Hearing loss is considered a serious personal injury, because it is usually chronic, and can get worse over time. If you are suffering from a form of hearing loss, and your hearing loss was caused by somebody else, then you may be eligible for financial compensation.
Whether you are suffering from conductive, sensorineural or hearing impairment that combines both forms of hearing loss, you will have a strong claim for compensation, if it can be proven that another party was responsible for it. For example, if your hearing loss started at work, then you could make a claim with your employer at the time.
When should I make a claim?
You can make a claim for hearing loss within three years of the illness being diagnosed by a doctor, or within three years of the accident that caused it. This is known as your date of limitation. Under the Limitation Act 1980, you have three years to bring your claim forward, after which it will become statute barred. However, that limitation period does not apply to cases of industrial deafness, where your illness was caused some time ago.
What types of hearing loss can one claim for?
Industrial deafness and tinnitus (a ringing in the ears) are the most common forms of hearing impairment claimed for. Both conductive and sensorineural hearing loss can be claimed for, as can mixed hearing loss. You can in fact claim for any hearing loss that you are experiencing, so long as there is another party to blame.
What are the next steps that I should take?
If you have deafness due to industrial injury, or you have developed deafness for another reason, then you should contact a lawyer who specialises in deafness claims, so that you can get informed about your legal rights. A lawyer will investigate your claim for you and help you to establish once and for all if you are eligible for compensation. Initial consultations with lawyers are usually free and are offered without obligation so you have nothing to lose.
How much compensation could I make a claim for?
This depends on the extent of your hearing loss, and how your hearing loss has and will affect your life. Deafness claims have an average payout of £5,000 to £50,000, depending on the severity of the illness. Higher payouts are reserved for cases where there is total hearing loss in both ears, followed by total hearing loss in one ear. To get a better estimate, you can discuss your case with a lawyer, who will be able to refer to past cases that have similarities to your own and provide an estimated compensation payout based on these.