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Deafness resulting from exposure to excessive noise is known as 'Noise Induced Hearing Loss' (NIHL). Hearing loss that is directly related to the work environment is commonly referred to as 'industrial deafness' and may occur if you have been exposed to excessive levels of noise during your working life.
Noise Induced Hearing Loss can have a significant impact on both your personal and professional lives. If you have suffered hearing loss due to the conditions in which you work, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact our specialist industrial deafness solicitors to start your claim today.
What is Noise Induced Hearing Loss?
Noise Induced Hearing Loss can be either partial or complete. Exposure to loud noises – for example those commonly experienced in industrial workplaces – can permanently damage your sensitivity to sound or cause ringing in the ears.
NIHL may be caused by a sudden incident or by gradual or repeated exposure to loud noise. In either case, the loud sound can cause damage to your hearing and potentially result in a permanent injury. Whilst treatment does exist to alleviate the symptoms and aid with the loss of sound sensitivity (e.g. hearing aids), there is no cure to hearing loss itself. Therefore, pursuing an injury claim may be the only way to secure rightful compensation that can help you better cope with this change.
As well as causing permanent deafness, exposure to noise in the workplace can also cause other permanent issues related to your hearing, including a high-pitched ringing in the ears known as tinnitus. If this applies to you, then you may have a case for compensation.
Can I Claim Compensation?
Symptoms of industrial deafness can be complex, which is why you should always seek professional medical advice in the first instance. To proceed with any NIHL injury claim, a report from an independent medical expert is essential.
The law states that your employer has a duty of care over you in the workplace. This means that they must protect workers from workplace risks, keeping employees safe from injuries and industrial illnesses. This includes ensuring that appropriate safety precautions are in place, for example through providing ear protection and training for any employees that may be at risk. If they have failed to uphold this duty of care through exposing you to conditions that may cause or worsen industrial deafness, you may be entitled to make a compensation claim.
In many cases, your symptoms may render you unable to carry out your duties at work, meaning you may need to take time off work to seek treatment. If so, you may be able to claim for any loss of earnings as part of your final compensation amount.
Who Is Most At Risk?
Due to the role of the work environment in causing industrial deafness, those working in certain industries and job roles are statistically more likely to develop NIHL. Areas of work in which employees are most likely to suffer from industrial deafness include:
- Power stations
- Factory work
The above list is not exhaustive as noise is an inescapable aspect of many industries. If you believe you may have developed NIHL through working in any of the industries above, or if you're suffering from NIHL as a result of working in any other work environment, contact our personal injury experts today to find out how we can help.
Are There Any Time Limits?
Due to the degenerative nature of deafness, it is important to pursue industrial deafness compensation as soon as possible. Like most other personal injury claims, UK law states that the legal time limit to file court proceedings is three years. This time limit starts from the date that you became aware, or could have been aware, that your hearing-related symptoms were significant and might have been caused by exposure to loud noise at a current or former workplace.
Due to the nature of industrial deafness, the symptoms of NIHL can go undetected for a considerable period of time. As such, you may not be diagnosed with the condition until years after working in a potentially harmful environment. For this reason, it’s important to pursue an injury compensation claim sooner rather than later as this can help increase your chances of success.
How Industrial Deafness Solicitors Can Help
Industrial deafness can be an extremely complex condition, so seeking the right legal assistance to support your compensation claim is crucial.
At Smith Partnership, our specialist personal injury team have years of practical experience in successfully pursuing claims of this kind. Whatever your circumstances may be, we apply our knowledge and expertise to secure the compensation you deserve.
Why Choose Smith Partnership?
Our dedicated team are on hand to help – even if your former workplace is no longer in business. We offer a team of leading experts across Leicester, Derby, Stoke-on-Trent, Swadlincote and Burton upon Trent, each with extensive experience in handling industrial deafness claims.
We pride ourselves on providing a straight-talking, jargon-free approach, ensuring you fully understand your position and options throughout every stage of the process. Depending on the circumstances, we may also be able to pursue your claim on the basis of a No Win No Fee agreement, minimising any financial risk to you.