of PPE/safety equipment.
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The range of symptoms varies from a relatively low level buzzing in your ear to complete deafness. The most common symptoms of tinnitus are high pitched ringing, humming or buzzing in your ears. As you might expect, this can have a huge impact on not only your physical health but also your mental health.
If you’re able to trace back the origins of your tinnitus, then it may well be possible to claim negligence and as a result compensation from your current/previous employer. The fact that it relates to loud working conditions makes it relatively easy to link with activities you may have done in the past.
In years gone by the legal obligations regarding safety equipment (such as headphones) was often non-existent - creating an environment in which tinnitus was fairly common in many industries.
It is worth noting that tinnitus is not exclusive to the working environment and can be brought about if you live in a constantly loud environment. However, the condition is fairly common in business sectors such as:-
The problem with many cases of tinnitus is the fact they may not show until months or even years down the line. As a consequence, we can only estimate the number of perfectly valid tinnitus compensation claims which have not been pursued.
This is one of the many anomalies with tinnitus because with some people it can occur instantly with one loud noise. Others have reported the gradual development of tinnitus over months or even years.
In some people, the development can be so mild over a prolonged period of time they think nothing of it and just assume that they are “getting older”. If you begin to develop periodic deafness or ringing in your ears, it is important to seek medical assistance as soon as possible.
For the vast majority of people, their experience of tinnitus will be relatively mild and short-lived, often between 24 and 48 hours. Others may experience ringing in their areas for weeks and months, but for some people, it can last years.
There is no “cure” as such, although there are different types of medication which can help to reduce the symptoms and the impact on your life. As the condition relates to damage to your inner ear, which is extremely delicate, there are limited if any physical treatments.
If you believe that you developed tinnitus as a consequence of your working activities, and your employer was negligent, then you may have a valid claim for compensation. It is important to gather as much evidence as possible to support your claim - which would be reviewed by a personal injury claims advisor.
This is where things can get a little complicated. There is a three-year window of opportunity in which to lodge your claim. Many people assume that this window of opportunity started when the condition began to develop; this is wrong.
The time limit begins at the point of your first diagnosis, not necessarily your first experience of tinnitus but your first medical diagnosis.
Yes. If you are diagnosed with tinnitus weeks, months or even years down the line, and it can be traced back to your current/previous employment, there is nothing stopping you pursuing a claim for compensation.
One of the problems with tinnitus is the fact that many people will simply put this down to “old age” when it is actually a recognised medical condition.
After you have gathered your evidence, you should approach a claims management company and ask for their opinion regarding your case. If they believe you have a minimum 60% chance of success, they will likely look to take on your case and offer a “no win no fee” arrangement.
This arrangement will include a success fee that entitles your claims management company to a share of your compensation. This is traditionally around 25%, but it can vary.
Claims of tinnitus tend to occur in clusters; therefore if your current/previous colleagues have successfully sued for compensation, then the majority of the hard work may already have been done. In this scenario, it is unlikely that your claim would even reach the courts with an out-of-court settlement the more likely outcome.
In the event that you were asked to appear in court, you would be guided by your claims management representative and reminded that you are not on trial.
The level of compensation awarded will depend upon the severity of your tinnitus. For example, a relatively mild short-term form of tinnitus will attract compensation up to £5590. Those who experience total deafness and an impact on their speech could be awarded compensation between £87,410 and £112,100.
Then we have special damages for the cost incurred, future expenses and potential loss of earnings. This is why it is sensible to take advice - it can get complicated!
Whether suffering short-term tinnitus or long-term deafness as a consequence of your working environment, you should be able to claim compensation. Your employer is obliged to provide the relevant safety/noise prevention equipment, which must be fit for purpose.
If they fail to carry out their duty of care to employees, this could be seen as negligence and open the gates for compensation claims.
Here at Money Savings Advice, we have partnered with some of the UK’s leading Personal Injury Claims management companies. They have already helped thousands of people claim compensation for injuries 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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