If you suffer from tinnitus because you were exposed to a lot of noise in the workplace, you could be entitled to file a tinnitus personal injury claim against your employer. The reason being that your employer could be held negligent in their duty of care to keep you safe from harm and injury in the workplace.
What Are The Symptoms of Tinnitus?
There are numerous tinnitus symptoms which range from minor to much more serious which are detailed below:
- A persistent, ringing in your ears
- A mild buzzing in your ears
- Total hearing loss
Very often you may experience a mild humming or buzzing noise in your ears when you are exposed once to a very loud noise but this disappears over a couple of days or sooner. With this in mind, if you are exposed to loud noises in the workplace on a constant basis, you could end up losing your hearing permanently.
Having to put up with a constant humming and buzzing in your ears can ruin your quality of life but it can also do the following:
- Negatively impact your ability to get a good night’s sleep
- It can seriously impact your overall health and well-being
- It can have a negative impact on relationships with family and friends
What are the Common Causes of Tinnitus in the Workplace?
The most common cause of tinnitus in the workplace is being constantly exposed to loud noises which is often the case in the following work environments:
- Road maintenance
- The entertainment industry
- Armed forces
You may not be aware of how your hearing is being negatively impacted to begin with, although if you are exposed to a very loud noise, you may notice a ringing or buzzing in your ears straight away which subsides quite quickly. Even with persistent exposure to loud decibels, the symptoms of tinnitus may not be immediately apparent and sometimes they are so mild, that you may not take much notice of them. Symptoms can be sporadic, which is another reason why you may not take them seriously. However, over time tinnitus symptoms tend to worsen in intensity.
What is My Employer’s Duty of Care Towards Me?
All employers in the UK are legally required to keep you safe from harm and injury in the workplace. If they fail in this duty and you develop tinnitus at work as a direct result, your employer could be held negligent. If you work in a high noise working environment, an employer must provide you with the following:
- Adequate personal protective equipment (PPE)
- They must provide you with sufficient training to use machinery and equipment
If you develop tinnitus because your employer ignored any of the above, you could be entitled to file a claim for compensation from them for the pain, suffering and out of pocket expenses you incurred.
How Much Compensation Could I Receive in a Tinnitus Claim?
The amount of compensation you may be awarded in a successful tinnitus claim, would depend on the severity of your condition and how it impacts your ability to work and your quality of life. As a rough guide you may receive the following amounts in a successful personal injury claim against a negligent employer:
- Mild symptoms of tinnitus, you could be awarded up to £5,590
- Mild symptoms and occasional tinnitus with a slight hearing loss, you could receive anything from £5,870 to £10,040
- Moderate to severe tinnitus and noise induced loss of hearing, you may be awarded anything from £11,890 to £23,670
- Severe tinnitus and noise induced loss of hearing, you may receive anything from £23,670 to £36,310
If you would like to find out whether you have a strong case against a negligent employer, the best course of action is to discuss your tinnitus claim with a solicitor who specialises in accident at work claims.
How Do I Make a Tinnitus Claim for Compensation Against My Employer?
You have 3 years from the time your condition was diagnosed by a medical professional to file a tinnitus claim against an employer who has been negligent in their duty to keep you safe from harm in the workplace. The reason being that symptoms of tinnitus may not manifest themselves for several years. As such, it may take many years to realise just how much your hearing has been negatively impacted by the job you used to do or which you still do.
If you work or worked in a high-noise working environment and developed the symptoms of tinnitus over time, you would need to provide evidence that your employer did not provide you with adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) and as a result of their negligence, you ended up suffering from tinnitus. The best course of action if you would like to file for compensation, is to contact a solicitor who specialises in tinnitus compensation claims.
What Can I Include in a Tinnitus Claim?
There are certain things that can be included in your tinnitus claim for compensation, which could include the following:
General damages cover the direct effects of how your injury affected you following an incident that left you injured at work. These could include the following:
- The pain and suffering you had to endure as a direct result of suffering from tinnitus
- Physical impairment and injuries which covers the fact that you may have to cope with a disability and with a tinnitus claim, this would be work-related hearing loss which could negatively impact your overall health and well-being
- Mental anguish and pain that you suffer as a direct result of having developed tinnitus at work
- How your life has been impacted and whether your condition means you have a lower quality of life which includes having to depend on others which you did not have to do prior to having developed tinnitus at work
- Loss of companionship which applies to family members who lose a loved one
- Loss of your unique career should you not be able to carry out your job because of your condition
- Problems finding alternative work because your tinnitus prevents you from doing so
You would be awarded special damages in a successful tinnitus claim to cover all the out-of-pocket expenses you incurred as a direct result of having developed tinnitus at work. The sort of special damages you may be awarded could include the following:
- All the medical expenses whether short-term and long-term that you incurred as a direct result of having treatment for your condition. This includes consultation expenses, prescriptions, medication, hospital stay and diagnostic tests needed to establish your condition
- Travel expenses which covers all the costs of travelling to hospital and other medical facilities for necessary treatments whether you go to and from the treatments by car, bus, train or taxi
- Loss of earnings which includes any perks or bonuses you may have missed out on because you were unable to work
- Loss of future earnings if your condition prevents you from working again
- Care costs should you need help around the home or because you have to go into a care home
Can I Be Sacked for Filing a Tinnitus Claim Against My Employer?
Your employer cannot legally fire you should you decide to file a tinnitus claim for compensation against them and if they do, you may be entitled to make an unfair dismal claim against them too. You have certain worker’s rights in the event of suffering an injury, illness or disease whilst you are at work which are as follows:
- If you develop tinnitus and suffer work related hearing loss, you awarded a level of compensation you rightly deserve for the pain, suffering and out of pocket expenses you incurred
- That your job is safe even when you file a compensation against your employer because you developed tinnitus
There are specific laws that protect all employees in the UK which employers are legally required to follow and should an employer fail in their duty to keep you safe from harm and injury when you are at work, they could be held liable.
What is the Time Limit to Filing a Tinnitus Claim?
As with all personal injury claim that are work-related, there is a time limit associated with filing a tinnitus claim against a negligent employer. However, the difference with this type of claim is that it begins from the time you become aware of you condition which is when it is officially diagnosed by a doctor or medical professional. The reason being that you may not realise you developed the condition for several years because tinnitus symptoms may not present themselves till much later on.
Should I File a Tinnitus Claim Against my Employer?
If you develop tinnitus and as a result suffer from work-induced hearing loss because your employer failed to keep you safe at work, your ability to work and your quality of life may be seriously and negatively impacted. Depending on the severity of your condition, you may find that you are unable to work again. As such you could find yourself in financial difficulties causing more stress and anxiety to your daily life, therefore you have every right under UK law to file for compensation against your employer, providing you can prove negligence in their duty of care to keep you safe from harm and injury in the workplace.
How Do I Start a Tinnitus Claim Against My Employer?
If you suffer from tinnitus and would like to file a personal injury claim against an employer because you strongly believe that they did not set in place measures to keep you safe in the workplace or they failed to provide you with adequate training and personal protective equipment, you should discuss your claim with a solicitor who works on accident at work claims. You would need to gather as much evidence as you can to establish whether your employer was negligent in their duty to keep you safe from harm at work. Most solicitors offer an initial consultation which is free of charge. It allows a solicitor the opportunity assess your claim taking into account the circumstances pertaining to how you first developed tinnitus at work. If a solicitor believes you have a strong claim against a negligent employer, they would work with you on a No Win No Fee basis which in short, means you would not have to worry about finding the money to pay for legal representation.
Working with a No Fee No Win Solicitor on a Tinnitus Claim
If you are planning to file a tinnitus claim for compensation from your employer because you developed the condition in the workplace, the best course of action is to seek legal advice from a solicitor who specialises in this type of work-related injury claim. Most solicitors would offer a no obligation consultation which is free of charge which allows them to assess your case before offering valuable advice on how best to proceed with a tinnitus claim against a negligent employer.
Once the solicitor has assessed your claim, they would typically offer to work with you on a No Win No Fee basis. This means they would request that you enter into a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) with them. This is a legal contract that sets out the Terms and Conditions of the agreement and the agreed percentage you would only have to pay for the legal representation you receive on a successful tinnitus claim. Should your claim not be successful, there would be nothing to pay a solicitor who represents you on a No Win No Fee basis thanks to the CFA you signed.