Hearing Loss Claim Time Limits – How Long Do I Have To Claim For hearing loss / Industrial Deafness
There are three types of noise induced hearing loss: acoustic shock syndrome, industrial deafness and tinnitus. If you work in an environment such as construction or engineering with excessive noise, your employer is legally obliged to protect you from noise induced hearing loss. If you are suffering from noise induced hearing loss because of negligence on the part of your employer, you could be entitled to claim compensation for your injuries.
Our clients often ask us “Is there a time limit for making a hearing loss claim?” The answer is yes, there is a personal injury claims time limit in the UK. In this guide we will explain what a hearing loss claim time limit is and how it works.
If you have lost your hearing or are suffering from tinnitus because of negligence on the part of your current or former employer, you could be entitled to claim workplace hearing loss compensation. Contact Legal Expert today for your free personal injury claims consultation. If you have the right to claim, we will accurately estimate how much compensation your claim for hearing loss could be worth and will assign an excellent personal injury solicitor to your case to help you claim. Call us today on 0800 073 8804 to begin your claim. Alternatively, you can use our claim online form and we can arrange an alternative consultation.
Select A Section
- A Guide To Hearing Loss Claim Time Limits
- What Is A Hearing Loss Or Industrial Deafness Claim?
- Is There A Time Limit For Making A Hearing Loss Claim?
- When Could You Have Grounds To Make A Hearing Loss Claim?
- What Is The Date Of Knowledge For A Hearing Loss
- My Hearing Loss Was Diagnosed Almost Three Years Ago, Could I Still Claim?
- What Is The Time Limit For Accident Claims For Children?
- When Can I Claim For An Accident After 3 Years?
- How Long After Losing My Hearing Can I Sue? – Hearing Loss Claim Time Limits
- What Could I Claim If I Have Lost My Hearing?
- Hearing Loss Compensation Calculator
- No Win No Fee Hearing Loss And Work Related Hearing Loss Claims
- How To Contact Legal Expert
- Useful Resources
In the United Kingdom, employers have a legal duty of care towards their employees. This means that they are legally responsible for providing their employees with a safe and hygienic workplace environment. To uphold their duty of care, employers must conduct regular risk assessments of the working environment, to identify hazards (things that put their employees at risk). Then they must apply control measures to mitigate this risk. This could be as simple as fixing a broken handrail on a staircase, to avoid falling accidents, or providing employees with personal protective equipment (PPE) if they are working with hazardous substances. If an employee is injured or made ill because of a hazard in the workplace, they have the right to make a personal injury claim against their employer for compensation. This includes claims for hearing loss and government payment for hearing loss.
In this guide to making a compensation claim for noise induced hearing loss (NHIL) we will focus on explaining how the hearing loss claim time limit works. We will look at some frequently asked questions about hearing loss time limits, including: “How long do you have to file a hearing loss claim?”, “Can I claim for an accident after 3 years?” and “how long after losing my hearing can I sue?” We will advise you on how the industrial deafness claims procedure works and how to find the right solicitor to handle your claim for industrial hearing loss government compensation, in the UK. We will also explain the benefits of making a no win no fee compensation claim and will have provided a hearing loss compensation calculator, to help you estimate how much your hearing loss claim could be worth.
Noise induced hearing loss is a condition that is brought about by exposure to an excessive amount of noise. Most cases of noise induced hearing loss are brought about because of routine exposure to excessive noise at work. According to statistics from the Health And Safety Executive (HSE), here were an estimated 23,000 people in the UK with hearing loss caused by excessive noise at work, from the years 2015/6 to 2017/8. There had also been 70 claims for hearing loss in the year 2017. These high numbers are worrying but fortunately there has been a steady decline in the number of industrial deafness related cases over the last ten years (from 2008 to 2018). Despite this, one case is one too many and anyone who has suffered deafness or tinnitus because of irresponsible behaviour on the part of their employer, deserves to receive compensation for their ordeal.
As we have already stated, employers have a legal duty of care towards their employees, and other people that use their premises. If the employer neglects their duty of care and an employee is injured or made ill as a result, they may have the right to claim compensation. In the UK these principles are codified by the Health And Safety At Work Action of 1974. More recently, the Control Of Noise At Work Regulations of 2005, provides exact regulations about what steps employers are supposed to take, in order to protect employees from excessive noise. The Control Of Noise At Work Regulations of 2005 state that legal limit for noise in the workplace is 80 to 85 decibels. When the noise reaches this limit or above, employers must apply control measures (as discussed above), to protect their employees from hearing loss. If they do not protect their employers from the damage that can be caused by excessive noise in the workplace, and the employee suffers from acoustic shock syndrome, industrial deafness or tinnitus as a result, then the employee would have the right to claim deafness compensation.
Under what circumstances is industrial hearing loss likely to occur? Industries where workplace noise is likely to reach heights in excess of 80 to 85 decibels, include: construction, road drilling, car manufacturing, ship building, mining, engineering and the military to name a few. This is because these professions use heavy machinery, industrial strength tools, or in the case of the military, service people are routinely exposed to weapons firing during training exercises and active combat.
If noise levels in the working environment exceed 80 to 85 decibels, employers are responsible for applying control measures that protect their staff from noise induced hearing loss. Control measures that can be applied include: using the quietest choice of machinery, where possible, rotating shifts so that an individual is not exposed to the loud machinery for longer than necessary, installing sound barriers to absorb the noise and providing personal protective equipment (PPE) such as earplugs or noise cancelling headphones to employees. If an employer fails to do this, and the employee experiences damage to their hearing as a result, the employee will have the right to claim for workplace hearing loss compensation.
Remember, Legal Expert can provide you with an excellent personal injury lawyer to handle a claim for compensation. If you believe you are entitled to deafness compensation or tinnitus compensation, contact us today to begin your claim.
What is the time limit for accident claims? In the United Kingdom, there is a personal injury claims time limit of three years. This begins from the time that the accident which injured the person took place, or the time that the person became aware of their illness or injury. This is called the date of knowledge. The date of knowledge could be the date that the person first started experiencing symptoms, or the date that the person was diagnosed with their injury or illness. Because hearing loss occurs over time, the date of knowledge is usually the date that they were diagnosed with noise induced hearing loss. Therefore the hearing loss claim time limit for most cases is three years from the date of diagnosis.
In some cases the person’s occupational hearing loss or related condition is not diagnosed until later in life, when they start to experience natural hearing loss brought about by aging and their deafness is properly assessed by an audiologist. The sufferer can still claim compensation for hearing loss induced years before hand, if it was diagnosed in the last three years. However there is an exception to this rule. It is generally acknowledged that prior to 1963, it was not known that excessive noise in the workplace could damage a person’s hearing. Therefore, if an individual was recently diagnosed with noise induced hearing loss but worked in an environment with excessive noise prior to 1963, they would sadly not be eligible to claim.
There are three types of noise induced hearing loss. They include acoustic shock syndrome, industrial deafness, also known as industrial hearing loss, and tinnitus. When making claims for deafness, noise induced hearing loss suffered by military personnel is sometimes categorised separately because the person would claim a government payment for hearing loss.
We will now look at the types of noise induced hearing loss that can be caused by negligence in the workplace, in more detail:
- Industrial Deafness: Industrial deafness, also called occupational deafness is hearing loss caused when a noise above 80 to 85 decibels passes through the outer ear, ear canal and ear drum. As the noise enters the middle and inner ears, it damages the auditory cells of the inner ear, which causes a loss of hearing. This process happens over time. Unfortunately it is not reversible.
- Acoustic Shock Syndrome: Acoustic shock syndrome is caused by exposure to a single excessively loud soundwave, such as an explosion. The condition can also be caused by listening to loud sounds through headphones.
- Tinnitus: Tinnitus happens when someone is exposed to excessively loud noise over time, resulting in damage to the tiny sensory hairs in the cochlea and inner ear. Symptoms of tinnitus include a constant ringing, hissing or clicking noise in the sufferer’s ear.
In order to be eligible to claim for workplace hearing loss compensation, you must be able to prove that your hearing loss was caused by negligence on the part of your current or former employer. First of all you will need a medical assessment by an audiologist, who will be able to diagnose your deafness. They will also need to conduct tests to confirm whether or not your deafness was caused by excessive noise, aging or a pre-existing medical condition. Then your solicitor will be able to investigate to find evidence to prove that negligence on the part of your current or former employer was the cause of this hearing loss. They may use eyewitness accounts or incidents where there was a complaint to the Health and Safety Executive about excessive noise, in order to make the claim.
Most noise induced hearing loss occurs overtime because of routine exposure to excessive noise in the workplace. Exceptions to this include an individual being exposed to an incredibly loud sound such as a bomb explosion (in the case of acoustic shock syndrome). This means that the hearing loss claim time limit, usually begins at the date of knowledge. This is normally the date when the claimant’s noise induced deafness is diagnosed.
The date of knowledge can be many years after the hearing loss took place. This is because an individual may not immediately realise that they have suffered hearing loss. In some cases, it may not be until the person ages and experiences a natural decline in their hearing that noise induced hearing loss is also diagnosed. Therefore, a person may be diagnosed with noise induced hearing loss, several years after they were exposed to excessive noise in the workplace. This means that when a client asks us “How long after losing my hearing can I sue?” we tell them that time limit for a hearing loss claim is up to three years after they were diagnosed with noise induced hearing loss.
If your date of knowledge for your hearing loss was nearly three years ago, then there is no time to lose. Contact Legal Expert immediately to begin your hearing loss compensation claim. Failing to do so, means you may lose the right to claim the compensation that you are owed.
What is the time limit for accident claims for children? In personal injury law, a child who has been injured or made ill because of an accident caused by another party, may claim compensation for themselves once they reach the age of 18. The medical negligence claim time limit begins on their 18th birthday and ends three years later on their 21st birthday. Alternatively a parent or guardian may claim on behalf of the child, before they reach the age of 18. However, sound induced hearing loss is likely to affect children than working age adults.
Clients sometimes ask us “When can I claim for an accident after three years?” There are sometimes exceptions to the personal injury claims time limits rules. As we have stated, children have three years after their 18th birthday to begin their claim. If you were injured abroad in a country with personal injury claims time limits rules that are over three years then these rules will still apply. Other people ask “How long after losing my hearing can I sue?” If they were detained under the Mental Health Act of 1983, at the time. In this case, the hearing loss claim time limit will begin the day they were discharged.
If you wish to claim compensation for deafness, or government payment for hearing loss, you may be wondering how long do you have to file a hearing loss claim? The table below has information about hearing loss claim time limits.
|Claimant / type of claim||Time limit|
|General NIHL claim time limit||3 years|
|NHIL affecting a child||Up to the age of 18 or 3 years after this.|
If you make a successful industrial hearing loss government compensation UK claim, or workplace hearing loss compensation claim, your compensation will be awarded in two parts. The first part will be general damages. These compensate the injured person for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity that their deafness or tinnitus caused. They will also be awarded special damages which will cover any past or future expenses they may have, in relation to their hearing loss. We have included some examples of what special damages awarded for hearing loss may cover below:
- Medical expenses: This can cover the cost of audiologist appointments and any other type of therapy you may need.
- Home adaptation expenses: If you needed to adapt your home as a result of your hearing loss, for example get a speciality telephone or doorbell, these will cover your expenses.
- Mobility equipment expenses: If you now require a hearing aid, implants, or need a hearing dog to assist you, you can claim expenses to pay for these.
- Loss of income: If you had to take time off work because of your injuries, you can claim back the cost of any salary or in work benefit payments that you missed.
- Travel costs: You can claim for the cost of travelling to and from audiologist’s appointments, or any other related travel and parking expenses.
- Care costs: You can claim compensation for a friend or family member, who has provided you with care due to your hearing loss injuries.
You can use our hearing loss compensation calculator to estimate how much deafness compensation or industrial hearing loss government compensation, you could be entitled to claim. This calendar does not include what you can claim in special damages, and does not take your personal circumstances into account.
|Form of NIHL||Seriousness||Upper/ Lower settlement||Comments|
|Partial NIHL tinnitus||Slight||Up to £6,140||Least serious versions of the below injuries.|
|Partial NIHL tinnitus||Slight / occasional||£6,450 to £11,040||Occasional and/ or slight levels of tinnitus or hearing loss.|
|Partial NIHL tinnitus||Mild||£11,040 - £13,080||Milder levels of hearing loss or symptoms of tinnitus.|
|Partial NIHL tinnitus||Moderate||£13,080 - £26,040||Moderate to severe forms of hearing loss and tinnitus. May include both or either.|
|Partial NIHL tinnitus||Severe but partial||£26,040 to £39,940||Severe though partial hearing loss. May include some tinnitus.|
|Total hearing loss||Total loss in a single ear||£27,450 to £39,940||Could include headaches, dizziness and some tinnitus.|
|Total deafness and some loss of speech||Total deafness||£96,150 to £123,310||Higher settlements may be paid if deafness happened at a younger age.|
|Total deafness||Total deafness||£79,560 to £96,150||May include loss of hearing and problems with speech.|
Before you begin your industrial deafness claims procedure, you may wish to consider making a no win no fee claim. This means that there is nothing to pay unless your personal injury solicitor wins your claim, so there’s no financial risk involved. Read more about making a no win no fee claim by consulting our guide, or contact us today and we’ll be happy to advise you about the benefits of making a no win no fee claim.
Now you have read our guide to hearing loss claim time limits, if you believe that you have legitimate grounds to make a deafness compensation claim, contact us today. Call us, or if you prefer not to speak over the phone use our online claims contact form and we will another way to consult you. Remember, you could be owed a large sum of money in compensation, so contact us today to begin your industrial deafness claims procedure.
In addition to the information provided in this guide we have other guides on our site which may be relevant to you. You can also find information on other services where you could get help.
Industrial Deafness Claims – How Much Compensation Can I Claim?
A Guide To Tinnitus Accident Claims – How Much Compensation Can I Claim?
Personal Injury Compensation Time Limit – General time limits explained.