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Industrial disease solicitor sets out how it is possible to claim compensation for industrial deafness and tinnitus from an employer who is no longer in business when noise exposure took place many years ago
Industrial deafness and tinnitus victim question
I worked in Coventry for a company twenty years ago and was exposed to many loud machines including hand held drills, lathes, grinding machines, etc.
At the end of the working day I would notice that I was disoriented and my hearing was not as it should be and I had a buzzing in my ears. When I woke up the next day these effects would pass.
I worked in this environment for approximately fifteen years and the company went bankrupt in 2005 so I was no longer exposed to the noise.
Claim compensation industrial deafness
In 2010 I noticed that family members where complaining that I was missing conversation especially in social situations where there was background noise and complaints were made that I was turning the TV too loud, missing the telephone ringing, etc. I have also noticed a permanent ringing in my ears.
I have not sought medical assistance with these problems and wonder if it is possible to make a claim for compensation despite the fact that my previous employer is no longer in business.
Industrial deafness solicitor response
The problem you describe at the end of your working day is typical and is sometimes known as a “phase shift”. This is due to continuous exposure to loud noise affecting the hearing at the end of the day and this typically passes following day or after the weekend. This demonstrates exposure to loud noise but this in itself does not demonstrate damage to hearing.
The symptoms you describe and first experienced in 2010 of ringing in your ears is known as tinnitus and the problems you experience hearing conversation and turning the TV too loud can demonstrate symptoms of noise induced hearing loss.
It is quite common that symptoms of tinnitus and noise induced hearing loss take place many years after the original exposure to noise. This is because as you get older your hearing deteriorates and when coupled with existing hearing damage from loud noise at work – you can suffer symptoms hearing problems which would be expected for a much older person. It as though the noise has caused premature aging of your hearing.
Initial symptoms of hearing loss are typically noticeable first by family members. A constant ringing in the ears or tinnitus can also commence at a similar time as the symptoms of noise endured hearing loss.
You should seek medical attention from your GP and ask to have your hearing tested explaining the exposure to noise you experienced at your workplace in Coventry. You should also describe the machinery that you used including the lathes, grinding machines, hand held drills, etc. as these types of machines are known to produce excessive noise levels capable of causing hearing damage if suitable ear protection is not provided.
Your GP should send you to see a specialist ear noise and throat / ENT doctor and your hearing should be tested by an audiologist.
Your hearing test is plotted in a diagram for both your left and right ear which is known as an audiogram. The audiogram has a very distinct shape which will prove that the hearing loss is due to exposure to noise in the work place.
The audiogram cannot be faked and so the first step before considering making a claim is to have your hearing tested.
Can you still claim compensation for industrial deafness despite exposure to noise at work many years ago?
"Yes" - it is typical in industrial injury claims that you will not realise that you have suffered injury to your hearing until many years after exposure to excessive noise has occurred so quite often you will have three years form your date of knowledge of injury to start a claim at court.
In many cases this might be three years from the date of your hearing test.
The fact that your employer is no longer in business does not prevent a claim being made as another company may have taken over your former employer's liabilities and if not your former employer's liability insurer can be traced by a specialist industrial deafness solicitor.
What should you do to claim compensation for industrial deafness and how much can you claim
I am happy to discuss your exposure online or in person - if you would like to do this click claim compensation industrial deafness or alternatively if you are interested in knowing how much compensation you can claim for industrial deafness and tinnitus click industrial deafness.