If tinnitus has set you back, we'll help you move forward
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by tinnitus, 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 tinnitus compensation claim with the help and support of a personal injury solicitor.
In this article
You are not alone
An estimated 11,000 workers with work-related hearing problems and 85 cases of occupational deafness in 2022/23 (hse.gov.uk).
According to the British Tinnitus Association (BTA), tinnitus affects around 10% of adults in the UK.
The symptoms of tinnitus which can include a constant ringing, buzzing or humming in the ears, can be debilitating.
Tinnitus symptoms can be constant or intermittent. The effects of tinnitus are often particularly pronounced when there is no background noise. Sleep patterns can be adversely affected as a result.
Tinnitus can affect every aspect of a sufferers life and can compromise their ability to work.
If another party's actions or negligence caused or contributed to your tinnitus, you may be able to claim compensation.
If you decide to make a tinnitus claim, your personal injury solicitor will take you through every step of the claims process. Your solicitor will be with you until you win your claim and get the compensation you deserve.
For information on tinnitus symptoms and treatment, see: tinnitus (nhs.uk).
Am I entitled to make a tinnitus claim?
In general, you can claim compensation if you were hurt:
- in the last 3 years,
- by someone elses actions or negligence, and
- they owed you a duty of care.
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.
Can I claim compensation if I was partly at fault?
The law concerning liability (or blame) for an accident is complex, and varies depending on the situation.
In our 2023 Personal Injury Claimant Survey, 13.99% of respondents believed they were partly responsible for their injuries, or were uncertain.
You may still be able to claim compensation even if your actions may have contributed to the accident. Claims where there is fault on both sides (contributory negligence) are often resolved with a split liability agreement.
How long do I have to start a tinnitus 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 do I claim compensation for tinnitus?
If you believe your tinnitus was caused by your employment, or by another party that owed you a duty of care, you should discuss your situation with a solicitor.
Your solicitor will confirm whether you could have a claim, and what the likely next steps are.
How does medical evidence help my tinnitus claim?
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 ENT 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. You can also claim compensation for these other symptoms.
Your solicitor can arrange the medical assessment on your behalf.
If you have already identified the cause, for example, your tinnitus was caused by working in a noisy work environment, such as a factory, construction site or nightclub, this may need to be confirmed by evidence such as witness statements.
What other evidence do I need to make a tinnitus claim?
The medical report will confirm the tinnitus diagnosis and the probable cause of your injury. Other evidence used to support tinnitus claims includes:
- Evidence of employment.
- Company health and safety records.
- Details of witnesses who can give evidence to support the claim.
Your solicitor will work with you to collect all the evidence needed to support your claim.
Who is liable 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, the employer would likely be negligent, and therefore liable for your tinnitus injury.
Will I need to prove what caused my tinnitus?
Tinnitus is often linked to hearing loss. Causes of tinnitus include ear infections, diabetes and head and neck injuries. The condition is most commonly connected to lengthy exposure to loud noise, typically in the workplace.
Tinnitus can also be caused by acoustic shock.
If your exposure was caused by an employer's negligence, you may be able to make an industrial disease compensation claim or work accident compensation claim to help support your treatment and recovery.
Tinnitus claim case study
Compensation for a tinnitus injury claim of £16,574.68 was awarded in 2011 to a 55 year old man following a car collision.
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 A&E 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.
Personal injury claims do not usually go to court. In this tinnitus claim case study, however, the caser proceeded to trial, where the judge awarded general damages of £14,000. The award was made up of £10,000 for tinnitus, £4,000 for whiplash injury and for the claimant's adjustment disorder. The judge also awarded £2,255.95 for the cost of hearing aids and maintenance.
How much compensation can I claim for a tinnitus?
The amount of money you could claim for tinnitus will depend on:
- the severity 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
Average tinnitus general damages compensation
The following tinnitus 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||Serious deafness or tinnitus||£13,550 to £27,010|
|Hearing loss||Severe||Severe deafness or tinnitus||£27,010 to £41,400|
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 awarded to compensate you for any costs or losses you've incurred or might incur as a result of your accident. These costs might include loss of wages, commission and any other income income, or any other out of pocket expenses.
Special damages may also be awarded for medical treatments or procedures that you might need to treat your tinnitus, including hearing aids, white noise machines and medication for underlying causes.
Claiming compensation for a tinnitus is dependent on how your injury occurred. Click the icons below for more detail:
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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.