Symptoms associated with tinnitus can be life-changing. The constant ringing, buzzing, whistling and hissing heard by some sufferers can affect their family life, social activities and their ability to work. If you have developed tinnitus as a result of exposure to excessive noise (commonly in the workplace), you may be eligible to make a tinnitus claim for compensation.
This guide on claiming compensation for tinnitus should help if you’ve developed symptoms after an accident or because of your working conditions. We’ll explain how much compensation for tinnitus you could be awarded and how the claims process works.
To find out if you could be eligible to make a tinnitus claim, please contact our team on 0800 6524 881 today. Alternatively, please continue reading to learn more.
Table of contents
- What Is Tinnitus?
- Am I Eligible To Make A Tinnitus Compensation Claim?
- Negligence That Could Lead To Tinnitus Compensation
- Tinnitus From Noise Exposure At Work
- How Much Compensation For Tinnitus Could I Claim?
- Evidence To Support A Tinnitus Compensation Claim
- Time Limits For Claiming Tinnitus Compensation
- Starting The Tinnitus Claims Process
The British Tinnitus Association explains that tinnitus is where you can hear sound when there is no external sound to be heard. The most common types of sounds heard by tinnitus sufferers include:
For some people, tinnitus is continuous but for others, it will come and go. Once you have become aware of the noise, it can be quite disturbing and even debilitating. In some cases, tinnitus can lead to anxiety, depression and stress as well.
There is no cure for tinnitus but the NHS suggest that retraining, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and counselling can all help to reduce symptoms. Relaxation techniques, background sounds and hearing aids can also help.
The cause of tinnitus is not fully understood but the British Tinnitus Association explains that “tinnitus results from some type of change, either mental or physical, not necessarily related to hearing”. This could include exposure to sudden loud noises (caused by explosions, crashes or gunfire for example) or when working in a loud environment over a long period of time.
As a result, tinnitus compensation claims might be possible if your suffering was caused by your working environment or exposure to loud noises in an accident that was not your fault.
Our solicitors will be happy to help you claim compensation for tinnitus if your case has a realistic chance of being won. Before taking you on as a client, they’ll check whether:
- You were owed a duty of care by the defendant; and
- They were negligent in some way; and
- As a result of that negligence, you now suffer from tinnitus.
We’ll explain the evidence that you could use to support your claim later on in this guide. Before we do, let’s look at the types of negligence that could lead to tinnitus and compensation being claimed.
Some examples of negligence that could end up causing tinnitus and for which compensation could be claimed include:
- Where your employer failed to provide adequate PPE (such as ear defenders) to protect you when working in a loud environment.
- If your tinnitus started after a car accident that was not your fault.
- Where your employer didn’t consider (or implement) sound-reducing measures such as sound-proofing or quieter tools to reduce the risk of industrial deafness and other hearing conditions.
- If you were not allowed proper rest breaks in a quiet area.
- If you were exposed to a sudden loud bang after a heavy item was dropped from a height and landed nearby.
- If you were exposed to excessively loud music in a pub or nightclub.
These are just a few scenarios where you could claim compensation for tinnitus. If you believe you are eligible to start a claim, call our team today on 0800 6524 881.
As mentioned above, tinnitus is often caused by exposure to a loud working environment. Workers that can be at the highest risk of work-related tinnitus and hearing damage include those who work in:
- Road maintenance;
- Entertainment industry;
- Armed forces.
Noise-induced hearing loss may or may not always be noticeable immediately. In some cases, the symptoms may develop immediately after sudden exposure to an excessively loud noise.
In the case of persistent exposure to loud noise, the onset of tinnitus symptoms may not be immediately noticeable. The initial symptoms are usually so mild that workers typically think nothing of it. Another reason that workers dismiss the symptoms is that they tend to be sporadic. Unfortunately, with continued exposure to loud noise at work, the frequency of the symptoms can increase with time and so can the intensity.
Employers are required by law to provide workers with personal protective equipment depending on the projected risks in that particular industry. In high-noise workplaces, employers must provide all workers with adequate noise protection equipment. They must also train employers in the proper use of this equipment. Your employer could be liable for NIHL and your tinnitus condition if they either failed to provide you with the proper protection or failed to impart the proper training.
If your tinnitus was caused by your job, you could have a valid claim against your employer. However, many people worry about taking action in case it puts their job at risk. Don’t worry, though, it would be illegal for your employer to treat you differently just because you claimed tinnitus compensation for your suffering.
Legally, you can’t be fired, demoted or disciplined because of your claim. If that were to happen, you may well have grounds to seek further compensation for unfair or constructive dismissal. If you work with one of our solicitors, they’ll handle all aspects of your claim for you so you won’t need to speak to your employer about your claim at all.
There isn’t one set payout amount of compensation for tinnitus. Instead, a successful claimant can expect to receive compensation for the physical and mental suffering tinnitus has caused them (general damages) as well as any costs they’ve incurred (special damages). If you work with us, your solicitor will determine what you should claim for but it could include:
- Any physical pain and suffering you’ve had to deal with.
- Distress, anxiety, depression and other psychological injuries relating to your condition.
- Medical expenses including private treatment in some cases.
- Any earnings lost because you couldn’t work due to your tinnitus.
- The time a carer or friend spent time looking after you.
- Travel expenses. For example, if you had to use alternative travel methods for a while because your tinnitus stopped you from driving.
You should consider your tinnitus claim fully before filing it as it’s only possible to make a single claim. After you have settled your claim with the defendant, you can’t ask them to pay further compensation for problems you weren’t aware of at the time of your claim.
This can be a tricky process and it’s one reason you might want to use a personal injury solicitor. If your case is accepted by one of our specialist solicitors, they’ll assess your claim in fine detail to try and secure the most compensation possible for your suffering.
Although compensation amounts for tinnitus and noise-induced hearing loss may vary on different factors including the age of the person affected, compensation amounts for tinnitus in relation to general damages are as follows:
- £29,710 – £45,540 compensation for severe tinnitus and noise-induced hearing loss.
- £14,900 – £29,710 compensation for moderate tinnitus and noise-induced hearing loss, or moderate to severe tinnitus alone.
- £12,590 – £14,900 compensation for mild tinnitus and some noise-induced hearing loss.
- £7,360 – £12,590 compensation for slight/occasional tinnitus and slight noise-induced hearing loss.
- Up to £7,010 for slight tinnitus without noise-induced hearing loss.
To prove the extent of your symptoms, an independent hearing specialist will need to examine you. They will also discuss how tinnitus has affected your work, your family life and your social life. Their report will explain your condition and your prognosis. It will be shared with both parties involved in the claim.
You will need evidence to show how the defendant in your case caused your tinnitus. Without it, you might receive less compensation than you should (or none at all). The types of evidence that could be useful include:
- Medical evidence including notes from your GP or the hearing specialist who diagnosed your tinnitus.
- Accident report forms if you sustained tinnitus after an accident in a public place or at work.
- Witness statements from your family and friends to explain how the condition has affected you.
- Videos of your working environment to help you prove the volume levels you were sustained to. Reports from specialists may also be requested to help with this point.
- Your own statement to explain the problems you’ve had to deal with because of tinnitus.
- CCTV/dashcam footage if you suffered tinnitus from whiplash in a car accident, for example.
If you work with one of our specialist solicitors, they’ll help with gathering the evidence needed to try and win your case. If you have collected anything already, please have it ready when you call for your free case review.
When making a tinnitus claim, there is a strict 3-year time limit. If you’ve been involved in an accident, this limitation period will often start on the date you were injured. However, tinnitus is not always obvious straight away. In these circumstances, you’ll have 3-years to claim from the date your condition was diagnosed by a medical professional.
In our experience, it’s better to begin the tinnitus claims process sooner rather than later. If you do, there should be ample time to arrange for a medical assessment and to collect evidence to support your case.
If you are now ready to claim compensation for tinnitus, one quick call to our team on 0800 6524 881 could be all it takes to start the ball rolling.
If your claim is suitable, we’ll appoint a solicitor from our team to represent you. Remember, they’ll work on a No Win No Fee basis if your claim is accepted which should make the whole process less stressful.
If you have any concerns or questions regarding a tinnitus compensation claim please contact us and we’ll of course be happy to assist.