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Hearing is precious, so when damaged it has a profound effect not only on the sufferer, but on the lives of those around them.
When your hearing has been damaged in the workplace, there may be grounds for pursuing a compensation claim.
At Browell Smith & Co Solicitors we have experience over 20 years’ experience in recovering compensation on behalf of clients who have suffered noise induced hearing loss and tinnitus at work.
If you consider that you have developed NIHL, or know of someone who may have, act promptly and call one of the experienced Browell Smith & Co team immediately. While you may potentially qualify for compensation now, failing to act promptly may disqualify you given that, as with all claims for personal injury, strict time limits apply.
Contact our expert team today to arrange a free initial consultation at any of our offices, in Newcastle, Cramlington, Ashington and Sunderland, or alternatively at your home, to discuss your particular requirements.
What is Noise Induced Hearing Loss?
Noise-induced hearing loss/industrial deafness (NIHL), is the deterioration of hearing experienced by individuals who work, or worked, in an excessively noisy environment for a prolonged period of time. This can often be exacerbated by tinnitus, another form of nerve damage caused by excessive noise where whistling and hissing noises intrude into the hearing of damaged individuals. Tinnitus can be intermittent or constant.
Despite changes in legislation, each year thousands of individuals continue to suffer from hearing problems believed to be work related.
The level of noise together with the length of exposure contribute to hearing damage. In addition to reduced hearing, noises within the ear, known as tinnitus, can sometimes be experienced creating further often distressing problems for sufferers.
If you have worked in excessively noisy environments for example, heavy industry, shipbuilding, engineering or manufacturing without hearing protection and in recent times have been diagnosed with a reduction in your hearing then you may be entitled to compensation.
As with all claims for personal injury compensation there are time limits within which a claim must be lodged with the court. For accident claims, court proceedings must be started within three years from the date of your accident whereas for NIHL cases court proceedings must be started within three years from the date when you first had reasonable grounds to believe that you may be suffering from NIHL caused by a third party (usually an employer).
In the event that court proceedings are not started within three years from the relevant date, the negligent party may be able to escape paying compensation on the basis that your claim is out of time.
The law surrounding the time limits for industrial disease compensation is extremely complex and issues will differ from case to case, particularly when seeking compensation on behalf of a former family member. It is not always necessary to have a firm diagnosis from a medical practitioner for the time limit to commence. In these circumstances you seek legal advice from a specialist as soon as you experience symptoms which you believe may have been caused by a third party.
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