How Long To Claim For Noise Induced Hearing Loss / Tinnitus UK?

UK industrial deafness solicitor sets out how long you have to commence a claim for compensation for noise induced hearing loss and tinnitus from excessive noise exposure in the work place

Noise Induced Hearing Loss Victim Question

I was exposed to loud noise working in mills in the North of England and the Midlands – including Manchester, Sheffield and Coventry.

I believe I might be suffering from industrial deafness and tinnitus – how long do I have to make a claim for compensation for noise induced hearing loss?

Industrial Deafness Solicitor Response

There are generally three years from the date of injury or date of knowledge of injury to make a claim for personal injury and industrial deafness and tinnitus in England and Wales. For noise induced hearing loss claims typically injury and knowledge are different dates.

If exposure to prolonged loud noise took place when you were younger – your hearing can be damaged without you realising for many years. As you get older your hearing deteriorates naturally, but if your hearing has already been damaged when you were younger your hearing has been effectively prematurely aged, such that a 50 year old might have the hearing of a 70 year old.

It is only when your hearing deteriorates to a certain level that symptoms are noticeable, which typically include a difficulty hearing with background noise such as social situations in bars, etc. Increasing the volume on the TV – family members typically complain about this. Missing visitors knocking at the door or the ringing on a phone – again other family members typically notice this.

It is not however when you first experience symptoms that you have knowledge of your injury as symptoms can occur decades after exposure to the original harmful noise. It is when you realise or when it is reasonable that you should have realised that you have hearing loss and that loss is associated with work noise.

The last date for this presumed knowledge is when a doctor or other medical expert tests your hearing and recognizes noise induced hearing loss. The hearing test results are plotted on a graph – known as an audiogram, and this audiogram has a distinctive shape which cannot be faked showing hearing loss from noise exposure.

Tinnitus – a whistling sound in your ears especially evident in the quiet of night, is another sign of damages hearing. Symptoms of tinnitus normally occur around the same time other symptoms of hearing loss develop.

So to answer your question – how long do you have to claim for noise induced hearing loss? The answer is there is no maximum length of time from noise exposure at work, but three years as a maximum from date of knowledge of hearing loss.

It is however very difficult to determine yourself when the law presumes you had knowledge of your hearing loss – you will need the help of a specialist industrial deafness solicitor to determine how long you have to claim.

If you would like to discuss your noise exposure with me in person or to commence an industrial deafness claim online, click how long to claim for noise induced hearing loss or call me on the telephone number shown next to my photo at the top of this page.

3 Responses to “How Long To Claim For Noise Induced Hearing Loss / Tinnitus UK?”

  1. Stephen says:

    I have tinnitus and worked in noisy environments when I left school in 1976. 12 months at a tyre fitters then around 2 years at a hgv company in the garage and then over 2 years in a car repair garage without any ear protections and daily listening to damaged cars get bashed back into shape.

    Question – I need to know is how long do you need to have been exposed to loud noise for a claim?

  2. There are no set rules as to the time that you need to be exposed to loud noise and certainly the three years you describe working for the tyre fitters and HGV company combined could be sufficient.

    The critical factor is the level of noise that you were exposed to, as the law has recognised through the years the level of noise which is required to damage hearing for which an employer will be considered responsible.

    Extremely loud noises, such as found in the aeronautical industry or jobs using explosives, might require just one loud noise to cause hearing damage – both tinnitus and noise induced hearing loss.

    If the noise levels are lower, but still beyond the government guidelines for safe noise levels and so still excessively loud, exposure needs to be continous and over a time period. The noise you describe are likely to require continuous noise exposure.

    In law there is a principle knowen as “de minimus” – which means that you must have had a sufficient length of time of exposure to the excessive noise to cause hearing damage. Exposure to excessive noise for a number of weeks would likely to be considered de minimus and not sufficient to justify a claim. When the excessive noise exposure takes place over a number of years your noise exposure will not be considered de minimus.

    Medical evidence will be required in any event from a ENT (Ear Nose And Throat Expert) following a hearing test by an audiologist. This expert evidence is essential to prove that your hearing loss is related to noise.

    Click noise induced hearing loss audiogram to see the page I have written explaining the importance of the shape of the audiogram to show industrial deafness.

    Click tinnitus claim to see the article I have written explaining how tinnitus and noise induced hearing loss claims are related.

    Finally – you should be aware that you only have three years from date of knowledge of hearing damage as a result of noise to make a claim. To determine when the law will consider you to have knowledge of hearing loss you are best speaking to me in person – I can assess this free of charge.

    To speak to me or have an online assessment on your claim click industrial deafness time limits to claim.

  3. stephen morton says:

    Thank you for the reply.
    I am filling in the form on this page in http://www.accident-claim-expert.co.uk/en/general/contact-us.html
    I went to a hearing place in leeds last year and was given ear pieces that transmit a hissing sound to help with the tinitus and a smal noise machine to help me sleep at night to take away the attention of the high pitched screech I have.

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