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.
What Compensation Value Can I Claim for Tinnitus?
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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What Are the Symptoms of Tinnitus?
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.
On average 20% of people who get injured at work make a compensation claim.
Tinnitus Is Affecting My Sleeping, Can I Claim Compensation?
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.
Which Industries Are at the Greatest Risk of Work-Related Tinnitus?
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:-
- Road maintenance
- Armed Forces
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.
How Long Does Tinnitus Take to Develop?
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.
Is There a Cure for Tinnitus?
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.
Can I Pursue Compensation for Tinnitus?
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.
Is There a Time Limit for Claiming Compensation for Tinnitus?
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.
Can I Claim for Tinnitus Years Down the Line?
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.
How Do I Appoint a Claims Management Representative?
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.
Will I Need to Appear in Court?
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.
How Much Compensation Might I Be Awarded?
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.
Quick Personal Injury FAQs
RIDDOR stands for the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations. This 2013 legislation requires that you report workplace incidents. A report should be made no later than ten days after the occurrence.
Reports are made to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). They should be made by a responsible person such as a supervisor, manager or business owner. Not all incidents need to be reported, though a majority do. You should file a RIDDOR report online.
Even if you’ve claimed compensation and taken your employer to court, they are not legally allowed to dismiss you after an injury. If you can prove that your dismissal is a direct result of your injury, you could be entitled to further compensation to rectify the way you’ve been treated.
Any accidents in the workplace need to be properly recorded. That’s the case whether they happened to you, another member of staff or a customer. Your place of work should have an accident book that they maintain.
Make sure that any accident is recorded in the accident book. The document should be signed by those involved, to show that it’s an accurate record.
It’s always a good idea to report an injury outside of work. Even if you have no intention of claiming any money, reporting an incident means that any oversights won’t go unnoticed for long. Reporting incidents provides those responsible with a chance to set things right, whether they need to make some repairs or change the processes they have in place.
How Can Money Savings Advice Help You With Making a Personal Injury Compensation Claim?
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.