While many of us take our hearing for granted, hearing loss is something which affects as many as one in six of the UK population. What’s more because we are living for longer, the number of people suffering from some degree of hearing loss is increasing.
Hearing loss often occurs naturally with age. However, it can sometimes be caused by exposure to continual or sudden loud noises in your workplace or in an accident. If you or someone you know has suffered hearing loss as a consequence of an industrial injury or an accident which was not your fault, you may be entitled to seek compensation.
One of the most common types of hearing loss is tinnitus. Tinnitus is often described as a constant ringing sound in the ears, which is either constant or comes and goes. There is no cure for tinnitus, and the success of treatments depends on the individual concerned. Tinnitus can seriously affect an individual’s quality of life and can affect people of any age.
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In many cases, tinnitus is caused by Occupational Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (ONIHL) or industrial deafness which is hearing loss due to working for prolonged periods in noisy factories and other working environments without proper ear protection. Employees who were not given proper ear defenders or other equipment also have grounds to bring a case against their employer.
Acoustic shock caused by a sudden high-pitched or loud noise and sometimes sustained by individuals working in call centres. This damages the ears and causes hearing loss. This kind of hearing loss shouldn’t happen. Employers have a legal duty to protect employees and follow health and safety procedures.
The Noise at Work Regulations set out guidelines about noise levels relating to hearing loss. Employers must test noise levels on a regular basis. They must also make staff aware of any job-related risks including hearing loss. The law is clear. That means people with hearing loss have a legal right to claim compensation.
Usually, any claims for compensation have to be started within 3 years of the injury. With tinnitus or other hearing loss, the situation is slightly different. Individuals have three years to start a claim from the date they first realised that they had hearing loss. Many of us put up with some degree of ringing in the ears or hearing loss for years before seeing the GP. However, it is essential to seek medical advice and start your claim as soon as possible.
If you have experienced a loss of hearing through no fault of your own then you could be able to make a personal injury claim, if you can prove third-party blame. To learn more about starting a hearing loss compensation claim, please get in touch with First Personal Injury. Call on our national accident helpline on 0800 808 9740 to learn how we can help you on a no win no fee basis.
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