How Long Do You Have To Claim For Industrial Hearing Loss?

How Long Do You Have To Claim For Industrial Hearing Loss?

If you’ve suffered industrial hearing loss, the claim time limit could be something of which you’re unaware. This guide is here to supply you with the necessary information you need regarding that very subject. 

industrial hearing loss claim time limit

If you have suffered any form of work-related hearing loss, you may have a valid claim for compensation. Claims for hearing loss are common in working environments with excessive noise, especially when proper ear protection isn’t supplied or recommended.

So if you need help delineating whether or not you’re owed compensation, but the industrial hearing loss claim time limit is confusing to you, then we are here to help.

Get In Touch With Our Team

Our knowledgeable legal advisors are here to help at any time of the day, any day of the week. If it’s deemed that you may have a valid claim, it’s possible that they’ll be able to put you in touch with our panel of expert lawyers.

Get in touch with us in any of the following ways:

  • Call us on 020 3870 4868.
  • Use the live chat function in the bottom right-hand corner.
  • Start your claims process online through our website.

Services And Information

  1. Everything You Need To Know About Industrial Hearing Loss Claim Time Limits
  2. What Is Industrial Hearing Loss?
  3. How Long After Being Injured Could You Claim?
  4. What Is The Date Of Knowledge?
  5. How Far Back Could The Hearing Loss Date?
  6. Occupational Deafness Claims For Under 18s
  7. Industrial Hearing Loss Claim Compensation Calculator
  8. Can I Start A Claim If Close To The Three Year Time Limit?
  9. Can I Make An Industrial Hearing Loss Claim Beyond The 3 Year Time Limits?
  10. Am I Eligible To Claim Compensation And Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit?
  11. I Suffered Industrial Hearing Loss, What Should I Do?
  12. Do You Handle Industrial Hearing Loss Claims On A No Win No Fee Basis?
  13. Other Information On Industrial Hearing Loss Claims
  14. FAQs About Industrial Hearing Loss Claim Time Limits

Everything You Need To Know About Industrial Hearing Loss Claim Time Limits

Loss of hearing at work is usually brought about by prolonged exposure to loud noise without sufficient ear protection or training to prevent harm. Hearing loss often is cumulative. While it can be prevented/minimised, it’s extremely rare that your hearing will return in any meaningful way.

Indoor work venues with heavy machinery are a common culprit for causing work-related hearing loss. Some of the equipment and environments that have been known to cause noise-induced hearing loss in the past are:

  • Glass bottling lines
  • Milling operations
  • Saws and other cutting machinery
  • Packing machinery

Your claim for noise-induced hearing loss doesn’t need to have stemmed from one of these examples. There are plenty of other ways in which noise levels could have contributed to your hearing loss in the workplace. Industrial deafness occurs in varying levels of severity, and in a number of different forms.

What Is Industrial Hearing Loss?

According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), claims for noise-induced hearing loss tend to be made primarily by men. Of the new cases of industrial deafness reported from 2010 to 2019, men suffering from the condition amounted to 1,120. Women on the other hand accounted for just 5 cases.

The main reason for the disparity in suffering from the affliction is likely due to the industries most commonly associated with excessive noise at work being male-dominated. In short, men are less likely than women to claim for sustaining noise-induced hearing loss at work mainly because there are more men working in the affected industries. It doesn’t seem to be due to any physical or biological differences.

Symptoms of industrial hearing loss

There are usually warning signs that workplace noise may have started to affect your hearing. Your hearing problems can be in just one ear, or in both. The symptoms may be permanent, temporary or even intermittent. 

Below are a few examples of how excessive noise in the workplace could affect your hearing:

  • Asking people to repeat themselves
  • Finding it difficult to hear on the phone
  • Fatigue or stress from exerting constant effort on listening
  • Requiring subtitles on the TV, or needing the volume higher than usual
  • Experiencing a buzzing or whistling sound in your ears, particularly when it’s quiet.

These symptoms could just be synonymous with old age. However, if you’re employed somewhere that features excessive noise at work (and you don’t use protective equipment for your hearing), it’s possible that your hearing problems are actually a result of work-related hearing loss. If you’re unsure, you should seek professional medical advice.

How Long After Being Injured Could You Claim?

The industrial hearing loss claim time limit is three years. For some other types of claims, this is a relatively simple rule to follow. If your accident was the result of an isolated incident like fracturing a bone following a fall, then you have three years from that date of the accident to file a claim.

With claims for hearing loss, the damage is often accumulated over a longer period of time, not on any single date. This is especially common when health and safety regulations have been violated due to you not being supplied with sufficient ear protective equipment. Whether or not you have been supplied with this equipment is often an important factor when considering if you have a valid claim. Being trained or shown how to use the equipment properly is very important too.

You may only notice any loss of hearing months or years after being exposed to excessive noise at work. So, the date that you first became aware of your hearing loss becomes a possible new start date for the three-year time limit to begin. 

Working out when this date actually is can be tricky. A straightforward case may involve the date that your work-related hearing loss is actually medically diagnosed. This is due to the existence of the official records from when you seek medical treatment. 

However, the date you obtained knowledge can also be formed when you’re provided with enough information to make the connection between your hearing problems and your past employment.

What Is The Date Of Knowledge?

The date of knowledge is the date that you become aware, or are made aware, of your injury. In many personal injury cases, the date of knowledge and the date of the injury will be one and the same. In others, there can be a delay between the accident occurring and being aware that you have suffered an injury. Suffering hearing loss as a result of excessive noise in the workplace is often an example of the latter.

Your industrial hearing loss claim time limit remains the same. You still have three years. This is regardless of whether you are made aware of your hearing loss at a date much later than it may have happened. If you have been supplied with auditory protective equipment and training, then it could be argued that you have understood the possibility of suffering from industrial deafness from an early point in your employment.

It’s also possible that when you have a date of knowledge, the damage to your hearing had begun to be sustained at an earlier place of employment. 

If you’re still unsure about how the date of knowledge can function, get in touch with us today and we will try to clear up the matter for you.

How Far Back Could The Hearing Loss Date?

Whilst your industrial hearing loss claim time limit does tie into how far back your hearing loss could date, knowing when the damage takes place is a tricky subject to address. As noise-induced hearing loss is a cumulative illness, it can be difficult to know when the damage started to accumulate.

As a guideline, if you have suffered from loss of hearing, and you work in an environment with excessive noise, the date that your employment began could be considered the date that your hearing loss began. This is not the case for everybody. There are a variety of reasons and dates your hearing loss may have begun or started to worsen.

You could also have changed the ear protection you use. It’s possible you even started a new job in a similar industry. The rate at which you may have lost your hearing, or when it started to be damaged, is a very hard thing to work out. This date is likely to be different for everyone and may need to be delineated on a case-by-case basis. Sometimes the evidence of an acoustic engineer will be required.

It’s because of this ambiguity that the date of medical diagnosis can be an easier date of knowledge to abide by.

Occupational Deafness Claims For Under 18s

The industrial hearing loss claim time limit when claiming for children is slightly different than when claiming for an adult. Firstly, under 18s cannot pursue a claim on their own. A parent, guardian, friend, or legal professional can file their claim for them acting as what is known as a “litigation friend”. 

Any compensation awarded cannot be paid directly to anyone under 18. It’s placed in a secured bank account until they are legally an adult. On the claimant’s 18th birthday, they will receive the full amount they were awarded for their occupational illness, in addition to any interest that may have accrued over time.

If the decision is made to wait until the claimant is an adult, the three-year time limit starts on their 18th birthday. The claimant is then legally allowed to pursue the claim themselves. This is only if the case hasn’t already been closed by their litigation friend.

Industrial Hearing Loss Claim Compensation Calculator

In the table below, we have included some examples of how much you could receive for varying degrees of industrial hearing loss and tinnitus. The figures listed are from a publication called the Judicial College Guidelines

The JCG is updated semi-regularly to more accurately reflect what claimants could win due to their workplace injury. The figure, known as general damages, is calculated to reflect the degree of physical pain and suffering experienced by the individual due to the accident/industrial illness.

General damages are not to be confused with special damages, which account for any financial loss caused due to the accident. We have included an example of what could be claimed as special damages too.

DamagesAwarded ForAmount
GeneralTotal loss of hearing in one ear£29,380 to £42,730
GeneralTotal deafness. Sometimes leading to speech deficit, tinnitus£85,170 to £102,890
GeneralSlight noise-induced hearing loss without tinnitus, or vice versaUp to £6,580
GeneralSevere tinnitus and noise-induced hearing loss£27,890 to £42,730
GeneralEither mild tinnitus or mild noise-induced hearing lossAround £11,000
GeneralMild tinnitus with some noise-induced hearing loss£11,820 to £13,970
SpecialLoss of earnings. If your hearing loss prevents you earning money in sound-based industries such as music/radioThis figure will vary depending on what your earnings are, or would have been

To get a more specific estimate based on your own circumstances, please get in touch with our team.

Can I Start A Claim If Close To The Three Year Time Limit?

Claims must be issued to court before the three-year time limit expires. However, if that time has lapsed, you could argue that the time limit should be extended for a variety of reasons. The Limitation Act 1980 lists a number of reasons and circumstances in which it’s possible to extend the three-year time limit. 

Time to gather and authenticate evidence is one of the more common and relevant reasons for such extensions being made. Also, if it’s suspected that the defendant has been withholding or altering information important to the case, then the time limit could also be extended due to this.

These arguments can be tricky, however, so it’s always best to take quick action once you learn of your hearing problem.

Can I Make An Industrial Hearing Loss Claim Beyond The 3 Year Time Limits?

It is possible to make a hearing loss claim beyond the three-year industrial hearing loss claim time limit, under special or unusual circumstances set out in the Limitation Act. This is not a commonplace occurrence, though.

The more common reasons for making a claim after three years are when you are claiming for a child under 18 or for someone with a reduced mental capacity. In these circumstances, the time limit is suspended so you may still be able to claim.

Also, if evidence regarding any aspects of the health and safety in the workplace is believed to have been omitted or tampered with in any way by the defendant, (directly or indirectly) then you may also be able to make a claim after the three-year time window has expired.

This can be complicated. If you need any further clarification, then get in touch. Our advisors will be happy to help you comprehend these details.

Am I Eligible To Claim Compensation And Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit?

Whilst the amount you could be eligible for varies on a case-to-case basis, you may be able to claim industrial injuries disablement benefit (IIDB).

You could receive this compensation if you sustained an illness or disability at your place of work, or during official training for your role. Any exposure to excessive noise can still affect your hearing long term. It’s important that your employer supply you with proper auditory protective equipment even in training scenarios.

For occupational deafness, in particular, most claims involve a significant loss of hearing, but some involve slighter damage. The presence of tinnitus (ringing in your ears) will also be a factor. 

Most claims involve continuous exposure to excessive noise over the course of a full shift. Commonly, these claims involve prolonged exposure over a few years. This could involve one employer or several—it doesn’t matter. 

It also doesn’t matter that the companies you worked for in the past are no longer in existence. In such instances, claims will be lodged with the employers’ liability insurer that provided cover during your employment.

I Suffered Industrial Hearing Loss, What Should I Do?

There are a few steps that should be taken when you suspect you have sustained industrial hearing loss. Initially, you should seek medical treatment so that you can ascertain if your hearing loss is likely to be due to excessive noise in the workplace.

If it turns out that it is indeed the case, you should start to collect evidence. In this instance, you should make note of whether you had been provided with personal protective equipment (PPE). Past and present colleagues may be able to corroborate your story. Getting written statements from them may help. A medical assessment would also likely help your claim. Remember that in most cases, the industrial hearing loss claim time limit is three years from your date of knowledge.

Once you believe you have everything in place, you will want to get in touch with someone who can offer you legal advice. We can offer you free legal advice regarding your potential claim, and the circumstances surrounding it.

Get in touch with us today to get the process started.

  1. Call us at any time on 020 3870 4868.
  2. You can use the live chat function in the bottom right-hand corner.
  3. Your claims process can begin online through our website.

Do You Handle Industrial Hearing Loss Claims On A No Win No Fee Basis?

Yes, we do. If your case falls within the industrial hearing loss claim time limit, then it’s more likely we will be able to offer you help under a No Win No Fee arrangement.

A conditional arrangement like this means that you are protected from being presented with big legal costs following your case. If you pursue your claim with us under a No Win No Fee arrangement, then you will only need to pay your lawyer a small, legally capped, percentage from your final settlement in a successful case. If you lose your case, you won’t be responsible for covering the legal costs that have accrued. 

This is one of the safest ways to pursue a personal injury claim for industrial hearing loss. Whilst it is possible to represent yourself during personal injury cases, it is strongly advised against. No Win No Fee arrangements protect you from this potentially devastating scenario.

Other Information On Industrial Hearing Loss Claims

In this section, we’ve included some more useful guides on hearing loss claims.

  1. More on noise-induced hearing loss
  2. Stats regarding occupational deafness
  3. Tips from the NHS for how to protect your hearing
  4. Our guide about your rights after a workplace accident
  5. Some information on medical negligence claims
  6. General information about personal injury claims

FAQs About Industrial Hearing Loss Claim Time Limits

Lastly, we’ve provided answers to some commonly asked questions about workplace hearing loss compensation claims.

Is hearing loss considered a disability?

Depending on the severity of your hearing loss, you may qualify as disabled under the Equality Act 2010. This also means that your deafness cannot legally be taken into account when being considered for roles in the workplace and in other areas of your life.

How long does an industrial deafness claim take?

This is a difficult question to give a definitive answer for. There are a lot of variables at work with regards to the amount, and the quality, of the evidence that you can present. Some cases may take weeks or months, and others may take years.

Each claims process is different and can vary greatly in length for a wide variety of reasons.

What are the symptoms of industrial deafness?

Industrial deafness is characterised by a number of symptoms. Most of them relate to the struggle of clearly hearing people when they speak. Being able to ignore background noise, or pain at moderately loud sounds can point to damage to your hearing too. A ringing or buzzing in the ears (known as tinnitus) can also be a sign. Take a look earlier in this article where we cover this subject more thoroughly.

Thank you for reading our guide to the industrial hearing loss claim time limit.

 

Guide by AB

Edited by IA