Noise Induced Hearing Loss Claims
Our highly experienced military claims solicitors have considerable experience of winning compensation for noise induced hearing loss (NIHL) in the armed forces.
Hearing loss caused by repeated exposure to excessive noise levels during military service can be devastating. NIHL, occupation deafness and tinnitus can often result in the loss of a military career, and have effects in later civilian life, too.
Types of claims
Our specialist military team has represented many service men and women who have suffered hearing loss in the military. Examples of the types of claims include:
- A delay in referring and/or diagnosing NIHL, resulting in further damage to hearing
- Incorrect medical grading of personnel with NIHL
- NIHL caused by the negligent discharge of weapons and explosions
- Exposure to excessive noise or short bursts of high frequency and high intensity sounds during training or exercise without adequate instruction
- Inadequate, unsuitable – or a complete lack of – hearing protection (PPE, or personal protective equipment)
Our military team understands the intricacies of the military medical grading system and will use this knowledge to find out if you were treated negligently. Examples would be if you were wrongly deployed or if a deployment made your hearing worse. In either case you should be able to claim compensation.
We also build the case for compensation by consulting medical experts about symptoms and exposure, referring the case to independent ear, nose and throat specialists familiar with hearing loss issues caused during service in the armed forces.
Signs that you could have NIHL
NIHL can be caused by an excessive one-time exposure or by short bursts of high frequency and high intensity sounds, known as acoustic shocks. Any exposure to noise levels over 85 decibels can be hazardous.
For obvious reasons, this is a particular problem in the military. The longer a person is exposed to a high level of noise the more likely they are to suffer permanent damage. It is possible service personnel will not recognise deterioration in their hearing until after they have returned from exercise or deployment. At that point symptoms such as the following may become apparent:
- Struggling to hear conversations
- Asking people to repeat themselves
- Turning up the volume on your TV
- Sounds becoming distorted or muffled
- Buzzing in one or both ears which is more noticeable at night
Has your hearing been damaged?
If you suspect that you are suffering with NIHL or tinnitus as a result of work-related exposure then you should seek urgent medical advice from your Medical Officer (MO).
Your MO ought to carry out routine hearing tests. If NIHL is suspected then a referral to an Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) specialist should be made. The ENT specialist will determine the cause of your hearing loss and will rule out natural causes, such as age-related deterioration.
A referral to an ENT specialist is also necessary to determine whether you are fit to deploy, and to consider whether a restriction should be put on future deployment.
If these actions were not taken in your case you may have a claim for negligence.
It is vitally important that you begin any action for compensation as soon as you become aware of any hearing problems. Please contact us now for expert advice on taking your claim forward.