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Noise-Induced Hearing Loss – A Guide to Claiming Compensation

If you work in an environment where you’re exposed to high noise levels for long periods, your employer has a legal obligation to try and protect you. Failure to do so could result in Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) and you might be entitled to claim compensation for your suffering. Therefore, in this guide, we answer some common queries about claiming compensation for noise-induced hearing loss at work and how compensation claims are settled.

For additional support, we offer a no-obligation initial consultation. During your call, one of our specialists will provide free legal advice about your hearing loss claim and assess whether you have a fair chance of winning a personal injury claim. If you do, we could partner you with one of our specialist solicitors. Should you both agree to proceed with a claim, your solicitor will work on a No Win, No Fee basis.

Should you want to discuss an NIHL compensation claim with one of our specialists, you can:

Getting legal advice as soon as possible after being diagnosed with NIHL can significantly enhance the chances of receiving compensation for the pain, suffering, and financial losses you’ve incurred due to your condition.

When Can Noise-Induced Hearing Loss Claims Be Made?

As you might be aware, the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 places a duty of care on your employer to try and protect your well-being. Additionally, the Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 exists to try and prevent staff who work in noisy environments from losing their hearing or suffering from tinnitus by setting limits on noise levels.

Some of the ways employers can reduce the risk of noise-induced hearing loss in the workplace include:

  • Consider the volume levels before purchasing new equipment or machinery.
  • Place noisy machinery in areas where no or few staff operate.
  • Use insulation around noisy machinery that cannot be moved.
  • Install acoustic screens, soundproof panels and anti-vibration mountings where noise levels cannot be reduced.
  • Provide staff with hearing protection (ear muffs or ear plugs) if working in areas where noise levels exceed 85dB(A).
  • Reduce the amount of time staff work in noisy areas.
  • Train staff on working safely in noisy conditions.

Failure to try and reduce your exposure to excessive noise could allow you to claim compensation for any subsequent hearing loss. The criteria you’ll need to prove if you do decide to start a personal injury claim for hearing loss are:

  • Your employer owed you a legal duty of care; and
  • That duty was breached or ignored; and
  • You have been diagnosed with NIHL in the last three years which can be linked to that negligence.

It’s not always obvious whether you have a valid noise-induced hearing loss at work claim so please contact our team and let one of our specialists review your case for free.

What Type of NIHL Claims Can We Help With?

We can potentially help claim noise-induced hearing loss compensation if you’ve been diagnosed with any of the following:

  • Complete deafness in one or both ears.
  • Partial deafness in one or both ears.
  • Tinnitus in one or both ears. Tinnitus is when you hear ringing, buzzing, humming, throbbing or whooshing in your ears.

You could be entitled to compensation for NIHL symptoms that are temporary or will affect you for the rest of your life. Please get in touch if you’d like more information about the noise-induced hearing loss claims process.

What Should I Do If I’m Suffering Noise-Induced Hearing Loss at Work?

If you are worried that your working conditions might be having a detrimental effect on your hearing, you could:

  • Put your concerns in writing to your employer.
  • Ask for the way you work to be changed or to be reviewed by an occupational health professional.
  • Visit your GP who might refer you for specialist hearing tests.
  • Ask for ear defenders or other forms of PPE.

If your employer fails to act upon your concerns or requests, they could be deemed negligent. As such, you might then be entitled to compensation for workplace hearing loss.

What Evidence Can Be Used to Prove NIHL Compensation Claims?

Proving a noise-induced hearing loss claim can be quite complex because there aren’t usually any visible signs of injury. However, if you are to be compensated you’ll need to prove how you’ve suffered and why your employer was to blame.

The types of evidence that could make your NIHL claim stronger include:

  • A copy of your medical records and hearing tests to confirm your diagnosis.
  • Copies of any correspondence you sent or received from your employer regarding your working conditions.
  • Witness statements from your colleagues to confirm your working conditions.
  • A copy of a report from an occupational health specialist including noise level test reports.

Our advisors are happy to check your case for free and advise if there’s enough evidence to make a work-related hearing loss claim so please give them a call today.

How Long Do I Have to Make a Noise-Induced Hearing Loss Claim?

Usually, if you make a personal injury claim against your employer, you’ll have 3 years to do so from the date that you were injured. However, noise-induced hearing loss at work can take many years to develop after prolonged exposure to high noise levels.

Therefore, as per the Limitation Act 1980, the time limit for NIHL claims begins from your date of knowledge rather than the date of any accident. This means you will typically have 3 years from the date your hearing loss was diagnosed to begin your claim.

It’s usually a good idea to begin the claims process as soon as you can after your hearing loss has been diagnosed. That’s because your solicitor will need time to review your employment history and gather evidence before the claim is filed.

employee with NIHL background

You can start the process of claiming compensation for NIHL with a completely free consultation.

Our solicitors, with 30+ years of experience, provide a 100% No Win, No Fee service, giving claimants a risk-free option to pursue the compensation they deserve.

Start a Claim

Or call now on 0333 241 2519 to speak to a specialist solicitor.

What Compensation Can I Claim for Noise-Induced Hearing Loss?

If you successfully sue your employer for noise-induced hearing loss at work, the compensation you’re awarded will usually be made up of:

  • General damages – for any pain, suffering or loss of amenity caused by your hearing loss.
  • Special damages – for any monetary losses incurred because of your hearing problems.

To try and ensure you receive the right level of compensation, your solicitor will try to get a full understanding of how your hearing loss has affected you. This will involve obtaining copies of your medical records as independent reports from hearing specialists.

Once this evidence has been gathered, your solicitor will compare your suffering with compensation brackets listed in the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) to help value your claim. Our noise-induced hearing loss compensation table below uses some guideline figures for reference. Please bear in mind, though, that the amounts listed cannot be guaranteed.

  • Slight NIHL or tinnitus only: Up to £7,010 compensation.
  • Slight tinnitus with slight NIHL: £7,360 to £12,590.
  • Mild tinnitus or NIHL only: Around £11,720.
  • Mild tinnitus with some loss of hearing: £12,590 to £14,000.
  • Moderate tinnitus and hearing loss, or moderate to severe tinnitus on its own: £14,900 to £29,710.
  • Total hearing loss in one ear: £31,310 to £45,540.
  • Complete hearing loss: £90,750 to £109,650.

If you have lost out financially because of your hearing loss, you could receive special damages for:

  • Lost income.
  • Medical expenses.
  • The cost of hearing aids.
  • Future loss of earnings.
  • Support and care costs.

If you’d like us to take a look at your chances of making a successful noise-induced hearing loss claim, please feel free to speak to one of our advisors today.

Will I Be Fired If I Claim Compensation for NIHL Against My Employer

It’s important to understand that your employer cannot legally fire you if you make a personal injury claim for noise-induced hearing loss at work against them. Similarly, they cannot pick on you, demote you, discipline you or treat you any differently so long as your claim is for a genuine reason.

Therefore, please get in touch with our team if you believe your hearing loss has been caused by your employer’s negligence.

Can I Claim For Hearing Loss Caused By an Old Employer?

It can take many years for noise-induced hearing loss claims to begin as many people don’t realise there’s a problem until many years after exposure to loud noises. Therefore, it’s quite possible that you no longer work for the employer whose negligence has caused your suffering.

However, that won’t stop you from beginning an NIHL claim. If your case is taken on by one of our solicitors, they’ll work hard to get a full employment history to try and ascertain who is liable for your suffering.

If you’d like to find out more, please call the number above and let us review your claim for free.

How Is Liability Determined for Work-Related NIHL?

At the start of your claim, your solicitor will contact your employer in writing and explain that you’re going to begin a claim against them. That initial letter of notification will be followed by a more detailed letter explaining how you’ve suffered and why you believe your employer is responsible.

At this point, your employer and their insurer will decide whether to accept liability for your hearing loss or contest it. If it is contested, both parties will need to present evidence within the allowable timeframes to explain their case.

Once liability has been determined, the claim will either be settled, dismissed or go to court. We discuss that in more detail next.

Do I Need a Specialist Solicitor For a Noise-Induced Hearing Loss Claim?

Anyone can manage a personal injury claim against their employer themselves. While that is true, the process for making noise-induced hearing loss claims will often be complex and can involve a lot of legal or medical jargon. Taking on a specialist solicitor could make the claims process a lot easier and might improve your chances of being compensated fairly.

If you work with one of our solicitors, they will:

  • Try to ensure that you have all of the evidence needed to prove your case.
  • File your claim correctly and on time.
  • Fight your corner and attempt to counter any objections raised by your employer’s insurers.
  • Send you regular updates about how your claim is progressing.
  • Aim to secure the correct level of compensation to cover your suffering.

As our solicitors use a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) for hearing loss claims, you’ll benefit from a No Win, No Fee service.

The CFA means that there are no upfront payments required for your solicitor’s work and you’ll only need to pay their success fee if the claim is won.

To see if we could appoint a No Win, No Fee solicitor to your case, please give us a call today.

How Long Do NIHL Compensation Claims Take?

The time taken for work-related hearing loss claims to be settled can vary from case to case.

For example, if you suffered temporary tinnitus but have now fully recovered, your claim could be paid out in less than 6 months so long as your employer accepts liability for your suffering.

However, more complex cases can take beyond a year if it’s not yet fully clear whether you’ll make a full recovery or if NIHL will affect you for the rest of your life.

To check how long your claim may take, please feel free to discuss your case with one of our specialists.

Will My Claim Go to Court?

In our experience, only a small percentage of NIHL claims go to court. Generally, that’s because solicitors and insurers will try to settle the claim out of court to avoid the extra time and costs involved. Usually, claims will only need to be decided by a court if liability or the amount of compensation you’ll receive cannot be agreed upon.

Contacting Us About a Noise-Induced Hearing Loss Claim

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with NIHL and would like to clarify what options you have, you can:

  • Call 0333 241 2519 to speak with one of our specialists.
  • Use our live chat service to post any questions.

We’ll provide no-obligation legal advice in a completely free initial consultation to discuss your case. If your claim appears to be feasible, we could connect you with one of our specialist solicitors who’ll work on a No Win, No Fee basis if your noise-induced hearing loss claim is taken on.

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