Noise-induced hearing loss—assessment of damages
Produced in partnership with Sue Brown
Noise-induced hearing loss—assessment of damages

The following PI & Clinical Negligence practice note produced in partnership with Sue Brown provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Noise-induced hearing loss—assessment of damages
  • General damages
  • Judicial College Guidelines (JCG)
  • Comparator authorities
  • Attributable hearing loss
  • Special damages
  • Disablement benefit
  • Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB)
  • Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS)

Noise-induced hearing loss is referred to as NIHL in this Practice Note.

General damages

The factors relevant to the likely level of general damages (and questions that will need to be asked of the claimant in order to assess general damages) include the following:

  1. the extent of the hearing loss, partial or total:

    1. this information is likely to be drawn from medical records, medical reports and/or audiograms

    2. however, the value of a detailed witness statement from the claimant should not be underestimated

    3. attempt to give practical examples of the difficulties faced by the claimant in everyday life

    4. this is one of many areas where there is considerable value in asking the claimant to keep a diary for a period in order to contemporaneously record the difficulties faced

  2. whether hearing loss is in one or both ears

  3. the practical effects of hearing loss:

    1. for example, is conversation affected all the time or just in a noisy environment?

    2. a detailed witness statement will be required

  4. whether hearing loss affects occupation:

    1. has the claimant had to cease or change employment?

    2. is it likely that they will have to do so in the future?

    3. is the claimant’s employment one in which hearing loss may affect safety (for example, because the claimant will not be able to hear shouted warnings)?

    4. was it employment that the claimant considered to be congenial?

  5. whether

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