According to the British Tinnitus Association (BTA), tinnitus affects around 10 percent of adults in the UK. For an affected individual, the sounds that are symptomatic of tinnitus, such as ringing, buzzing or humming, can be at best annoying and at worst debilitating.
Often linked to hearing loss, possible causes of tinnitus include ear infections, diabetes and head and neck injuries. More commonly it is connected to exposure to loud noise. If the exposure was a result of an employer's negligence, an industrial disease claim or work accident claim for compensation can be made.
If another party was responsible for the development of tinnitus, such as a negligent GP who has prescribed incorrect medication, or pub or bar owner playing music at a dangerously high volume, it may still be possible for a claim to be made.
Do I have a tinnitus claim?
If you have been diagnosed with tinnitus in the last three years (longer if children were involved) and someone else was to blame, then we can help you make a compensation claim.Back to top
The first steps
If a person believes they might be entitled to make a tinnitus compensation claim, the recommended first step is to contact a solicitor to discuss options and time limits. Crucially, the solicitor can advise on whether or not there is a case.
Getting an independent diagnosis of tinnitus confirmed by a medical professional, such as an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist, is a key step. The specialist will take note of any additional symptoms, such as sleep deprivation and stress, which have resulted from the condition when compiling their report, following an examination. Your solicitor can arrange this exam on your behalf.
If the cause has been identified by the Claimant, for example, they believe the tinnitus was caused by working in a noisy work environment, such as a factory, construction site or nightclub, this would need to be confirmed by evidence such as witness statements. A solicitor can help guide this process.
Common evidence recommended for tinnitus claims includes:
- Medical reports which can confirm the diagnosis and the probable cause
- Evidence of employment
- Company health and safety records
- Details of witnesses who can give evidence to support the claim
Determining liability in a tinnitus claim
For tinnitus claims linked to workplace noise exposure, the employer would be held liable. This is because all employers have a legal ‘duty of care' to protect their employees from avoidable harm - including excessive noise.
An employer's ‘duty of care' is guided by a range of relevant legislation. This includes the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. However, when it comes to tinnitus claims, the primary piece of legislation used is The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005.
Overseen by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) these regulations require employers to do the following in order to protect employees from loud noises:
- Carry out a full risk assessment of the noise levels in the workplace and who is affected
- Implement and maintain a thorough set of safety measures and controls to ensure that noise is minimised to below legal levels (between 80 and 85 decibels), for example through using quieter machinery, adopting new processes, using absorbent barriers and providing personal protective equipment (PPE) such as earplugs
- Train and instruct staff on the risks of noise in the workplace, including hearing loss and tinnitus, and on how to follow safety measures and use PPE correctly
- Provide regular health surveillance to monitor employees' hearing ability
If an employer failed to follow any of these procedures, and an employee suffers tinnitus or another hearing impairment as a result, they would be deemed negligent and therefore liable in a claim.Back to top
Guaranteed No Win, No Fee tinnitus claim - Pay nothing if your claim is unsuccessful
A no win no fee contract ( known as a CFA or Conditional Fee Agreement) is entered into between a claimant and solicitor.
The no win no fee agreement is basically the conditions under which the solicitor works for their client.
It sets out what the lawyer will do as well as how he will be remunerated if your compensation claim is won.
If you instruct a Quittance solicitor for your tinnitus compensation claim there are absolutely no hidden costs in the terms and conditions , no up-front fees and the peace of mind that you wont be financially out of pocket.Back to top
How much compensation can I claim for tinnitus?
The amount of compensation you will receive depends on a number of factors. Our personal injury compensation calculator provides an accurate estimate of your likely compensation.
Accidents at work - Claiming compensation from your employer
Every year, 600,000* employees are injured in accidents at work. If you have suffered an injury or illness at work, you may able to claim compensation.
Find out if you can claim tinnitus injury compensation from your employer: Read more about work accident claims
*Source: 2016/17 Health and Safety Executive (HSE) report
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