Jargon Buster – Deafness Claims
During the course of a claim your solicitor may mention certain phrases / terms, which may leave you thinking.. ‘what does this mean?’. This is one of the reasons why we put together this helpful guide to enable you to understand terms solicitors may use in deafness matters.
CFA – Conditional Fee Agreement
This is what is commonly know as a no win no fee agreement. Before commencing with a claim the file handler should explain the terms of instructions in detail to ensure you are happy to commence
NIHL – Noise-Induced Hearing Loss
This relates to the element of overall hearing loss which is attributable to noise exposure.
Relates to symptoms caused after being exposed to a loud unexpected noise / sound.
The element of hearing loss which is attributable to ageing.
To prove the cause of the hearing loss and specifically if it is as a result of any noisy work environments. The issue of whether the problems are caused by the noise will be determined by medical experts (ENT Consultants) instructed to prepare a full report on the hearing loss and associated problems such as tinnitus.
Negligence / Breach
Once causation has been proven by medical evidence we will have to show that the levels of noise you were exposed to also breached the legal requirements and as such that your previous employers were negligent. The duties to provide hearing protection changed through time and the requirements to provide hearing protection has become much tighter over time.
This means the legal limitation for an action to be brought to court. Claims have to be brought within a certain statutory time period set down by the Limitation Act 1980. If your claim is not brought within the time as laid down by court then the action will be what is known as ‘Statute barred’. In those circumstances the Court will not deal with the action other . However, if this limitation is missed the court can still allow the matter to continue at their own discretion . This discretion will be decided on a case by case basis.
When your solicitor mentions the Guidelines in a Deafness matter they will generally be referring to the Coles, Lutman & Buffin ‘Guidelines on the diagnosis of noise induced hearing loss’. These are the guidelines that are generally accepted by medical experts as the benchmark as to what is needed for a diagnosis of hearing loss as a result of noise exposure.
Before defendants would generally accept that you were employed with them they require a copy of what is known as the HMRC employment schedule. This is requested by your solicitors from the HMRC. The HMRC will provide a list in table form showing every employer you’ve worked with during your working life.