Frequently Asked Questions

We have set out below some frequently asked questions to help you consider whether you can make a hearing loss claim:

Can I claim against my employer for hearing loss?

Exposure to excessive noise can cause permanent and irreversible noise induced hearing loss. The condition can often be accompanied by tinnitus, a high pitched buzzing and ringing in the ears which is intrusive and can have a detrimental impact on sleep. Tinnitus is also permanent. It may be possible to pursue a claim for compensation against a former employer for industrial deafness and tinnitus.

I left work over 20 years ago, can I claim now?
Yes. Hearing loss often only becomes noticeable many years after exposure to excessive noise has occurred. The 3 year time period for pursuing a compensation claim begins when you first realise that you are suffering with hearing loss connected to your work rather than from the time when you were exposed to the noise. This means that in many cases we can a pursue a successful claim for compensation even if the exposure occurred decades earlier.
My employer no longer exists, can I still make a claim?

In many cases claims can still be pursued. If a company no longer exists we can often trace insurance cover for the relevant period of employment and pursue the insurance company direct.

We have a significant database of companies for whom we already hold insurance details. We are also able to carry out extensive insurance searches on your behalf.

What is the position if noise was an accepted part of the job?
Simply because you were employed in a job where you had to use noisy equipment does not mean that your employer did not have to protect your hearing.

As a general rule:

  • from 1963 onwards, employers had a duty to protect their employers from the risks of exposure to excessive noise.
  • from 1963 to the mid 1970s, employers were required to act when noise levels exceeded 90 decibels on average throughout a shift.
  • from the mid 1970s onwards, the duty to act was triggered when noise levels exceeded 85 decibels on average throughout a shift.
  • from 6 April 2006, the employer must take action where the levels are 80 decibels on average throughout a shift.

How do I know if noise levels were excessive?

There is a very simple test to help calculate whether you have been exposed to noise levels exceeding 90, 85 or 80 decibels.

As a guide, noise levels are around 87 decibels if you have to raise your voice to communicate with someone standing 4 feet away. If you have to shout then it is likely noise levels exceed 93 decibels.

What do I do now?

If you are suffering with hearing loss and you have been exposed to excessive noise levels during the course of your employment, please contact us for a no obligation discussion.

We have specialist Industrial Disease Solicitors with expertise in dealing with claims for compensation for industrial deafness. We act on a ‘no win no fee’ basis.

What can I claim for?

The aim of the award of damages in a personal injury claim is to restore you to the position you were in before your injury occurred. Your award for damages will be split into two parts:

General damages – these are to compensate you for the actual hearing loss and tinnitus from which you suffer.

Special damages – these are items of financial loss you have sustained as a result of your injury, for example, the cost of hearing aids or tinnitus retraining therapy.

Have I got a claim?

Call now on 0800 849 8700.  One of our Solicitors will advise you today on whether a claim can be made.

How long do I have to make a claim?

When it comes to industrial diseases following, for example, exposure to asbestos or excessive noise, symptoms can take several years to develop. In this instance, you would have three years from the date you became aware of symptoms which you connected in part or in whole to your work in which to issue court proceedings.

In all instances, the sooner you begin your claim the better, as it easier to prove the direct link between the exposure and the injuries suffered.

Who pays my legal costs?

The general rule is that if you win your personal injury claim then your opponent pays your legal costs. On the other hand, if you bring an unsuccessful personal injury claim then you would normally have to pay your opponent’s costs.

However, a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) – the official name for a ‘no win, no fee’ agreement – ensures that if you do not win your personal injury claim, you do not have to pay your solicitor a fee for the time spent working on the case. Insurance will also cover you against the other side’s costs and any other expenses you may incur whilst pursuing your claim.

If your claim is successful you will be required to pay your solicitor for any costs that the losing party has not paid. However, at What’s My Deafness Claim Worth we guarantee that you will pay no more than 25% of the compensation awarded to you.

Will my claim go to trial?

Many people worry that if they make a personal injury claim they will have to go to Court, however in reality only 1 or 2 % of cases go to trial.

You should not be put off making a claim because of the fear of going to court. It is in fact in the other parties’ best interest not to go to Court because of the potential high costs involved.

You should be reassured that our specialist solicitors that deal with personal injury cases make every effort to settle claims by negotiating with the other party.

There are 2 situations where there is a possibility of the case going to Court:

  • If the other party does not admit they were responsible for the injury.
  • They are not willing to pay the amount of compensation that we feel you deserve and our expert solicitors believe that going to Court will mean you will be awarded a greater amount.

It is important to mention that even if Court proceedings are commenced, it does not mean you will actually have to go to Court. This is because commencing court proceedings sets the Court process up which involves creating a timetable for certain steps to be taken. As the process takes a few months it is highly likely that the case will be settled before it gets to Court. The reason for this is that our expert solicitors work hard to negotiate a settlement before it gets to that stage and the other party is often put off by the possible large costs that they could face. If your case was one of the very few that do go to trial you would have to give evidence at Court but you would be supported by your legal team and it is not as daunting as it may seem.

Ultimately it is very important to remember that only very few cases go to trial.

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