How Much Compensation Can I Claim For An Ear Injury?
By Mark Ainsdale. Last Updated 26th July 2021. Welcome to our guide on ear injury claims. Commonly there are three types of ear injury that people can suffer from. These are damage to the inner ear, the middle ear and the outer ear. More broadly, these are broken into two categories, with damage to the inner and middle ear often being grouped together.
Select a section
- What Is an Ear Injury?
- Ear Injuries at Work
- Suffering Ear Injuries in Sports
- Ear Injuries in Road Traffic Accidents
- What Are Ear Injury Symptoms?
- Steps To Take After An Ear Injury
- Making a No Win No Fee Compensation Claim
- What Can I Claim For in a Personal Injury Claim?
- How Much Can I Claim For An Ear Injury? (Updated March 2021)
- How To Make An Ear Injury Claim.
- Useful Links
- Ear Injury Claims- FAQs
Inner/Middle Ear Injuries
Ahead of filing any ear injury claims, let’s delve into what the various ear injury types are. Middle and inner ear injury types affect the more complex parts of the ear. These injuries can range from damage caused by trauma, such as a traffic accident, sports, or even workplace accident, through changes in pressure or foreign objects causing internal damage.
When a person experiences a head injury or trauma, the air pressure inside the inner ear can increase. Ear injury symptoms from this can often be a perforated eardrum. This type of inner ear injury can also be caused by excessive noise in a working environment. Sudden and dramatic pressure changes (such as diving or even skydiving) can cause the Eustachian tubes to compress. This then prevents air from entering the middle ear and can again result in a perforated eardrum.
Foreign objects can also be a cause of damage to the inner or middle ear. Damage to the outer parts of the ear can be less serious in terms of effects on your hearing, though they may result in much more cosmetic damage. Aggressive trauma can be caused by a variety of different contact sports and other activities.
Outer Ear Injuries
A very common condition known as “cauliflower ear” is caused by direct trauma to the ear. This causes blood clots to form beneath the skin or the skin to be stripped away from the cartilage. The very outer parts of the ear can be damaged by things such as burns or even frostbite in extreme temperatures. Outer ear damage can be caused by surgical negligence.
These ear injury symptoms can range from having a mild and cosmetic effect on a person’s life to life-changing effects. If you’d like to know more about workplace ear injury claims, then our next section may be of interest to you. Alternatively, you can call our team using the contact details at the top and bottom of this article.
Ear injuries at work can be caused by various factors, from an accident at work to prolonged exposure to loud noises. If you have any of the following ear injury symptoms in the workplace, you may be able to claim compensation. People who have worked in noisy environments in the past or for long periods of time may also notice these symptoms as part of overall hearing loss;
- General loss of hearing resulting in things such as having to turn the TV, radio or other devices up to louder settings as before.
- Problems hearing people correctly during conversations.
- Trouble focusing on voices or noisy environments.
- Tinnitus, resulting in ringing, buzzing or whistling sounds.
Accidents that can cause ear injury symptoms in the workplace include; cuts and lacerations, head trauma, prolonged exposure to loud noises, and certain drugs.
Ear injury at work statistics
HSE statistics have shown that of 5,656 injuries reported to the head in 2019/20, 87 of these were to the ear. Although this is the least frequently injured part of the head, the graph below illustrates that the vast majority of these injuries resulted in an absence from work of over 7 days, and this has been consistently the case since 2014. Any of these could potentially result in the victim filing ear injury claims.
HSE has also released statistics that focus more directly on occupational and industrial deafness. They show that, although the levels of occupational hearing loss in Great Britain has been largely on the decline, there has been a jump in cases between 2018, when 55 cases were reported, and 2019 when 95 cases were reported.
Many sports carry the risk of ear injury. One of the most well-known is boxing, where cauliflower ear is a real risk, involves repeated blows to the head. This means there is a chance boxers could suffer from chronic swelling to the outer ear.
Cauliflower ear isn’t just a cosmetic issue. Trauma to the ear can result in cartilage, which makes up your outer ear being starved of blood supply. When this happens, the tissue can become infected or die, which leads to new fibrous tissue growing around the area leading to the “cauliflower-like” appearance from which the name is derived.
But it’s not just boxers who are at risk of ear injury while playing sports. Rugby (particularly in scrums), wrestling even some ball sports carry the risk of trauma to the outer ear, resulting in cauliflower ear. It’s always advised to wear a helmet when playing contact sports, as once cauliflower ear has developed, it can’t be reversed.
Trauma to the ear caused by a blow or impact can also injure the inner ear by rupturing the eardrum. This can lead to balance issues, vertigo and even hearing loss. And any of these symptoms could pave the way for victims to file ear injury claims.
When we think of injuries sustained in road traffic accidents, our minds will often jump to whiplash, soft tissue damage and, in more extreme cases, fractures of the bone. But it is possible for an accident on the road to result in injury to the ear.
As we’ve already seen, outer ear injuries can be caused by a blow to the head. So if in a car accident, your head hits the inside of your car or your windshield, this may result in enough trauma to the ear to cause damage, such as cauliflower ear. In extreme cases, a blow to the head in a car accident could result in a ruptured eardrum, which may cause partial or total deafness in one or both ears.
An often overlooked outcome of road traffic accidents is tinnitus, resulting in a ringing or buzzing sound in the ear. This can be caused by the loud noise caused by your airbag deploying, which can also rupture the eardrum in more extreme cases. It can also be caused by the impact of your head hitting the airbag, which is known as “whiplash tinnitus”.
Tinnitus may seem like it would be a mild annoyance. But tinnitus that doesn’t go away can cause many problems, including loss of sleep and depression. For more information on the symptoms you should look for that indicate ear injuries, please read our next section.
Whilst there are a variety of different ear injury symptoms, there are some which are quite common;
- Dizziness and lightheadedness.
- Feelings of vertigo, being unsteady, disoriented or woozy. These can lead to clumsiness, stumbling or even falling over.
- Problems with vision.
- Falling over when standing up or walking upstairs.
- Feelings of nausea and vomiting, including headaches and fatigue.
- Problems walking on uneven surfaces or in the dark.
Remember, even if your type of ear injury isn’t above, you could still receive compensation by filing ear injury claims.
When you’ve suffered from an ear injury, it’s natural that the thing you’re most focused on is your recovery. But in order to strengthen your ear injury claim, there are some steps you should take after your accident:
- Record evidence: Luckily, the majority of people now carry high-quality cameras in their pockets everywhere they go. If you’ve been in an accident because of someone else’s negligence, whether at work, in a public place or on the road, you should take photographs to serve as evidence in your claim.
- Collect witness testimony: If anyone saw the accident occur and can verify how it occured, you should try to get their contact information if possible. They may be able to provide evidence that proves valuable to your claim.
- Seek medical attention: Not only does this ensure that you get the treatment you need, but it also makes sure that a record of your injuries exists that can be referred back to later.
- Document your expenses: Keep any receipts, bills or invoiced of costs that you incur as a result of being injured.
- Speak to a solicitor: Although you don’t need a solicitor’s representation to make a claim, having someone who’s able to provide you with legal advice and who understands the claims process will make everything run much more smoothly.
Our next section will go into more detail on No Win No Fee ear injury claims; please read on if you’d like to know more.
As we’ve already mentioned, choosing to have a personal injury solicitor act on your behalf in a claim can take some of the pressure off you when making an ear injury compensation claim. But for many people, the perceived financial risk of having a solicitor act for you can be off-putting.
Our No Win No Fee Agreement, or Conditional Fee Agreement, means that you don’t need to worry about this aspect of making a claim. We won’t take a penny off you before your claim starts or while the claim is processing with this agreement.
If you’re unsuccessful in your claim, we won’t ask you to pay anything to the solicitor’s fees. If your claim is successful, then we’ll take a “success fee” from your compensation amount to cover the costs. Don’t worry- this fee is legally capped, and we’ll always discuss with you beforehand what percentage of the compensation we’ll deduct in the event of a successful claim.
If you’d like to know more about what can be included in ear injury claims, then you’ll find our next section of interest.
When you make a claim for personal injury after damage to your ear, the compensation you receive will cover two different types of damages: general damages and special damages.
The general damages part of your claim will be based on your injuries themselves. Through general damages, you’ll be compensated for the pain and suffering that you’ve experienced as a result of your injuries.
To make sure that the general damages head of the claim is appropriate for the level of injury you’ve experienced, you’ll be invited to a medical assessment as part of your claim. As well as confirming that your injuries were caused by the accident you were involved in, this assessment will determine any long term effects that your injuries may have on you so that you can be fully compensated.
Special damages are the part of your claim that will compensate you for any financial losses that you’ve experienced because of your accident. This can include things like the time you’ve had to take off work and even lose future earnings if your injuries prevent you from working.
It will also include any travel expenses that you’ve incurred because of your injuries, for instance, taxi fares or public transport costs if your injuries prevent you from driving.
Although treatment for many ailments is available for free on the NHS, you may have had to pay out of pocket for things like medications, fitted hearing aids or a tinnitus masking device to aid you with sleep. These kinds of costs can also be included in your claim.
For special damages, it’s really important that you keep proof of any costs that you incur. Keep hold of any receipts for anything you pay for, as this is necessary for your ear injury claims.
Damage to your hearing or inner ear can have a serious impact on your life. If loud noises have caused your ear injury, workplace injuries, an accident or trauma, you may be able to claim compensation, calculated based on how severe your injuries are. Below we guide some of the possible injuries you could suffer from an ear injury and the compensation amounts.
|Total deafness and loss of speech||Severe||£102,890 to £132,040||In cases where deafness arises at an early age and in order to aid the development of normal speech.|
|Total deafness||Severe||£85,170 to £102,890||Deafness in both ears. The higher end of the bracket also involves impediment to speech and/ or tinnitus.|
|Total deafness (one ear)||Severe||£29,380 to £42,730||Can also include associated problems, including tinnitus, dizziness and/or headaches.|
|Partial Hearing Loss or/and Tinnitus||Severe||£27,890 to £42,730||Severe tinnitus and Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL).|
|Partial Hearing Loss or/and Tinnitus||Moderate||£13,970 to £27,890||Moderate tinnitus and NIHL or moderate to severe tinnitus or NIHL alone.|
|Partial Hearing Loss or/and Tinnitus||Mild||£11,820 to £13,970||Mild tinnitus with some NIHL|
|Partial Hearing Loss or/and Tinnitus||Mild||Around £11,000||Mild tinnitus alone or mild NIHL alone.|
|Partial Hearing Loss or/and Tinnitus||Mild||£6,910 to £11,820||Slight or occasional tinnitus with slight NIHL.|
|Partial Hearing Loss or/and Tinnitus||Mild||Up to £6,580||Slight NIHL without tinnitus or slight tinnitus without NIHL.|
|Tissue damage||Mild||A few hundred pounds to £650||Injuries where there is a complete recovery within seven days.|
|Tissue damage||Mild||£650 to £1,290||Injuries where there is a complete recovery within 28 days.|
|Tissue damage||Mild||£1,290 to £2,300||Injuries where there is a complete recovery within three months.|
Please note these amounts are a guide, and your injury could result in a different amount of compensation.
To make a claim for an ear injury, talk to Legal Expert today. We’re regulated by the Solicitor Regulation Authority (SRA) and have years of experience in processing personal injury claims.
You can call us today on 0800 073 8804. Alternatively, talk to us via the online chat feature on our website or send us an email enquiry.
Find out how to treat an ear injury immediately after the trauma.
Find out how to make a claim for compensation after a concussion injury.
Our guide to claiming against the council or local authority.
Information on using a claims management company for a personal injury compensation claim.
HSE information on hearing loss at work
An NHS guide to dealing with hearing loss
How long do I have to make an ear injury claim?
The personal injury claims time limit is three years. This runs from the date of the accident or, in the case of hearing loss brought on by your work environment, from the date you realised your job caused your injuries.
How much is a tinnitus claim worth?
Without knowing the specifics of your injury, it’s impossible to say. Compensation payouts are based on the severity of your injuries and how long you’ll be affected. Contact us today to discuss your claim and see how much you could be owed.
What are the two types of damages?
Your claim will be split into general and special damages. General damages will compensate you for your injuries, where special damages will cover any financial loss you’ve experienced.
What are some common accidents causing injury to the ear?
Injuries to the ear often take the form of trauma to the side of the head. But the inner ear can also be injured by exposure to loud noises.
How can I prevent ear injury?
When playing a sport, you should wear a helmet to mitigate the effect of a blow to the head. If you work in a noisy environment, your employer should provide you with the appropriate PPE to reduce the risk of hearing loss.
How do I know if I ruptured my eardrum?
If your eardrum is ruptured, you may notice some pain, ringing in your ears, nausea and bloody drainage from your ear.
How long do ear injuries take to heal?
It depends. Sometimes, a burst eardrum may heal on its own in a matter of weeks. However, in some instances, surgery will be required to repair the damage. Furthermore, a loss of hearing or tinnitus caused by ear injury is sometimes permanent.
Can a child make an ear injury claim?
If someone under 18 has suffered an ear injury, then a litigation friend can claim on their behalf. Once they turn 18, they can claim themselves up to their 21st birthday if a claim hasn’t been made.
Thank you for reading our guide on ear injury claims.