By Stephen Bishop. Last updated 17th June 2022. In this guide, we focus on the different aspects of making tinnitus claims. If you have tinnitus and you have evidence that shows it has been caused or aggravated due to negligent behaviour by a third party (such as your employer, for instance), then you may have grounds to make a tinnitus compensation claim.
Tinnitus affects an estimated 10% of adults in the UK according to the NHS, which is around 6 million people. Someone who has tinnitus will experience humming, buzzing or ringing sounds that can be intermittent or if more severe, continuous. Apart from being really annoying, severe cases of tinnitus can be quite debilitating for the sufferer. Tinnitus is commonly linked to hearing loss.
There are a number of different causes of tinnitus such as being the result of ear infections, head injuries, neck injuries and diabetes. But by far the most common is being exposed repeatedly to loud noise, or exposed to a sudden burst of loud noise.
If you have been exposed to loud noises at work and your employer didn’t take any preventative measures, or perhaps you suffered tinnitus after being involved in an accident that wasn’t your fault. Alternatively, you may have been harmed by your GP gave you a misdiagnosis or treated a condition which then resulted in tinnitus developing, then you may be eligible to make a tinnitus claim because your tinnitus is the result of the negligence of someone else.
Legal Helpline is a Claims Management Company with a panel of personal injury solicitors that can help you to make a successful tinnitus accident claim.
Jump to a Section
- Tinnitus and a guide to claiming compensation
- What are the common symptoms of tinnitus?
- Am I entitled to claim tinnitus compensation?
- Can I claim compensation for industrial deafness?
- Claiming compensation for tinnitus in a car accident
- Proving who is liable for your tinnitus
- What should you do if you are diagnosed with tinnitus?
- Starting a tinnitus compensation claim
- Average compensation payouts for tinnitus
- No Win No Fee tinnitus claims
- Why claim with Legal Helpline?
- Talk to our team today
- Useful Links
As mentioned above, tinnitus is a condition whereby noises such as buzzing, hissing, whistling, humming and ringing sounds can be heard independently of other noises. Depending on the severity of the tinnitus, some people may experience it intermittently, whereas others may suffer with it continuously.
Although tinnitus is commonly associated with hearing loss, it isn’t actually caused by loss of hearing, nor does it cause hearing loss itself, it’s actually a completely separate condition. However, some people with tinnitus may develop a condition called hyperacusis or severe sensitivity to sound where they need to take steps to disguise external noises.
Sufferers of tinnitus often find that it is more noticeable when background noise is quiet as when it is loud, they can focus on those sounds and the tinnitus is drowned out by the background noise. But when it’s quiet, the tinnitus appears louder and more noticeable as there’s less background noise to disguise it.
In the majority of cases, tinnitus is brought on by exposure to excessive noise, but can also be caused by blockages in the ear or certain infections of the ear. But, exposure to loud noise is by far the most common trigger of tinnitus.
If you are suffering from tinnitus and you believe it is due to the negligence of someone else, then you could be eligible to make a personal injury claim for compensation for tinnitus. Claiming tinnitus accident compensation can be a complex process as the liability of the defendant first needs to be established and there are a number of steps you should take to maximise the potential of your tinnitus accident claim being successful.
This guide serves as a source of information of everything you need to know to begin your tinnitus claim. As well as reading through the guide, seeking help from a personal injury solicitor, such as those supplied by Legal Helpline, is also really important to get the most out of tinnitus claims.
Tinnitus presents itself in a variety of different ways which can vary from person to person. Generally, tinnitus will become apparent when the noise in one or both ears is experienced either intermittently or continuously. In the majority of cases, only the sufferer will be able to hear the tinnitus noise, however, it has also been known for GPs to also be able to hear the noise by using a stethoscope against the affected ear, but this is rare. This is known as objective tinnitus. There are some symptoms of tinnitus that should be checked by a doctor, these are:
- Dizziness – Sometimes tinnitus is associated with dizziness and this should be checked in case there are any other underlying conditions.
- Pain or Fluid present – If the tinnitus is causing pain or there is fluid being discharged out of the ear, then you should consult a doctor to be examined.
Conditions such as high blood pressure, thyroid problems and some other illnesses can also have similar symptoms to those of tinnitus and so if tinnitus is suspected, it is always best to get checked by a doctor in order to rule out any other health problems.
Due to the constant noise when someone suffers from tinnitus, often other problems can arise such as sleep loss which over time can itself be quite debilitating. Also, people with tinnitus sometimes develop an over sensitivity to external noises which can eventually lead to hearing loss.
If your tinnitus is due to the constant exposure to loud noises or a sudden acoustic noise such as when in the workplace, and the correct personal protective equipment wasn’t supplied, then you could make a tinnitus accident claim for compensation. Depending on the individual circumstances and the severity of the tinnitus, you could sue those liable for severe or moderate tinnitus compensation.
People who work in certain industries such as engineering, agriculture, construction, building, manufacturing and some areas of the service industry, are most at risk of developing tinnitus if protective and preventative measures are not taken as constant loud noise and sudden loud noise are commonplace in these areas of employment.
If you have developed tinnitus or some hearing loss as a result of being exposed to loud noise without being provided with the correct protective equipment whilst in the workplace, then call Legal Helpline and speak to a member of our team about making a tinnitus compensation claim.
Constant exposure to excessive noise whilst in the workplace is one of the leading causes of tinnitus. Not surprisingly, it is also the leading cause of industrial induced hearing loss, otherwise known as occupational or industrial deafness. Very often, the primary stages of hearing loss can appear alongside the symptoms of tinnitus.
Often when you exit it a noisy venue such as a pub or music concert, or when you leave your workplace that is sometimes very noisy, you may experience a temporary buzzing or ringing sounds in the ears. In most cases, you probably don’t think anything of it as it goes away after a little while.
With industrial deafness, you will probably first notice symptoms when you begin missing some words or parts of a sentence when in conversation with someone, especially when in areas where there is a lot of background noise. It is quite common for people when they start to notice their hearing loss, that they start to notice the ringing sounds in their ears too. Initially, the ringing will come and go, but gradually it will become more constant. This could be the start of tinnitus developing.
Industrial Illness Statistics
As with claims for industrial hearing loss, tinnitus claims can also fall under the industrial illness category. This kind of illness is one that is sustained or made worse as the result of your working environment. Tinnitus claims need to have stemmed from your employer breaching the duty of care they owed you.
For example, you may work on a construction site or another noisy environment. If so, then there could be a risk of developing tinnitus.
In some cases, your employer may be required to provide you with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), such as ear defenders. However, they are only required to do so as a last resort. For example, if they have taken all reasonable steps to remove the risk of a hazard, but the risk is still present, they must provide free PPE. Other reasonable steps might include making sure you’re not in a noisy environment for a certain amount of time.
For that reason, if they do not provide PPE when they’re required to, then the duty of care is said to have been breached. This would be known legally as negligent behaviour.
Statistics from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) tell us that in 2020/21, there were an estimated 1.7 million workers who reported themselves to be suffering from a work-related illness. They believed this illness was either caused or exacerbated by their working environment. Whilst these figures are unlikely to exclusively pertain to tinnitus, they do give us an idea of how often workplace illnesses can occur.
Tinnitus can also develop due to injuries sustained in a car accident or from the sudden loud noise an airbag makes when it is deployed. An airbag deploying can cause the driver or passenger to suffer from torn eardrums, loss of stability and long term tinnitus which can sometimes remain permanently.
This is due to either the loud noise it makes or the sudden violent impact of the head hitting into the airbag on collision. Tinnitus caused by the sudden violent impact is known as whiplash tinnitus.
If you have developed tinnitus due to being involved in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, you may be entitled to make a tinnitus car accident compensation claim.
To make a successful compensation claim, liability needs to be proven. It isn’t always straight forward who is to blame as a condition such as tinnitus generally develops over a period of time. However, there are ways in which evidence can be found and gathered that will lead to who is to blame.
If your tinnitus has developed due to working in an environment with excessive noise levels, then you may be able to make a claim against your employer if they are found to have been negligent in their legal duty of care to you, their employee, to provide a safe working environment and provide personal protective equipment where necessary.
Employers are legally bound to follow and abide by legislation set out in the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. These all set out the health and safety policies employers need to follow to ensure the safety of their employees. Also the Control of Noise at Work Regulations Act 2005 is a piece of legislation written specifically concerning tinnitus, hearing loss and noise within the workplace that should also be adhered to.
In accordance with the Health and Safety Executive, employers are expected to carry out the following:
- Risk Assessments – Regular risk assessments should be made in regards to noise level and which work roles are most at risk from tinnitus and industrial deafness.
- Once any issues are identified – they should be dealt with accordingly to lower any risks. Noise levels should be kept to a level no higher than 80-85 decibels. By switching to quieter machinery or using sound-absorbent barriers will help as well as providing basic personal protective equipment suitable for reducing noise levels such as ear defenders.
- Training – Correct, relevant and adequate training should be provided to all employees to alert them to any possible dangers in the workplace and the best way to avoid them or lessen the risks. This applies to risks of tinnitus and industrial deafness too. Employees should also be shown how to use their personal protective equipment as well to ensure they get the full benefit of its use.
- Healthcare Checks – Employers should offer regular health care checks to monitor the hearing of the employees most at risk.
If you have developed tinnitus or hearing loss because your employer has failed to act on their duty of care to you, their employee, then they will be deemed as negligent and you can file a tinnitus compensation claim against them.
Get in touch today for more information on who you can claim against for tinnitus claims.
If you have started to develop the symptoms of tinnitus and you suspect it was due to the negligence of someone else, then you may be thinking of making a personal injury claim. There are a number of things you can do before starting your claim process that will support your case, such as:
- Work History – Look at your work history, have you worked or are you working in a noisy environment? If you have, or you do, then you may be able to claim for compensation against your employer.
- Symptoms – Start to keep a diary of any symptoms you are experiencing, when and how often do you notice them, how bad are they etc? The diary will help doctors to make a diagnosis and also form a basis from which you can build your claim.
- Medical Advice – Book an appointment to see your GP to discuss your symptoms. You may then be referred to an audiologist for a hearing test. If any tinnitus or hearing loss is suspected, you may then also be referred to an Ear, Nose and Throat doctor who will be able to make an official diagnosis of tinnitus or industrial deafness. A copy of the medical report can be used as evidence of your tinnitus if your claim goes to court.
- Starting your claim – Contact a personal injury solicitor, or claims management company that specialises in industrial deafness or tinnitus accident compensation claims. Letting a solicitor handle your case for you will give you the best chance of a successful outcome and also takes away the stress and worry of making a claim.
- Act within three years – You need to start your claim within three years of first experiencing the symptoms of tinnitus. Although it may have been several years since the noise exposure you believe is to blame for your tinnitus, that’s okay as it can sometimes take quite a bit of time for symptoms to appear, but once you have started to experience the symptoms then it would be best to contact a solicitor straight away as you have to do so within three years to claim compensation.
The thought of starting a compensation claim may feel a little daunting especially if you have no experience in making claims. And tinnitus claims can be complex as well. Therefore the best place to start is to contact a personal injury claims firm such as Legal Helpline.
We can offer you a free consultation where we can discuss with you all the details about your case such as when you first started noticing symptoms of tinnitus, the severity and any supporting evidence you have so far.
You can also freely ask us any questions in regards to your claim which we will do our best to answer. We may also offer a free local medical if we feel it could be of benefit to your case. Once we have all the information we need from you, we can then handle your compensation claim on your behalf so you’ve really no need to worry.
If you have suffered harm due to being exposed to excessive noise over a prolonged period, then you may be able to claim. It is also important that you’re able to prove that it was caused by third-party negligence. Tinnitus compensation can cover up to two types of damages. These are known as general damages and special damages.
What are general damages in a tinnitus claim?
Compensation for general damages relates to any psychological or physical suffering you’ve experienced due to the injury you’re claiming for. When making a personal injury claim, a certain amount of compensation may be offered for each individual injury that can be diagnosed and connected to negligence.
What are special damages in a tinnitus claim?
If you’re eligible to claim for special damages in a tinnitus claim, then this relates to the financial losses caused by the injury. For example, tinnitus compensation claims may include reimbursement for loss of earnings or loss of future earnings because the injury left you unable to work. Other potential losses may include travel costs, adjustments to your home, care costs and healthcare expenses. Usually, with personal injury claims, a claimant must be eligible to claim for general damages in order to be able to claim for any potential special damages.
Reason for Compensation Compensation Bracket Comments
Total deafness £90,750 to £109,650 The higher amount will be awarded to those suffering from tinnitus and speech problems as well as deafness, whereas the lower amount will be for those suffering with deafness alone.
Severe tinnitus with noise-induced hearing loss £29,710 to £45,540 Permanent damage affecting both ears.
Total loss of hearing in one ear £31,310 to £45,540 Tinnitus, dizziness and headaches may be present. Total loss of hearing in one ear and damage is permanent.
Moderate tinnitus and noise induced hearing loss £14,900 to £29,710 Any one of these conditions affecting one or both ears.
Mild tinnitus with some noise induced hearing loss £12,590 to £14,900 Tinnitus alongside some mild hearing loss
Slight or occasional tinnitus with slight noise-induced hearing loss £7,360 to £12,590 Symptoms of tinnitus occasional and NIHL mild.
Slight tinnitus or noise-induced hearing loss Up to £7,010 Either tinnitus or NIHL (not both) in one or both ears.
Please bear in mind that these figures are not guaranteed because every claim is unique. To learn more about tinnitus compensation claims, please contact us for free using the details above.
Making a compensation claim by employing a pay as you go solicitor can be extremely costly as the solicitor will expect payment before, during and after the whole claiming process. Some cases can take months, even years to come to a conclusion and so as you can imagine, the legal costs could rise to a huge amount overall, and with no guarantee of a successful claim, the claimant could potentially suffer a huge financial loss.
For many people, the risk of such a financial liability stops them from claiming what’s rightly theirs, the compensation they deserve. Also, many who have suffered an injury will have most likely already experienced some financial loss and may already feel the strain of it and simply just cannot afford to pay out for the legal costs that hiring a pay as you go solicitor can bring.
To give everyone their fair chance of claiming for an injury that wasn’t their fault, Legal Helpline offers a No Win No Fee service, otherwise known as a Conditional Fee Agreement. With our service, you do not need to make any upfront payments or any payments throughout the whole process. In fact, if we didn’t win your case for you, you will not be expected to pay anything. We only take a payment if we are successful, and we take this as a small percentage of your award amount.
With a Conditional Fee Agreement, it is made very clear what you can expect from us and us from you. It is made clear what we will do for you on your behalf and how we will be paid at the end. If your case is successful, we take our payment from your awarded amount, but legally in a Conditional Fee Agreement, we are only allowed to take a set amount, capped by law.
With our No Win No Fee service, you haven’t any worries about gambling your current finances, if we don’t win, you don’t need to pay us. If we win, we’ll deduct a small, legally capped fee to cover our costs.
Legal Helpline is a very efficient and very experienced claims management company that works with a panel of solicitors that have dealt with compensation claims for many years, and tinnitus claims in particular. We have a high success rate, often securing the maximum payout amounts for our clients.
We are a friendly and reliable team that will work really hard on your behalf to get you the best outcome possible. Our expertise in the personal injury claims industry is second to none and so you can rest assured that your case will be in good hands.
You’ve reached the end of our guide to tinnitus claims. Call Legal Helpline today on 0161 696 9685 if you’re looking to begin a tinnitus compensation claim, or if you’re just looking for free legal advice. Or, contact us through our website.
Our dedicated and experienced personal injury claims team are ready and waiting to work with you on your tinnitus accident claim to get you the compensation you deserve.
In our final section, you can find links to some more guides you may find useful on tinnitus claims, as well as FAQs on making a tinnitus compensation claim.
Have a look at our guide on accident at work claims if your tinnitus is down to your working environment.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE)site regarding an updated review on how to deal with tinnitus risks and noise levels in the workplace.
HSE guide to the legislation of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
This is the link for the British Tinnitus Association website which has lots of information regarding tinnitus including details of support groups.
These kinds of accidents could be a possible cause of tinnitus. For example, if you hit your head and sustain a traumatic brain injury.
If you have experienced noise-induced tinnitus as a result of a train accident, see this guide.
Read more about this kind of guide.
Other Guides You May Find Useful
Tinnitus Claims FAQs
Can you sue for tinnitus?
If you can prove that your tinnitus symptoms developed because your employer failed to uphold their duty of care, such as providing you with hearing protection, then you can sue for tinnitus.
It will also be necessary to prove that you’re within the personal injury claims time limit. In cases relating to tinnitus and hearing loss, this is 3 years from the date you obtained knowledge that you were suffering from your condition and that you knew it was related to the actions or inactions of the defendant.
How much compensation will I get for hearing loss and tinnitus?
The compensation you will get for hearing loss and tinnitus all depends on the severity of your injury. Tinnitus has different severities ranging from minor cases to severe cases that may impact a person both physically and psychologically.
Can you prove you have tinnitus?
Tinnitus can be difficult to prove given its subjective nature. However, it’s possible to evidence the condition. One way is to conduct a hearing test, and part of this will involve questions about symptoms. At this stage, an audiologist could diagnose the severity of tinnitus. It’s also possible to look at the impact on a person’s life.
For example, people with severe tinnitus may struggle to sleep, experience difficulty hearing others or certain noises, and this may all have an impact on their relationships and employment. It could even lead to the development of depression.
Are you still seeking advice on tinnitus claims? Our advisors can be reached online or on the phone using the contact details found in this guide. Reach out today if you want more advice on how to claim for hearing damage and loss.