Tinnitus is a distressing condition which occurs when someone is exposed to loud noises over a long period of time. Tinnitus often disappears by itself but sadly, it can persist for life.
The main cause of tinnitus is a noisy workplace such as a factory, warehouse or building site although call centres are also likely candidates. Nightclubs and bars are another factor.
Anyone who works in an environment where there are noisy machines, loud music or any sounds which are above 80 decibels (the recommended safety limit) is likely to suffer tinnitus.
Tinnitus can lead to permanent hearing loss.
If you have developed tinnitus due to a noisy work environment and a lack of protection then you may be entitled to compensation.
Tinnitus is often described as ‘noises in the ears’which is a very apt description. It takes the form of whistling, buzzing, humming or ringing noises which are both annoying and upsetting.
These noises can be low or high pitched and can be heard in one or both ears. Noises are either intermittent or continuous.
Many sufferers with tinnitus find that their condition impacts upon their quality of life.
There is no specific treatment for tinnitus but there are ways of controlling it which include:
- A ‘white noise’ masker: this is a device which emits white noise to distract the sufferer from their tinnitus.
- Sound therapy
These can help to ease the symptoms and enable sufferers to regain control of their lives.
Your employer has a responsibility to protect you against the risk of an accident or injury. This responsibility includes your hearing.
He or she should take steps to reduce the risk of hearing loss by following Health and Safety regulations. These are designed for the benefit of both the employer and employee and provide advice about workplace protection.
If you work in a noise filled environment then your employer should be aware of the possible dangers to your hearing. This means ensuring that noise is kept at a safe level or if this impossible, provide you with ear protection.
If this is inadequate then an injury will occur which in this case is likely to be tinnitus.
Tinnitus must not be taken lightly: the effects are unpleasant and can last for the rest of someone’s life.
Effects of tinnitus
Tinnitus can, in the short term, cause broken sleep patterns but there are far more serious effects. This broken sleep leads to persistent tiredness which affects your ability to carry out your normal duties or function in a normal way.
It causes stress and anxiety and may lead to depression. All of this has an effect on not only you but your family as well.
You may have to change jobs or stop work completely. This loss of earnings immediately impacts upon the family finances and increases the risk of financial hardship.
If your condition is such that you have permanent tinnitus then this is a difficult thing to come to terms with. Having to live with constant noises in your ears is deeply unpleasant and affects your quality of life.
Whilst compensation cannot cure tinnitus it can be used to bring a measure of relief. It can pay for treatment which will control the disease and enable you to rebuild your life.
Making a claim for compensation for tinnitus
Find a personal injury law firm who have many years of experience and knowledge regarding tinnitus compensation claims. They will understand the many complex issues involved and can use their experience for your benefit.
Your claim should be handled with tact and sympathy. The lawyer should show understanding about the impact tinnitus has had upon you and your family and advise you as to the likely outcome of your claim.
He or she will assess your case and if there are sufficient grounds will proceed with it. You should be kept up to date with the progress of your claim.
For more information visit our making a claim for compensation section.
Time limit for claiming compensation for tinnitus
Personal injury claims have a strict time limit of 3 years since the date of the accident or illness.
So you need to make a claim within that time frame.
This does vary in a few cases so check with your lawyer about this deadline.
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