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If you suffer from tinnitus due to an accident or your working conditions, you could be entitled to make a no win no fee tinnitus compensation claim
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Tinnitus Claims

If you have been diagnosed with tinnitus and feel that your condition is due to loud noises within the workplace, you may have a valid claim for personal injury compensation. That is because your employer has a duty of care to provide you with a safe environment to work in and to take reasonable steps to prevent damage to your health and well-being.

But it is not just workplaces that can cause damage to your hearing. Tinnitus can also result from road accidents, criminal assaults and many other incidents. As long as another person or company was at fault for causing your hearing condition, they might be liable for compensation.

To find out if you are eligible to make a tinnitus claim, call 0800 032 3660 or request a call back to receive a free claim assessment. A friendly and experienced injury lawyer will offer a free consultation to discuss your case and answer any questions you may have.

Your solicitor will provide a no win no fee* service. So, if you are entitled to claim tinnitus compensation, you can do so without putting yourself and your family at any financial risk. If your solicitor is unable to win your personal injury claim, you won’t pay them a penny.

What is tinnitus?

Tinnitus is a condition that affects hearing and presents symptoms such as ringing or other kinds of noises heard in the ear when there is no external source producing the sound. The symptoms of tinnitus can be due to an ear injury, circulatory system problems or exposure to loud noise over an extended period. Over 10% of the UK adult population is estimated to suffer from tinnitus, according to the British Tinnitus Association (BTA).

There are several types of tinnitus that a sufferer might be diagnosed with, and these include:

  • Tonal tinnitus. This form is perhaps the most well-known and causes the predominant symptom of ‘ringing’ in the ears. When someone suffers from tonal tinnitus, they may hear a continuous sound instead of an intermittent or pulsating sound.
  • Pulsating tinnitus. With this condition, people will hear intermittent sounds that usually beat in time with their pulse or heartbeat.
  • Somatic tinnitus. This type of tinnitus is influenced by movements of the jaw, neck, or other body parts. Changes in muscle tension can impact the perception of sound.
  • Objective tinnitus. This is one of the rarest forms of tinnitus and the only type that can be heard by an outside observer, usually with a stethoscope.

Apart from ringing, people with tinnitus may also experience other kinds of noises. According to the NHS, some known sounds include beeping, whistling, hissing, buzzing and humming noises.

In minor cases, the noises experienced can be slightly uncomfortable and irritating. They will typically get better over time without requiring any specific treatment. However, in more severe cases, they can cause significant distress to people and affect many aspects of their life, as seen in the section below.

How can tinnitus affect your life?

Tinnitus can have a wide range of effects on various aspects of a person’s life. The impact can vary based on the severity of the condition, which is usually classed as either mild, severe or moderate tinnitus. It can include:

  • Quality of life. It can affect your ability to enjoy activities, hobbies, and social interactions due to the constant presence of sound.
  • Sleep disturbances. Tinnitus can disrupt sleep patterns, making it hard to fall or stay asleep. This lack of restful sleep can lead to fatigue, irritability, and decreased cognitive function.
  • Concentration problems. The persistent noise can make it hard to focus on tasks, work, or even conversations. That can lead to decreased productivity and frustration.
  • Emotional impact. Tinnitus can cause a range of emotional responses, including anxiety, depression, stress, and irritability. The distress caused by the sound can lead to negative feelings that further affect mental well-being.
  • Social isolation. Some people might avoid social situations or noisy environments due to difficulties in hearing and the emotional strain caused by constant noise.
  • Cognitive function. Some individuals with tinnitus report difficulties with memory, problem-solving, and other mental functions.
  • Sound sensitivity. Those in distress may become more sensitive to everyday sounds, making normal sounds uncomfortable or painful.
  • Anxiety and stress. The stress and anxiety of dealing with tinnitus can create a cycle where increased tension leads to heightened tinnitus symptoms and vice versa.
  • Occupational impact. Tinnitus can affect work performance and might also lead to decreased job satisfaction.
  • Relationship strain. The condition can affect relationships if communication is affected due to hearing difficulties or emotional distress.
  • Physical symptoms. It can sometimes lead to physical symptoms such as headaches, muscle tension, and fatigue.

When claiming for tinnitus, your solicitor will ensure that your compensation award takes into account the various impacts the condition has had on your work and daily life. This will ensure you receive the maximum amount of compensation that you are entitled to.

Tinnitus diagnosis and treatments

Most people will have experienced mild, short-term periods of tinnitus at some point, particularly after exposure to loud music at a concert or nightclub, for example. For some people, however, this noise is not short-lived and can severely impact their everyday life and enjoyment.

Except for objective tinnitus, doctors cannot detect most types of the condition. Because of this, they will typically diagnose it based on your medical history and a physical examination. Common tests include:

  • A hearing exam during which you will sit in a soundproof room wearing earphones and will have to indicate whether you can hear a sound through them
  • Additional tests to determine how well the bones in your ear conduct sound and whether your middle and inner ear function properly
  • Moving your eyes, jaw, neck or other body parts to see if there are any changes in how you perceive tinnitus
  • Imaging tests like an MRI or CT scan to rule out any structural issues in the ear or brain that could be contributing to the condition
  • Lab tests to check for anaemia, heart disease or other health issues that might contribute to your symptoms

There is no cure for tinnitus, but some treatments could help reduce symptoms:

  • Sound therapy aims to mask or reduce the perception of tinnitus by introducing external sounds. These can include white noise machines, hearing aids, or specialised tinnitus maskers;
  • Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can help individuals manage the emotional distress caused by tinnitus by changing negative thought patterns and providing coping strategies;
  • Tinnitus retraining therapy combines counselling and sound therapy to habituate the brain to the tinnitus sound, reducing its impact over time;
  • Stress reduction techniques, including mindfulness, relaxation exercises, and yoga, can help manage the emotional aspects associated with the condition;
  • Lifestyle changes, such as reducing exposure to loud noises, limiting caffeine and alcohol intake, managing stress, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle;
  • Some medications may be prescribed to alleviate the associated symptoms, such as anxiety or sleep disturbances.

Common causes of tinnitus and hearing loss

Tinnitus is the perception of sounds in the ears or head, such as buzzing and humming, that do not have an external source. The condition has several potential causes, including exposure to loud noise, certain medications and health conditions, stress and head injuries. However, most tinnitus compensation claims are related to one of the following:

Noise exposure at work

Exposure to excessive noise at work is one of the most common causes of tinnitus. Health and Safety laws, such as the Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005, have been introduced to help protect workers. These regulations have contributed to providing safer working environments within most industries.

However, some employers may cut corners or fail to take sufficient steps to safeguard their workers against the dangers posed by a noisy environment. Under these circumstances, a person is more likely to develop tinnitus and other hearing problems, such as industrial deafness.

Workers considered at a greater risk of suffering tinnitus include those in engineering, construction, manufacturing, aviation, printing, shipbuilding and steelworks. People who work in call centres using headsets are also at risk of acoustic shock, a sudden burst of high-frequency noise, which often leads to the development of tinnitus.

Road traffic accidents

Tinnitus can also result from road traffic accidents, particularly those involving sudden and loud noises, impact on the head, or ear injuries. The intense noise from collisions, airbags, screeching tires, and other factors can cause damage to the delicate structures within the inner ear, leading to tinnitus. Here are some ways road traffic accidents can contribute to the condition:

  • Loud impact noise. A car crash can be deafening and sudden, resulting in vibrations that can damage the auditory system and trigger tinnitus.
  • Airbag deployment. The explosive release of air and the loud noise of airbag deployment can potentially cause or exacerbate the condition.
  • Head and ear injuries. Injuries sustained during a road traffic accident, such as a blow to the head or ears, can directly impact the auditory system.
  • Whiplash and neck injuries. Whiplash, common in rear-end collisions, can cause rapid and forceful head and neck movement. This motion can affect the delicate structures of the inner ear and contribute to tinnitus.
  • Stress and anxiety. Being involved in a car accident can lead to stress, anxiety, and emotional distress. These psychological factors can exacerbate tinnitus symptoms or even contribute to their onset.
  • Ear trauma. If your head hits a hard surface or object within the vehicle, it can lead to ear trauma, potentially causing tinnitus.

Many other accidents and noisy environments can affect the delicate structures of your inner ear and cause ringing. If a third party caused your condition through negligence or wrongdoing, you might be able to start a tinnitus claim for compensation.

What steps should employers take to prevent damage to hearing?

As mentioned above, an employer has a duty of care under UK Health and Safety laws to provide their employees (and visitors) with a safe environment to carry out their work. If an employer breaches this duty of care, resulting in injury or illness, they are liable to pay damages under personal injury law.

Several laws dictate what employers should do to prevent hearing damage and protect employees from noise, including:

Under these regulations and other advice and guidance from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), employers have the following duties to protect you from tinnitus, deafness and other forms of hearing damage:

  • Assess noise levels by conducting detailed risk assessments;
  • Determine if particular employees are at risk of injury;
  • Implement safety measures to keep noise below the legal level (80 to 85 decibels). This could include the provision of ear plugs and other
  • PPE, the use of quieter equipment and regular breaks;
  • Have solutions in place to reduce noise at its source, such as using quieter machinery, adding noise barriers or sound-absorbing materials;
  • Establish quiet areas where employees can take regular breaks from the noise;
  • Provide appropriate training and education to staff so they are fully aware of the risks posed by loud noise in the workplace and how to minimise the dangers caused;
  • Regularly monitor the hearing ability of employees by providing health checks.

Jobs and industries that involve regular exposure to loud noises are particularly prone to tinnitus risk. Some high-risk occupations include:

  • Construction and factory workers
  • Airport personnel
  • Musicians and sound engineers
  • Mining and quarrying workers
  • Military personnel
  • Agriculture workers
  • Mechanics
  • Road maintenance workers

It is important to note that the risk of tinnitus is not solely limited to these occupations. If you developed the condition while working any job that involved exposure to a noisy environment, you could be entitled to tinnitus compensation. To find out if your case has merit, call 0800 032 3660 or use our online claim form to speak to a friendly legal adviser.

They will ask you a few simple questions about your job, the type of noise exposure you have experienced and how the company you work for may have been at fault. They will also ask about the injury that has been caused to your hearing and the impact that this has had on your life.

Am I eligible to make a tinnitus claim?

The easiest way to find out if you could start claiming for tinnitus is through a free consultation with a legal adviser. As mentioned above, they will ask you a few questions about your situation to determine if:

  • The defendant in your claim owed you a duty of care
  • They breached that duty by acting negligently
  • Their negligence has caused you to suffer from tinnitus

To make a successful claim, your solicitor must prove that you have been diagnosed with tinnitus and that this condition was due to someone else’s negligence. They will work closely with you to gather relevant documentation and evidence to ensure they can build a strong case and seek out the maximum compensation possible for your injury and losses.

One of the first steps in the process will be having a medical professional diagnose your condition and the probable cause. If your working conditions are thought to have been the trigger, your solicitor will need to gather evidence to back up this claim and prove that liability lies with your employer. That could include collecting witness statements, examining the health and safety records of the company, etc.

If you’re considering claiming for tinnitus, seeking legal advice as soon as possible is essential, as there are specific tie limits for starting legal proceedings. If your condition is due to a particular event, such as an explosion, you must begin your case for compensation within three years of this date.

If your tinnitus has been caused by prolonged exposure to a noisy working environment, the time limit begins on the date you are diagnosed. If you do not start legal proceedings within this time, you may no longer be eligible to pursue your claim due to the Limitation Act 1980.

What evidence is required to make a tinnitus compensation claim?

As mentioned above, if your solicitor takes on your case, they will need as much evidence as possible to prove liability and how your condition has affected your life. Some examples of proof that could help in a tinnitus claim include:

  • Medical records that confirm your diagnosis and any treatments you received;
  • Reports from a hearing specialist, such as an audiologist, who can provide insight into the potential causes of your tinnitus;
  • A medical diagnosis of anxiety, depression or another psychological condition you suffered as a result;
  • Occupational health reports if there was a formal investigation of noise levels at your workplace
  • Witness statements from colleagues about the working conditions that may have damaged your hearing;
  • Any correspondence between you and your employers, such as emails or letters, if you raised concerns about the noise levels at work;
  • Contact details of witnesses if you were involved in a road traffic accident or an accident in a public place;
  • Accident report forms if you were injured at work or in a public place;
  • A police report and crime reference number if you developed tinnitus due to an assault;
  • Videos of your working environment could help show the volume levels you were exposed to at work;
  • CCTV or dashcam footage if you suffered a head or neck injury in an accident that was caught on camera;
  • Your statement about how the events unfolded and how tinnitus has affected different aspects of your life;
  • Evidence of financial losses and expenses related to your condition, like receipts, invoices or wage slips.

Even if you have little to no evidence, it is still worth talking to a personal injury solicitor. They will investigate your case and help you gather everything you need to start a tinnitus claim.

Could I lose my job if I’m claiming for tinnitus?

If your tinnitus is related to your workplace, you could have a tinnitus claim against your employer. If they have failed to take all reasonable measures dictated by the legislation to protect your hearing, you might be entitled to compensation. But many people fear that claiming against their employer will put their job at risk.

However, unfair dismissal laws state that your employer cannot treat you differently for claiming. These laws protect you against discrimination and retaliation for asserting your right to compensation if you suffered an injury due to a breach of duty. If you are dismissed, demoted, bullied or treated in any way differently due to your claim, you could take further legal action at an employment tribunal.

Furthermore, most employers must obtain Employers’ Liability (EL) insurance to cover any personal injuries to employees. If you make a successful tinnitus claim, your compensation will come from their insurer and not directly from your employer. So your employer will not be left out of pocket if you make an accident claim against them.

What is the time limit to claim tinnitus compensation?

Tinnitus compensation claims are bound by a three-year time limit to start legal proceedings. Under the Limitation Act 1980, the time will begin to run:

  • On the date you were injured, if you had an accident such as a road traffic collision; or
  • When you receive a medical diagnosis, if tinnitus developed over time or did not become immediately apparent after an accident

Personal injury solicitors recommend that you begin the claims process as soon as possible. That will ensure your claim will not be time-barred and will make it easier to gather evidence and build a comprehensive case to secure tinnitus compensation.

The typical three-year time limit does not apply in the following circumstances:

  • If a child has developed tinnitus due to an accident, the claim limitation date does not apply before their 18th birthday. A parent or legal guardian could claim for them at any time before that point. Afterwards, they will have until their 21st birthday to start a claim by themselves.
  • If the claimant is mentally incapable of conducting legal proceedings, a litigation friend can claim tinnitus compensation for them without being bound by a time limit.
  • If your injury was due to an assault, there is a two-year time limit to claim through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).
  • If your tinnitus is related to military service, you have seven years to claim through the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS).

For further information about the time limits involved in making a claim, feel free to get in touch with our team of legal advisers, who will be happy to help. You can request a call back here or call free on 0800 032 3660.

How much compensation for tinnitus could I be entitled to claim?

The amount of tinnitus compensation awarded is judged on a case-by-case basis. It depends very much on the severity of the injury you have sustained and the impact this has had on your life. The award is broken down into two parts – general damages and special damages.

General damages is an amount based on the type and severity of injury sustained and uses guidelines provided by the Judicial College. According to our tinnitus compensation calculator, the recommended level of general damages is as follows:

  • Mild tinnitus – up to £14,900
  • Moderate to severe tinnitus – £14,900 to £29,710
  • Severe tinnitus with some partial hearing loss – £29,710 to £45,540

Here are some examples of things that are taken into account when assessing general damages:

  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Psychological injuries like anxiety and depression
  • Reduced quality of life
  • Loss of amenities, such as the ability to pursue a hobby
  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of a unique career

In addition to this, your solicitor will also look to recover special damages. These are based on any financial losses you have incurred due to your condition. For example, you may have lost earnings from having to take time off work or had to pay for medical treatment such as sound therapy. As long as you have evidence of these losses, your solicitor can recover compensation to cover these out-of-pocket expenses.

Can tinnitus compensation claims be made on a No Win No Fee basis?

Yes. You can benefit from a no win no fee service if you have a valid case to start a tinnitus claim. The solicitors we work with will begin by offering you a free initial case assessment. If you have a fair chance of winning compensation, they will take on the risk of starting a claim without asking for any upfront fees.

At the beginning of the claim, you will sign a conditional fee agreement stating that your solicitor will only receive a payment if they win your case. Their success fee will be a pre-agreed percentage (a maximum of 25%) of your compensation award. If your claim is unsuccessful, you do not have to pay them a single penny.

Claiming for tinnitus on a no win no fee basis means you will not be taking any financial risks, as you only pay anything if you receive compensation.

To find out if you can claim compensation for tinnitus, call 0800 032 3660 today to speak to a legal adviser. Alternatively, you can enter your details into our online claim form to request a call back.

* Personal injury claims are offered on a no win, no fee basis. If your claim is successful, your solicitor will receive up to 25% of your compensation as their success fee. Any additional costs, such as legal protection insurance, will be clearly explained to you by your solicitor before you decide to proceed with your claim. Termination fees may apply if you fail to cooperate with your solicitor. This includes deliberately misleading your solicitor, failing to attend scheduled medical or expert examinations, or not appearing at a required court hearing.