£16,574 awarded to Claimant suffering from tinnitus
Compensation for a tinnitus injury claim of £16,574.68. was awarded in 2011 to a 55 year old man for injuries arising out of a whiplash injury.
The male Claimant was aged 51 at the date of the accident. He sustained injuries when his car was hit by another vehicle which had been clipped by the car in front of him. This caused the vehicle to spin.
The claimant went to the local Accident and Emergency Department and was prescribed painkillers for whiplash to his neck.
Within a few hours of the accident the Claimant developed tinnitus.
The Claimant described the noise in his right ear to be high pitched. If it woke him he would find it very difficult to get back to sleep and this led to tiredness during the day. He rated the tinnitus as 4 on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the most severe.
Expert evidence was obtained and this confirmed that the Claimant was suffering with moderate to severe tinnitus that would be permanent. At Trial the Claimant advised that he intended to get hearing aids to assist with his hearing.
The whiplash injury to the Claimants neck was severe and on visiting his GP was referred for four sessions of physiotherapy.
As a result of the injury the Claimant's activities were affected; he was unable to go to play golf or go to the gym. He was also unable to enjoy sporting activities with his children whilst on a family holiday.
The Claimant was found to still be suffering with some discomfort six months after the accident. He advised the medical expert that his neck pain had improved by about 75 per cent following physiotherapy. He also advised that he felt the tinnitus was improved by about 50 per cent.
The expert also noted that the Claimant had suffered from travel anxiety following the accident and diagnosed adjustment disorder. He advised that the claimant should recover within 20-24 months of the accident. When the matter went to trial the Claimant confirmed that he had recovered in line with this prognosis. He also confirmed that the whiplash injury had resolved within two years of the accident.
Settlement and conclusion
The matter proceeding to Trial where the Judge awarded general damages of £14,000. This was made up of £10,000 for tinnitus, £4,000 for whiplash injury and adjustment disorder. He also awarded £2,255.95 for the cost of hearing aids and maintenance.