Industrial Deafness Compensation Claims
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by industrial deafness we can help.
The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered industrial deafness and is considering a legal claim for compensation. If you are looking for medical advice, please see the NHS website.
In our guide to claiming
industrial deafness compensation:
Recent figures by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) estimate that there are around 18,000 new cases of industrial deafness, also known as occupational deafness or Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL), diagnosed every year.
According to the data, the highest rates of industrial deafness occur in the extraction, construction, energy and manufacturing industries.
If a person has suffered industrial deafness due to their employer's negligence, the employee could be entitled to make a claim for compensation.
Do I have an industrial deafness claim?
It should be possible to make an industrial deafness claim if:
- you were diagnosed in the last three years and;
- someone else, such as your employer, was to blame.
Even if these two points don't apply to you, you may still be able to make a claim.
To get impartial advice on whether you have a claim, speak to injury claims expert on 0800 612 7456.
A brief phone consultation will tell you exactly where you stand. There is no obligation to start a claim.
The amount of money you could claim for your industrial deafness will depend on:
- the extent 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 industrial deafness has affected your life. Your solicitor will take all of these effects into account to calculate the correct compensation award for you.
This calculation will factor in 'general damages' and 'special damages'.
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 as a result of the accident.
What can I claim for after an industrial deafness? (see list)
Examples of special damages (losses you can claim for) include:
- Lost earnings (including future earnings)
- Medical treatment costs
- Travel costs
- Costs of care
- Costs of adapting your home or car
Industrial deafness compensation amounts
The following industrial deafness payouts refer to the Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases, Fifteenth Edition by the Judicial College.These tables are used by solicitors or by the courts as a starting point when calculating your compensation.
|Hearing loss||Minor||Minor deafness or tinnitus||Up to £5,590|
|Hearing loss||Moderate||Moderate deafness or tinnitus||£10,040 to £11,890|
|Hearing loss||Serious||Total loss in one ear||£24,950 to £36,310|
|Hearing loss||Serious||Serious deafness or tinnitus||£11,890 to £23,670|
|Hearing loss||Severe||Severe deafness or tinnitus||£23,670 to £36,310|
|Hearing loss||Very Severe||Total deafness||£72,330 to £87,410|
What is the average injury compensation for an industrial deafness claim?
The Judicial College injury tables give a approximate idea of the ranges awarded for different injuries.
However, the money you would receive following an industrial deafness will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.
Your industrial deafness compensation will be calculated based on the unique impact your injuries have had on your life, your ability to work, and the actual financial losses you have incurred as a result of your injuries.
See the injury table above for some examples.
Will an industrial disease claim affect my benefits?
It may. The receipt of a compensation award could affect the calculation of any means-tested benefits. One approach to protecting your benefits, would be to set up a "Personal Injury Trust" or "PI Trust". Read more: Should I set up a personal injury trust?
Industrial deafness compensation
Calculating how much compensation you can claim for an industrial deafness injury can be complicated.
Our injury compensation calculator tells you if you may have a claim, how much compensation you could claim, and what you can claim for.
Find out what your industrial deafness claim could be worth now:
How long does an industrial deafness claim take?
The length of time needed to process an industrial deafness claim can vary significantly.
For example, if your employer accepts liability, a claim could be settled in a matter of weeks. If liability is denied, however, a claim can take significantly longer. Usually, an industrial deafness claim takes 6 to 9 months. To read more about how long your claim could take, see: How long will my claim take?
Caring and sensitive support
Your solicitor will handle your industrial deafness claim from the initial consultation through to the financial settlement. In addition, your solicitor will work with other specialists to help you with:
- Financial support: interim payments while you are unable to work.
- Advice: on personal injury trusts, tax and welfare benefits.
- Coordination: with rehabilitation providers and therapists.
- Access: to treatment and therapies not always available on the NHS.
The claims process for industrial deafness
Getting a diagnosis
Industrial deafness is known as a 'latency' disease, meaning symptoms often only appear years or decades after the initial exposure or cause. For this reason, people may put the symptoms down to ageing, rather than their previous employment. Key indicators of industrial deafness include:
- Finding it hard to keep up with conversations
- Not being able to hear a conversation where there is background noise
- Struggling to use the telephone
- Having to turn the television volume up high
Establishing industrial deafness is the first step in any industrial disease compensation claim, and a solicitor can help arrange a medical examination to do this. Not only will they assess physical symptoms, but they will also ask questions regarding work history and exposure to noise.
Demonstrating the cause
Inadequate personal protective equipment is a common cause of industrial deafness. The medical report will be a key piece of evidence in determining the cause.
Once a report by a medical expert has been obtained, a solicitor will help establish that a particular employment and noise source was indeed the cause. Example cases include an engineer exposed to excessive noise over a long period of time and a demolition operative subjected to a sudden, extremely loud bang.
The claimant's account of events can be supported by witness accounts as well as documentary evidence from employers.
Establishing legal responsibility
The next step is proving that an employer could have foreseen that industrial deafness or a related condition, such as tinnitus or acoustic shock syndrome, could have occurred. In addition, it must be shown that an employer was legally negligent in protecting the claimant from the noise.
What are my employer's legal duties?
Employers have a legal ‘duty of care' to ensure they keep their employees safe from harm. General provisions for this are made in a number of health and safety laws and regulations, including the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
For industrial deafness specifically, there are much stricter controls in place than was the case in earlier decades.
The primary piece of legislation is the Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005. The aim of the regulations is to ensure that workers' hearing is protected from excessive noise at work.
In order to comply, employers must carry out a thorough risk assessment of the noise in the work environment and who it affects. They must then put procedures in place to reduce the risks and comply with the law. This includes ensuring adequate controls are adopted to keep noise below or within the legal limit (80-85 decibels) - measures such as:
- Using quieter machinery
- Installing barriers and absorbent materials
- Shortening working periods
- Providing personal protective equipment (PPE) i.e. earplugs
Employers are also required to train staff on the risks, carry out regular monitoring and maintenance and provide health surveillance - monitoring workers' hearing ability.
How is liability decided?
An employer's actions should be ‘reasonably practical' in proportion to risk. If the employer failed to identify the risks or employ appropriate control measures, they would be deemed negligent and therefore liable.
Employers are required to have employer's liability insurance in place to cover industry related injuries, such as NIHL. If the case is straightforward and the employer admits liability, claims can be settled outside the Courts, and a solicitor will work hard for this. If not, the Courts will make the decision based on the evidence of the case.
No win, no fee
'No win, no fee' means that if your industrial deafness claim is not successful, you won't have to pay any legal fees whatsoever. Known as a 'Conditional Fee Agreement' or 'CFA', no win, no fee is a contract between you and your solicitor.
Our no win, no fee promise
If you have been injured and it wasn't your fault, our no win, no fee guarantee takes the risk out of claiming compensation for your industrial deafness injury. Read more about making a No win, no fee claim
What do I pay if I win my industrial deafness claim?
Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, once your claim is settled. The solicitor's success fee can be up to 25%. You and your solicitor can agree the success fee before you start your claim.
What do I pay if I do not win my industrial deafness claim?
If your industrial deafness claim is not successful then you do not have to pay any legal fees whatsoever. Your solicitor may take out insurance to ensure there will be nothing to pay.
What is Legal Aid available for?
In 2000, the government abolished the right to legal aid in personal injury and industrial disease cases. Depending on an individual's circumstances, Legal Aid may be available for discrimination cases, criminal cases, family mediation and court or tribunal representation.
How can Quittance help?
Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, the highly-experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning injury claims.
If you have any questions, or would like to start a No Win No Fee claim, we are open 8am to 9pm weekdays, 9am to 6pm on Saturday, and 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday.
Call us FREE 0800 612 7456 or arrange a callback:
if you can claim
to start a claim
Industrial deafness FAQ's
Can I claim for someone else?
Yes. In certain circumstances, it is possible to claim compensation on behalf of another person in the capacity of a 'litigation friend'.
If an injured person is either too young or vulnerable, too injured or otherwise unable to claim on their own behalf, their litigation friend can handle the claim process on behalf of the injured person.
The litigation friend will be responsible for communicating with the solicitors, and for making decisions in respect of the claim.
Can I claim if I was partly responsible for an accident?
You may still be able to claim compensation even if you contributed to your accident or to your injuries.
However, if you were partly to blame (known as contributory negligence), your compensation may be reduced and it may be more difficult to prove liability.
How long do I have to make an industrial deafness claim?
In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the industrial deafness to make an injury claim.
The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your industrial deafness claim becomes 'statute barred'.
Can I claim for an industrial deafness after 3 years?
Possibly. The general rule for adults is that a claim must be started within three years.
However, the three-year countdown starts on the day you learned of your injury or illness. This will usually be the date of the accident, but could be the date your doctor gave you a diagnosis.
There other circumstances that can also impact the limitation date. Call us now on 0800 612 7456 to find out if you are still able to claim industrial deafness compensation.
In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether an industrial deafness claim will be taken on by a solicitor.
Will I have to go to court?
Highly unlikely. The vast majority of claims that are settled by the solicitor panel are settled out of court.
Only a very small percentage (approx. 5%) of personal injury claims go to court. Generally, only very complex cases, or those where liability cannot be resolved, end up in court.
Cases that do ultimately go to court are held in front of a judge, not a jury.
Will I have to go to a solicitor's office?
No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. As with most professional services, it is no longer necessary to meet face to face with your solicitor. Personal injury claims are dealt with via email, post and telephone.
Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.
Can I get an early compensation payment?
If you suffer financial hardship as a result of an injury, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.
An interim payment is a partial settlement of your claim which is paid before your claim is concluded. The amount you receive in interim payments would then be deducted from your final compensation settlement or award.
Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor
About the author
Howard qualified as a solicitor in 1984 and has specialised in personal injury for over 25 years. He is a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and is a recognised Law Society Personal Injury Panel expert.