Government figures have shown that the number of industrial deafness claims being made against them by miners has increased significantly.
The Department of Energy and Climate change were forced to share the figures, which show that they paid out just over £3 million in 2013/14, after they received a freedom of information request.
Overall, 1,393 claims were made against the Government across the course of the year, which compares with 953 industrial deafness claims made by miners the year before with payouts of just £2.2 million made.
After a noted increase in volume over the recent months, industrial deafness claims have already come under the spotlight of the insurance industry and it wont be long before these figures will be used as propaganda from the ABI to bring in radical ‘small claims style’ reforms. As the ones that are having case filed against them, this will surely put the Government in a tough position.
Industrial deafness has long been ignored in terms of compensation, but in more recent times the ability to do claim access to justice and get much needed financial damages to help deal with the wider effects of hearing loss has become common knowledge.
Scott Rees and Co Catastrophic Injury Partner, Chris Walker, described the increase in the number of claims as worrying, but hardly surprising, and offered support to those people suffering without the support of legal representation.
He said: “Loss of hearing is not a nice thing to have to experience, especially at an age where perhaps it is deemed too early. It can take away important moments such as a baby’s first word and makes life extremely difficult in general.”
“To lose your hearing when it was preventable had an employer adhered to health and safety regulations or done the necessary research to ensure the working environment was safe and suitable is totally unacceptable. Taking this into account it is no surprise to me that that claims from miners has increased.
“It is worrying in the sense that it seems so many employers appear to have had such a disregard for the health and wellbeing of their workforce. It goes to show that we are privileged these days to live in an era that, thanks to enforced legislation and technology, we don’t have to face up to these sort of conditions.”
“For the insurers to point the finger and label the increase in claims of this nature on the whole as ‘the next cash cow’, is just disappointing and displays complete ignorance of the severe nature of industrial deafness.”
“Victims need the support they are now getting, to get the compensation they deserve and hopefully to improve their situation to ensure as little discomfort as possible, as they live out the rest of their lives.”
Obviously, the insurance industry is bound to show ignorance of the importance of compensation for industrial deafness, as they have already done the same for the small claims industry. The reason why? Well, it would be easy to suggest that it is so they avoid having to pay out on these claims.
But the real reason behind the increases, like the one with the miners, simply comes down to improvements in the education that is finally being made free and available to victims who have lost or had their hearing impaired.
This is education was, up until the last three years, contained and kept from people meaning that the right to make compensation claims was not public knowledge. Thankfully, it is now and more and more people are getting the justice they deserve.
If you have a claim for industrial deafness of any kind and are interested in making a claim for compensation then have a look at our industrial deafness page to find more about making a claim. Alternatively, you can contact us on 0800 61 43 61 for advice about a claim.