Time Running Out on Industrial Deafness Claim?

This article was published on: 01/27/15

Hearing check by hearing specialist

Over the past year, the ability to claim compensation for industrial deafness has finally been recognised. As a result more and more people are starting to claim their right for access to justice over their employer’s negligence and get the compensation they need and deserve.

Of course the insurers say that this is a problem and that industrial deafness is fast becoming the new whiplash. What that translates to is that since the whiplash reforms were introduced, this is the next type of personal injury claim that is taking a chunk out of their profit margins and therefore must be destroyed.

But moving away from what the insurers feel about compensation and the right to claim for it, there are real problems industrial deafness claims that really should be addressed if reform is ever considered by the government.

One of the biggest restricting factors noticeable within industrial deafness claim is the limitation period which is currently set, as it is in most small injury claims, at just three years.

For many years people have been denied the education needed when it comes to the right to make an industrial deafness claim and how to go about it.  In the case of most victims it is doubtful that they even realised that the deterioration to their hearing that they have suffered could even be attributed to the years they have spent working hard for their employer.

But now things are different and we have that education. The problem is that for many the realisation is coming too late and due therefore, due to the three year limitation period on when you can submit a claim by, the opportunity to pursue a claim is being denied.

This is largely down to the fact that in a lot of cased they would have had hearing tests or made an observation with their doctor that they were having difficulty with their hearing which of course goes on record and means they are therefore not eligible to make a claim.

Over the past two years, the government has delivered what the insurance industry has demanded when it comes to reforms to the whiplash and personal injury claims process. This is thanks largely to the propaganda they supported their demands with which stated that by introducing the changes; the government would be doing what was best for the insurance premium paying public.

Surely then the government should see that increasing the limitation period on industrial deafness claims and claim types where the injury involves a gradual decline is what is best for the genuine injury victim.

Why should someone who realised that their hearing was deteriorating more than three years ago, but were unaware of the fact they could claim compensation, suffer without the opportunity to get the justice they deserved?

Why should the employer not be held accountable for failing to ensure their workplace is a safe environment, simply because there wasn’t enough education out there to correlate the two?

Unfortunately, these sorts of changes are highly unlikely under the present government if they continue to manage the legal industry the way they have been. If anything, we are more likely to see the limitation period decreased.

So if you look at things from a different, less profit based logic, the insurer claims that industrial deafness claims are the new whiplash are in fact correct. Just like with whiplash claims, access to justice is being restricted because the insurers, and the government they support financially, dismiss the severity of the condition and see it as a myth.

Just like what happened with whiplash, the insurers will no doubt make industrial deafness the subject of a future campaign to for reform in order to protect their profit margins.

Finally, just like whiplash, there is no doubt the insurers will get their way and the Government will end up introducing these reforms and therefore reduce the ability to make an industrial deafness claim, denying genuine victims the opportunity to claim for the compensation they are entitled and need to cope with their condition.

Industrial deafness has affected thousands of people up and down the UK, working in factories, weaving mills, shipyards, coal mines, building roads, manufacturing, with motor vehicles, construction and working as telephone engineers.

If you have worked in any of these injuries and have noticed deterioration in your hearing within the last three years contact us today, and we could help you get the compensation you deserve, before it is too late.