Is It Possible to Sue Your Employer Over Tinnitus?

Posted on: 27 September 2016

Not all workplace injuries happen quickly or dramatically. While you may recognize a clear-cut personal-injury case about something like a broken arm or a spinal injury, other harmful health conditions take longer to develop and are more insidious. If you worked under noisy conditions for years and now have tinnitus or a similar form of hearing loss, you may be entitled to compensation for the distress it can cause. Contact a personal-injury lawyer in your area to walk through the following four steps and assess the strength of your claim. 

Providing Evidence of Excessive Noise

First, you will need to be able to show that conditions at your workplace were responsible for your auditory damage. In some industries, such as construction or manufacturing, this can be relatively easy. Other cases will require more thorough documentation of where you worked, what generated the noise, and what the typical noise levels in your work area have been. If the decibel levels are shown to have consistently exceeded safe levels, your case will likely be a good candidate for moving forward. 

Showing Negligence on the Part of Your Employer

Whenever you are expected to work in unsafe conditions, your employer has a certain obligation to protect you. In the case of potential hearing loss, this can be as simple as supplying ear plugs, but it may also include taking reasonable measures to limit the noise in the first place. You are more likely to be successful with your personal-injury claim if you can show that your employer was negligent or ignored requests for proper safety equipment or noise management. 

Documenting Your Hearing Loss

Even with a negligent employer, you will also need to demonstrate how that negligence has affected your health. Tinnitus can keep you up at night, leave you hard of hearing, and act as a constant distraction, and all of these things can impact your daily quality of life. If you do not already have medical records addressing your condition, work with your lawyer to schedule an appointment and obtain the medical testimony you need. 

Making Your Case in Court

Once you and your lawyer have compiled your evidence and agreed your case has a good chance in court, it's time to decide on a damages figure and begin proceedings. If you are lucky or your claim is particularly compelling, you may be able to settle early on. Otherwise, your lawyer will help you move the case to court and fight for the justice you deserve. Having an experienced and knowledgeable lawyer on your side can make all the difference, so contact your local personal-injury law office to begin going over the details of your situation today.