The number of people pursuing compensation claims for noise induced hearing loss or industrial deafness has soared in the recent years, with an estimated 18, 000 individuals currently suffering with noise induced hearing loss due to inadequate working conditions.
Noise induced hearing loss can have a devastating impact on individuals’ lives. The number of people affected by noise induced hearing loss is predicted to grow over the coming years and by 2031 it is estimated 20 percent of the UK population will suffer from the hearing impairment, costing the economy a potential £25 billion loss in medical care and support.
Following this shocking statistic, it is essential that those individuals in ‘at risk’ groups are suitably informed not only of the causes and symptoms, but also of the legal process involved in pursuing a claim. Listed below are five crucial things suffers of noise induced hearing loss should consider when taking legal action.
1) The Cause
Noise induced hearing loss can be caused by a number of things, such as continued exposure to loud noises, or a single deafening sound. Individuals are most likely to be exposed to this when working in an industrial or dynamic environment, placing those who work in industries such as construction as most at risk of developing the condition. Although there is health and safety legislation in place to protect the welfare of workers, some employers still fail to meet the prescribed standards of care, thus exposing their employees to unnecessary risk. Where an employer neglects their duty resulting in the employee sustaining noise induced hearing loss, there may well be grounds to pursue a compensation claim.
Symptoms for noise induced hearing loss are varied. Most commonly those suffering from the condition experience temporary deafness or muffled hearing. However, Tinnitus or hearing a ringing in the ear is also a symptom. Medical records will be used as a basis for your case so suffers should not delay in seeking a formal diagnosis.
3) The Burden of Proof
As with all personal injury claims, a weight of evidence is required to determine the severity of the condition. Initially your GP may conduct the first assessment, thereafter referring you to a specialist who will further assess the damage sustained. The medical evidence acquired will formulate the basis for your negotiations, clearly outlining immediate and future levels of care required.
It must also be proven that the victim developed the condition as a result of an employer’s omission of care, such as failing to provide the correct safety equipment or allowing the noise to go beyond the accepted level. A personal injury solicitor will collate this information on your behalf, arranging for the necessary assessments with the relevant professional bodies.
4) Tracing Your Employer
In the event your employer is no longer trading, a compensation claim can still be made against the company’s insurance provider. The health implications of noise induced hearing loss can be severe and often permanent; so pursuing a claim against your former employer’s insurance provider can ensure you secure the financial support you require to access future medical treatment and support.
5) Technicalities & Restrictions
Personal injury claims are subject to strict statutory time limits, with noise induced hearing loss and industrial disease claims being no different. Sufferers therefore have only three years from the date of diagnosis to pursue a compensation claim. As always, contacting a solicitor at the earliest opportunity can maximise your chance of securing a positive outcome for you and your family.
Here at Farleys Solicitors our personal injury team have a wealth of experience successfully acting on behalf of those who have been affected by noise induced hearing loss and other industrial diseases, helping those that have contracted health problem achieve the optimum settlement. For a free initial consultation or to discuss the basis of your claim contact our personal injury team on 0845 050 1958. Alternatively, please complete an online enquiry form.