Tinnitus affects around 13% of UK adults, and while it can be caused by underlying illnesses, it can also be caused by being exposed to excessive noise at work. It can also result from road traffic accidents and other incidents. If you or a loved one is suffering from tinnitus that you believe was caused by somebody else’s negligence, you might be entitled to compensation. This guide on tinnitus compensation claims will review when you might be entitled to compensation and how the process of claiming it works.
We can help if you decide that you’d like to claim compensation for tinnitus. During a free telephone consultation, a claims advisor will discuss your case with you and give free legal advice. If they believe you should start a claim, they’ll ask one of our personal injury solicitors to step in. If they agree to represent you, they could start working on your case right away. That’s because they won’t need to be paid upfront due to their No Win, No Fee service. Essentially, you’ll only have to pay for their work if you are awarded compensation.
Would you like to talk to us about your tinnitus claim right away? If so, please call us on 0800 652 1345 or connect via live chat. If you would like more information about tinnitus compensation claims before calling, continue reading.
What is tinnitus?
According to the NHS, tinnitus is a condition where the sufferer hears noises that aren’t coming from the environment they are in. The most common tinnitus noises include:
- Singing or music.
If you suffer from tinnitus that causes dizziness or is painful you should speak to a GP to see if an underlying condition is causing your symptoms.
Treating tinnitus can be complex but reducing exposure to high-decibel environments can help.
Can I claim compensation for tinnitus?
If you want to claim compensation for tinnitus and ask one of our personal injury lawyers to help, they’ll check whether:
- The defendant (the party you’re claiming compensation against) owed you a duty of care; and
- In some way, they were negligent; and
- Their negligence has caused you to suffer from tinnitus.
If your claim meets these criteria, you may be entitled to tinnitus compensation. As we progress through this article, we’ll explain what types of negligence could lead to tinnitus compensation claims.
Can I sue my employer for tinnitus?
Your employer owes you a duty of care to protect your welfare whilst you’re working. This comes from the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. While this often means they’ll take steps to try and prevent accidents from happening, they’ll also need to consider other risk factors in the workplace.
Additionally, they must also abide by the Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005. This law means that employers need to control the noise that employees are exposed to in the workplace.
According to the Health and Safety Executive up to 2 million people in the UK might be exposed to potentially harmful noise at work. Additionally, up to 500,000 employees have hearing loss related to noise in the workplace. Employees working in the following industries could be said to be at the highest risk of tinnitus:
The Control of Noise at Work Regulations set out a number of limits with regard to noise at work. If staff are exposed to noise in excess of those limits, employers should take steps to reduce the noise level. This can be achieved in a number of ways including:
- Using lower volume tools.
- Installing soundproofing.
- Reducing the hours worked in noisy environments.
- Providing ear defenders.
- Train staff on how to use noise-reducing systems, tools, and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
If your employer has failed to reduce noise levels by implementing such measures, you could sue your employer for tinnitus compensation. Importantly, industrial deafness, tinnitus, or other work-related hearing problems may not be diagnosed until later on in life. Don’t worry, though, you could still claim compensation. We’ll discuss the time limits for tinnitus compensation claims later on.
Will I face dismissal for making a tinnitus compensation claim against my employer?
Laws exist that mean you cannot be treated differently by your employer for making a tinnitus compensation claim against them. So long as your claim is honest, you can’t be dismissed, demoted, prevented from applying for promotion, bullied, singled out, or treated differently because of your claim. If you feel you have been targeted by your employer for this reason, you might have grounds to claim for unfair or constructive dismissal on top of your tinnitus claim.
Claiming compensation for tinnitus after a road traffic accident
Tinnitus can also be caused by car crashes and other types of Road Traffic Accidents (RTAs). It can be the result of:
- Exposure to loud noises such as when airbags are deployed or the noise of the vehicles colliding.
- Head and brain injuries.
- The stress and trauma of the accident.
As with any other type of RTA, you could be entitled to compensation if the accident was caused by another driver’s negligence. To discuss whether you could claim tinnitus compensation after a road traffic accident, please call our team today on 0800 652 1345.
How much compensation for tinnitus could I claim?
The amount of compensation you could get for tinnitus is based on the suffering your symptoms cause (general damages) and any associated financial implications (special damages). Importantly, claims vary from case to case so you’ll need to prove how you’ve suffered. Although each tinnitus claim is unique, you could be compensated for:
- Any pain or suffering tinnitus has caused.
- Loss of amenity. This is where you can explain how tinnitus has affected your hobbies or social life.
- Any mental harm the condition has caused such as depression or anxiety.
- The time somebody has spent caring for you to help you deal with daily activities.
- Any income you’ve lost because tinnitus has prevented you from working.
- Medical and rehabilitative treatment.
- Travel expenses linked to medical and other appointments.
- Future loss of earnings if your tinnitus is long-term and will reduce your capacity to earn.
Getting your claim right is important because you can’t ask for additional compensation to cover something you forgot to include later on. If you work with one of our personal injury lawyers, they’ll work with you to fully understand how tinnitus has affected you. They’ll then do all they can to try and secure the highest amount of compensation possible. Please get in touch if you’d like to know more by requesting a free claims consultation here.
Providing proof for a tinnitus claim
When you claim compensation for tinnitus, you’ll need proof to show how you’ve suffered and who was responsible. Being compensated without proof of this nature is unlikely. The types of evidence that could help for a tinnitus claim include:
- Occupational health reports. If you raised concerns about the noise in your workplace, an occupational health specialist may have been asked to investigate. Their report could be useful evidence in your case.
- Witness information. It’s a good idea to provide your solicitor with the contact details of potential witnesses. Colleagues might be asked to provide a statement about working conditions. Similarly, witnesses to an RTA could provide a statement of what they saw.
- Medical information. You should visit your GP if you’re worried about tinnitus. They will discuss the potential causes and examine you before providing advice on how to reduce your symptoms. Later on, your medical records could be requested to confirm the diagnosis.
- Sick notes and incident report forms. If you need to take time off work because of your symptoms, it’s a good idea to keep hold of any sick notes if you were signed off by a doctor.
- Correspondence. You should keep any emails, letters, or reports safe if you wrote to your employer to raise concerns about the noise levels at work. If you supply copies to your solicitor, they’ll review them to see if more could’ve been done to prevent your condition.
- A diary of events. When you discuss your tinnitus claim with your solicitor, it’s a good idea if you’ve got everything written down. This could include your employment history. It could also include a list of dates of events you couldn’t attend or costs you’ve incurred because of your injuries.
If you call for a free review of your case, the advisor will go through any proof you’ve collected already. They’ll advise you if anything else might help and could connect you with one of our personal injury solicitors.
Medical assessments for tinnitus claims
Any personal injury claim typically includes a report from an independent medical expert. As such, during your claim, your solicitor will try to book a local appointment. During your meeting, the specialist will examine you and ask how tinnitus has affected your daily life.
Once they’ve finished, they’ll produce a report for all parties in the claim to explain how you’ve suffered and to offer a prognosis for the future.
Tinnitus claims time limits
As you might already know, there is a 3-year time limit for personal injury claims. In accident claims (like those involving a car crash), you’ll usually have 3-years to begin your claim from the date of the accident.
However, if your claim is relating to workplace-related tinnitus, your limitation period will begin from the date your GP diagnosed tinnitus. This means you could start your claim months or even years after you finished working for a company.
Our advice is to take action sooner rather than later. The longer you leave it, the harder it will be to a) collect evidence and b) recollect the facts of the case.
Can I claim on a No Win, No Fee basis?
There’s no doubt that many people get stressed about the amount it will cost to hire a personal injury solicitor. For that reason, our solicitors provide a No Win, No Fee service. That means that if your claim is taken on, you’ll benefit from the experience and legal skills of one of our solicitors with reduced financial risk.
Importantly, No Win, No Fee means you don’t need to pay your solicitor for their effort unless you are compensated. This will be agreed upon in advance when you both sign a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA).
If a settlement is reached and you are paid damages, your solicitor will deduct a fixed percentage from your compensation as a success fee. This fee will cover their time and any costs associated with your claim. If the claim fails, you will not pay this fee. Legally, success fees are not allowed to exceed 25% of your compensation when using a CFA.
Please call today to see if you could claim on a No Win, No Fee basis.
Start a tinnitus compensation claim today
We hope that you have found our article on claiming tinnitus compensation helpful. If you have decided that you’d like to claim, one simple call is all you’ll need to start the claims process.
To speak with a specialist advisor, please call us on 0800 652 1345. Your claim will be reviewed for free and your options will be explained whatever you decide to do. If your claim is taken on, a lot of the stress involved should be removed as your solicitor will deal with it on a No Win, No Fee basis.
Please use live chat or give us a call if you have any additional questions on tinnitus compensation claims.