If an ear injury has set you back, we'll help you move forward
If you have been affected by amn ear injury, we can help. If your injuries were caused by someone else's actions or negligence, you may be entitled to claim compensation.
You can make a compensation claim with the help and support of a personal injury solicitor.
In this article
Ear injuries may be broadly categorised into visible damage to the outside of the ear and damage to the inside of the ear - the middle and inner ear.
Outer ear damage
Outer ear damage may be a consequence of aggressive contact, either through sports such as boxing, wrestling and rugby, or through assault. Direct blows to the ear cause blood clots to form under the skin, or the ear's skin to be stripped from the cartilage, creating the condition known as "cauliflower ear".
The outer ear may also be damaged through thermal injuries such as burns or frostbite.
When negligence occurs in cosmetic ear surgery (otoplasty), a patient may be left with scarring and blood clots to the outer ear, or an asymmetric appearance to the ears.
Middle and inner ear damage
Middle and inner ear damage may be caused by traumas sustained through sporting activity, work or road traffic accidents.
When a person sustains a blow to the side of the head, air pressure inside the ear canal may increase causing the eardrum to rupture (perforate) or the ossicles (tiny bones that transmit sound) to be disrupted. Excessively loud or repetitive noise may also have the same effect.
Dramatic changes in atmospheric pressure - for instance when diving into deep water, or sky-diving - cause the Eustachian tubes to compress, preventing air from entering the middle ear to compensate for the pressure change. This may cause the eardrum to perforate.
Maintaining negative pressure within the middle ear for a prolonged period may cause fluid to be drawn into the ear.
Foreign objects are also a source of middle/inner ear damage. As well as implements inserted into the ear canal, cold water, spray and wind gushing in and out of the ear may bring about a chronic condition known as "surfer's ear". Hearing loss is sustained when tiny bone growths occur within the ear canal.
Am I entitled to make an ear injury claim?
If you've been injured or diagnosed with an illness in the last three years and it wasn't your fault, you will be able to claim compensation.
Use our injury claim calculator to find out if you can claim. Or you can call 0800 376 1001 to speak to a specialist advisor. Find out in minutes if you have a claim.
What if the accident was partly my fault?
Attributing blame for an accident isn't always clear-cut.
In our 2023 Personal Injury Claimant Survey, we found that 13.99% of respondents felt they had at least some responsibility for the injuries they sustained.
Claiming compensation is still an option even if you were partly at fault. These contributory negligence cases are typically resolved with a split-liability agreement.
How long do I have to make an ear injury claim?
An injury claim will usually need to be made within 3 years of the date or your accident or injury.
For injured children, a claim can be started by a parent or guardian at any time before they turn 18. Thereafter, the injured individual has until their 21st birthday to make a claim on their own.
How much compensation can I claim for an ear injury?
The amount of money you could claim for your injury will depend on:
- the seriousness of your injury, and
- any financial losses or costs you have incurred.
At the start of your claim, your solicitor will consider the many ways your injuries have affected your life. Your solicitor will take these considerations into account to calculate the correct compensation award.
Get an accurate compensation estimate (including for multiple injuries), confirm your legal position, and check if you have a No Win, No Fee claim.
Updated December 2023
Compensation Calculator v3.04
General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA).
Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.
Special damages are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred because of your accident. In addition to paying for loss of earnings (including future anticipated earnings loss), retraining costs, career trajectory impact, special damages can cover any care costs and medical procedures you need, such as pain medication, cleaning the wound, antibiotics and surgical repair.
Average ear injury general damages compensation
The following ear injury payouts refer to the Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases, Sixteenth Edition by the Judicial College.These tables are used by solicitors or by the courts as a starting point when calculating your compensation.
Please note: these average figures represent general damages only, and do not include any element of special damages (e.g. lost wages).
|Hearing loss||Minor||Minor deafness or tinnitus||Up to £6,370|
|Hearing loss||Moderate||Moderate deafness or tinnitus||£11,450 to £13,550|
|Hearing loss||Serious||Total loss in one ear||£28,460 to £41,400|
|Hearing loss||Serious||Serious deafness or tinnitus||£13,550 to £27,010|
|Hearing loss||Severe||Severe deafness or tinnitus||£27,010 to £41,400|
|Hearing loss||Very Severe||Total deafness||£82,500 to £99,680|
Can I claim compensation for a psychological injury?
Psychiatric harm is less obvious than physical injury, but the consequences can be just as difficult to deal with.
According to our 2023 Personal Injury Claimant Survey shows that 29.03% of potential claimants sustained a psychological injury, 70.97% of which related to a physical injury.
Ear injuries can cause concerns social anxiety (social phobia) about hearing loss and the possible impact on social interactions and communication.
A specialist solicitor will consider psychological harm when calculating your compensation. Psychiatric injuries are recognised in the official guidelines for compensation, and the cost of treatment and other mental health support should be included in your compensation award or settlement.
Our compensation calculator can estimate your compensation for psychological injuries. Or you can call us on 0800 376 1001 to speak to a specialist advisor.
The claims process for an ear injury will depend on where and how the accident happened. Click the icons below for more information:
How we can help you with your injury claim
Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, and the highly-experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning injury claims.
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Chris Salmon, Director
About the author
Chris Salmon is a co-founder and Director of Quittance Legal Services. Chris has played key roles in the shaping and scaling of a number of legal services brands and is a regular commentator in the legal press.