Legal Advice on Hearing Loss Claims
Gathering evidence to make a hearing loss claim
The first part of a successful compensation claim for hearing loss will entail demonstrating that your hearing has indeed been damaged. This will be done by medical tests and examinations, and should be quite simple to prove. Demonstrating that it was your employers’ negligence which caused the damage may be a little bit trickier, however, and this is why it’s vital to seek the help of a specialist personal injuries lawyer. They will advise you as to what evidence you should gather, such as your own account, witness reports from other workers and noise level evidence from bodies such as the Health and Safety Executive. It is this evidence which will show what caused the damage to your hearing.
Time limit to making a claim
In most compensation claim cases there is a limit to the time during which you are allowed to launch an injury claim. In the vast majority of cases, the limit in question is three years from the date of the accident taking place, though under very rare circumstances judges may waive this limit, as set out in the Limitation Act 1980.
Many workplace injuries take the form of illnesses which develop over time rather than as the result of one off incidents and may only become apparent many years after you’ve left the job. The rules have been formulated to take this into account, with the time limit being shifted to three years from the date upon which you become aware of the condition.
If your employer has failed to provide a safe working environment then they have been negligent and you have every right to pursue a claim for compensation, through the no win, no fee system.
How your hearing loss compensation is paid
If you work in a noisy environment then your employer has a duty to ensure that this noise doesn’t have a damaging effect upon your hearing. This may mean reducing the decibel level of the noise, providing ear protection, ensuring regular breaks or a combination of all three. If your employer fails to do any of these and, as a result, your hearing is damaged, then they have been neglectful and you have every right to seek compensation.
In cases such as this, however, many people hesitate for fear that a work injury claim will leave their employer out of pocket. In reality, your employer has a legal duty to take out insurance which includes cover for such claims, meaning that it will be the insurer, not your employer, who has to pay any compensation bill.
The amount of compensation you could receive
When hearing loss compensation is calculated there are two factors which have to be taken into account. The first of these is the pain and distress which you have suffered. Clearly, hearing damage of any kind, particularly if accompanied with tinnitus, is a deeply isolating and traumatic event, and the amount paid out will aim to reflect this.
The other factor used when calculating compensation is purely financial, with money being paid to ensure that the negligence won’t leave you out of pocket at all. This means that you should keep all receipts for any expenses generated by the hearing loss, such as special hearing aids or medical treatment, as well as records detailing any drop in your ability to earn a living.