If you are suffering from tinnitus as a result of your job or workplace, you may have a potential claim for compensation. The industrial disease solicitors at Jefferies are ready to help you, call us to discuss tinnitus claims.
Call our friendly team on 0800 342 3206 or contact us online to arrange a call-back.
What Is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is a medical condition characterised by a hissing, buzzing or ringing sound produced inside the inner ear. The noises vary in pitch from person to person; they can be low or high frequency, intermittent or constant and can happen unilaterally (in one ear) and bilaterally (in both ears). Tinnitus can affect both sleep and concentration and it is estimated that approximately 15% of the population have experienced it on some level.
Most of us have experienced ‘phase change’ which is a temporary buzzing in the ear after going to a concert with loud music or working in a noisy industrial environment. This ringing in the ear disappears after a few hours and usually, most of us think nothing of it. However, those exposed to perpetual noise on a recurring basis are at risk of developing more long-term effects.
Tinnitus sufferers begin to notice they are missing obvious sounds like speech, doorbells or having to turn up the radio. Shortly after, they may begin to detect ringing or humming sounds at irregular intervals and initially in quieter settings, this later becomes a more constant sound.
What Causes Tinnitus?
Problems with tinnitus occur when the delicate hairs inside the inner ear become damaged and auditory cells send random electrical impulses to the brain which are translated into noise. This damage can occur as a result of age-related hearing loss (presbycusis) or by being exposed to loud and continuous noises, often in a workplace environment. This is commonly referred to as noise-induced deafness.
Where Tinnitus Can Occur
Noise-induced deafness can be triggered in environments where some of the following equipment is used (amongst others):
- Welding tools
- Pneumatic drills
- Vacuum cleaners
A report by Deafness Research UK has found that in 20% of cases, tinnitus sufferers believe that working in a noisy workplace has given them the medical condition.
In most cases of tinnitus, there is no known cure. If you have the condition as a result of the build-up of ear wax then ear drops or ear irrigation are usually recommended. You should always seek medical attention if you have any symptoms as straining your hearing can exacerbate tinnitus.
Common treatments aim to handle the symptoms of tinnitus on a day-to-day basis and include the following:
This involves filling quiet environments with indistinct repetitive sounds to detract attention away from the sound of tinnitus. Popular themes are natural sounds like raindrops or waves. Sound generators are electrical devices often placed on the bedside to aid tinnitus sufferers to sleep better.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
A popular treatment used for many conditions such as anxiety and depression. The notion of this therapy is based on the idea that people can change the focus of their behaviour through their thoughts.
A talking therapy usually administered by audiologists, it is designed to help suffers understand the condition and learn how to cope with the impact of tinnitus.
What you should do if you have any of the symptoms of tinnitus:
Contact your GP who will refer you to an Ear Noise and Throat Specialist for an audiogram to establish any damage. You will need a diagnosis in order to make a claim.
Begin a diary of when you are experiencing any of the symptoms as this will help you if you decide to make a claim against your employer.ELIGIBILITY CHECKER
HOW DOES THE CLAIMS PROCESS WORK?
At Jefferies Solicitors, once we have carried out an initial consultation, we will take care of the paperwork required to get your case underway.
A letter will be sent to you following an initial consultation with your solicitor. This will be a summary of the meeting you had and will confirm that they are happy to take on your case. It will highlight who will be your contact and estimate how long the process will take. The letter will also detail how you will be funding the case and an estimate of costs. If you need to provide any further information this will also be included.
A letter will then be sent to the defendant, providing details of the accident. The defendant has a fixed period in which they can reply and in their reply, they must state whether or not they are denying or accepting liability for your injuries. If they do accept liability, your solicitor will endeavour to settle the case out of court.
AMOUNT OF COMPENSATION IN TINNITUS CLAIMS
All personal injury cases are unique and so the amount of compensation that is awarded in each case is also unique. The amount of compensation that is awarded is determined by looking at two specific factors – general damages and special damages.
GENERAL DAMAGES IN TINNITUS CLAIMS
The pain and suffering that your injuries have caused is the main factor that is used to determine how much compensation you are owed. This will usually be determined by undergoing a medical examination, from which a report is created that outlines the length of time the injuries will take to heal as well as their severity.
Our compensation calculator gives an indication of how much you might be entitled to based upon your injuries. Jefferies Solicitors will take these different details relating to your injury into account when calculating how much compensation you should be awarded, which will then be put forward to the opposing side and the judge.
SPECIAL DAMAGES IN TINNITUS CLAIMS
However, compensation also takes into account any financial losses that you might have suffered as a result of your injuries, such as a loss of earnings due to being unable to return to work. If you have had to pay for treatment or travel to treatment, compensation may also be able to cover this as well. Therefore, you should keep any receipts or other documents that help to outline the extent of your financial losses, as caused by your accident/injuries.
Making Tinnitus Claims For Compensation
If you’re looking to make a tinnitus claim, Jefferies Solicitors are here to help. Please bear in mind that you will have 3 years from the date of discovery in which to claim.
Our expert team of personal injury solicitors can also help if you’re suffering from another kind of occupational illness such as emphysema or carpal tunnel syndrome. Get in touch with our friendly team by calling 0800 342 3206 or by making an online enquiry.
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