Ignoring hearing problems could affect a compensation claim
Hearing loss is one of the most common conditions affecting people today. It is estimated that around 10 million Brits suffer with hearing loss and yet many do not seek advice or assistance for it. In fact, of the 10 million people believed to be troubled by hearing problems, it is thought that as many as 4 million have not done anything about it.
As hearing loss is often gradual, it is common for other people to notice problems before the sufferer themselves. Many of our clients recall spouses or family members complaining of the television being too loud and having to repeat themselves when having conversations. It is also due to the gradual onset that many people don’t seek assistance for hearing problems for some time after they first experience symptoms. In fact, on average people wait approximately 10 years before getting their hearing tested.
Whilst this delay will not cause any additional hearing loss, it could seriously affect someone if they were looking to make a claim for noise induced hearing loss caused by exposure to noise at work.
The law, as it currently stands, gives a Claimant 3 years to bring their claim to Court. This means that you have 3 years from the date that you begin suffering with a significant problem, which you have connected to your work, to issue proceedings at Court.
We often find that people who contact us have suffered with hearing loss and/or tinnitus for many years but have not had a hearing test or been to their GP because they have assumed their problems were due to age and nothing could be done to help. Unfortunately, often in these cases we cannot pursue a claim for compensation as a Court may deem that the claim has been brought out of time.
In many cases people have not known what the cause of their hearing problems were or have been unaware that they could pursue a claim for compensation. Unfortunately, the Courts say that ignorance is not a suitable defence and it is up to individuals to investigate their problems and the cause of their problems in a timely manner.
Of course, due to the gradual onset of hearing loss problems, pinpointing a date when that problem became significant and should have been investigated is difficult. However in cases where tinnitus is suffered this is usually easier. Each case must be assessed on a claim by claim basis and our experienced team can guide you through the necessary questions to assess whether your claim is within the limitation time period.