Industrial deafness is an unfortunate and common injury that many people suffer on the job. Construction sites, airlines, musical industries, nightclubs, subway lines, and a number of other environments are prone to the issue. While the hope is that proper care will be taken, both by the employer to provide adequate training and protective gear, and by the employee to make use of both, the worst can still happen.
The question then becomes: how do I file an industrial deafness claim, and how do I know I qualify?
Proving Your Claim
In the United Kingdom, you have to prove that you have sustained damage to your hearing that equals to 20% or higher on the disability scale. That percentage shows a complete and long lasting debilitation that will impact your every day and working life.
Your first step will be seeing a doctor. They will be able to diagnose any injuries that have been gathered while on the job, which have to reach that 20%. This might be from a single issue, or a combination of problems.
For instance, on its own, Tinnitus (a ringing, droning or crackling originating within the ear) is not enough to file a complaint. However, if it is in conjunction with other symptoms, such as partial deafness, it will add to the filing. Make sure to mention the symptom if you are experiencing it, at the time of your doctor’s appointment.
Once you have established the damage, you will have to prove that 1) the sound levels in your working environment were high enough to cause the injury, and 2) your employer was negligent in offering you adequate protection or training.
This can be difficult to do, and there is a time period in which you can prove your case. If you are thinking of filing an official industrial deafness claim, contact a legal professional as soon as possible. They will be able to assist you in gathering evidence, materials, and properly filing. They may also be able to tell you whether or not you have a case to pursue.
The Value Of Your Claim
Your claim will vary in value, depending on the severity of your condition. For a mild case, the maximum potential payout is £8,650. For the most severe cases, you could be awarded as much as £63,625. The highest amounts are awarded to those who have experienced total, permanent deafness in both ears, and is halved when the complaint is in one ear.
Again, a solicitor specializing in work compensation claims will be able to tell you the potential value of your case. Keep in mind that these amounts are only maximum caps. Your filing, if successful, could be awarded much less depending on the scope of your employer’s negligence, and the details of your case.
File Your Claim!
The more time that passes, the less likely you are of successfully proving your case. Don’t put it off a moment longer. Contact a legal professional to discuss the details of your claim.