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.