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Damage to either the mechanical parts of the ear or the associated auditory nerves can easily result in either partial or complete deafness. The extent of any hearing loss can be assessed using either an audiogram test or what is known as the Brain Stem Evoked Response (BSER) test.
A hearing loss claim due to clinical negligence can arise for a number of reasons. For example, claims can sometimes arise as a result of avoidable mistakes made during surgical procedures. In some circumstances, a clinical negligence claim may be justified if a medical condition affecting your ear has not been diagnosed in a timely manner or missed completely.
Certain medication may damage your hearing if not properly monitored.
It is important to remember, that as we get older, it is not unusual for some degree of hearing loss to occur as part of the natural ageing process. However, if you have suffered hearing loss that you believe to be a consequence of substandard medical treatment, then providing certain criteria are satisfied, you may have a claim for hearing loss or deafness negligence.
How do I make a claim about deafness
In the first instance, if you believe that you may have a medical negligence claim arising from substandard treatment that resulted in you suffering hearing loss, then you should contact us for a free initial consultation. Our specialist medical negligence solicitors can give you the benefit of their experience in dealing with hearing loss claims as well as provide an objective assessment of the likely success of your claim.
How long will my deafness claim take
These cases, like clinical negligence claims in general, can be complex and lengthy and there is no guarantee of a successful outcome. First, we'll need to obtain copies of your medical records and instruct independent medical experts to consider the standard of medical care that you have received.
This will indicate whether your care was indeed substandard and if your hearing loss is linked to that negligent care. If that evidence supports your claim, we would usually then obtain independent medical evidence dealing with your current condition and prognosis and to start to obtain evidence to investigate the potential financial losses that you might have suffered.
This information gathering exercise can be a complex and lengthy process but it is vital so that all the necessary evidence is obtained and your claim is properly investigated so that we can look to recover the appropriate amount of compensation.
The approach adopted by the other side usually affects the time that a case will take to settle. If they admit that they have been negligent and accept our evidence, then the case will settle more quickly than where the other side disputes everything. It is often the case that these claims will settle through negotiations. It’s rare to go to trial, but this always remains a possibility as with any clinical negligence claim. We will seek early part payments of compensation for you wherever we can.
If I have a deafness case
To establish whether or not you have a potential medical negligence claim for hearing loss, it will be necessary to prove that there was a breach or breaches of duty of care owed to you by medical staff (i.e. you were provided with negligent medical treatment) and that the identified failings in that care caused or materially contributed to your hearing loss.
The standard of proof that we need to demonstrate in these cases is ‘the balance of probability', i.e. that it was more likely than not that it was those failures and breaches of duty of care that caused the injury. In other words, if we can show that, on balance, it was those failings in care which were responsible for the harm that you suffered that lead to your hearing loss, the claim may be successful.
There are strict time limits within which you can bring a medical negligence claim. That said, your health must be your priority and if you experience hearing problems then you should first and foremost seek appropriate medical advice and treatment. Thereafter, you should seek appropriate legal advice as soon as it is reasonably practicable to do so, if you believe that your hearing problems have been caused by medical negligence. Court action must, however, be commenced within 3 years of you having potentially negligent treatment or becoming aware that you may have had potentially negligent treatment.
We can provide you with free initial legal advice about whether it may be possible to pursue a claim arising out of your hearing loss.
More about deafness claims
The impact of hearing loss can affect individuals in many different ways at different times of life. For example, hearing loss during early childhood has the capacity to affect a child's ability to talk and to understand spoken language.
The ear itself is a very complex organ. Although the outer ear is the most noticeable part, the more complex and delicate parts of the inner ear which process the sound waves and enable us to hear are contained inside the skull itself.
If damage is caused to these vital, delicate and sensitive components of the auditory system, by, for example avoidable surgical error, then hearing problems and possibly complete deafness can result. Injuries to the inner ear may also cause problems with your balance.
Certain drugs or medicines can also have adverse effects on the ear.
'Shoosmiths got me the rehab I needed and really helped with my family. They were fantastic throughout.'
Shoosmiths expert hearing loss solicitors have helped clients whose poor care and treatment lead to deafness, loss of hearing or serious injury get the justice and financial support they deserve.Why Shoosmiths