What the future holds for Noise-Induced Hearing Loss
On October 18th experts in the field of noise-induced hearing (NIHL) loss gathered at Manchester United Football Club to debate the future of NIHL claims, given the recent dramatic rise in numbers.
Many practitioners believe that the rise in NIHL claims is a direct result of the impact of the reforms on motoring claims, providing a similarly lucrative avenue for potentially inexpert claimant lawyers.
The Ministry of Justice has asked the Civil Justice Council to investigate the number and cost of claims for noise-induced hearing loss.
Karen Jackson, CEO of industrial disease specialist, Roberts Jackson, is all in favour of reforms to the NIHL arena:
“We fully support the government’s aim to discourage unnecessary litigation and make access to justice easier for cases meriting investigation. There’s been such a rise in the number of claims in recent years that the volume has slowed down compensation for genuine cases.”
Professor Mark E Lutman, one of the most prominent experts in noise-induced hearing loss, spoke of his concerns about the quality of tests carried out on claimants, explaining that audiometry is a highly skilled task with high levels of accuracy required. If NIHL claims are to be successful, everyone involved needs to maintain a high level of proficiency, cases need to be vetted correctly and staff need to be trained to fully manage the process from start to finish.
The professor recommended a new approach to make processing genuine claims quicker whilst substantially reducing costs.
Karen Jackson commented on the day:
“It’s great that so many of us in this specialist field are collaborating and putting the genuine claimant at the forefront of our practice. Many poor quality claims slow down and blur the process for real victims and we need a procedure that helps sufferers get justice quickly.”