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Military Hearing Loss Claims: Navigating the Legal Landscape with Imperium Law

Military service demands immense sacrifice, often leaving indelible marks on those who serve. Among these, hearing loss stands out as a prevalent yet frequently overlooked consequence. Imperium Law, a leading law firm based in Macclesfield, Cheshire, specialises in advocating for military personnel who have suffered hearing loss due to service-related activities. With almost two decades of unrivalled experience, Imperium Law has become a beacon of hope and expertise for those seeking justice and compensation for their hearing impairments.

Unmatched Expertise in Military Hearing Loss

At Imperium Law, we understand the unique challenges faced by military personnel with hearing loss. Our team, spearheaded by the highly experienced solicitors Philip Jackson and Janine Gurr, brings over 34 years of combined expertise in personal injury and military hearing loss claims. We operate on a No Win No Fee basis, ensuring that our clients have access to top-tier legal representation without the burden of upfront costs.

The Imperium Law Approach

Our philosophy centres around providing the best legal advice and support to every client. We believe in putting maximum effort into each case, ensuring that our clients receive the outcome they deserve. This approach has cemented our reputation for unparalleled success rates in military hearing loss claims across the UK.

Legal Framework and Claim Eligibility

Understanding the legal framework is crucial for a successful claim. The Ministry of Defence must comply with the Control of Noise at Work Regulations Act 2005 and Noise at Work Regulations 1989. If these standards were not met, resulting in hearing damage, the MoD can be held accountable.

Claims can be filed by members of the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Royal Air Force, British Army, and Reserve Forces. These claims cover a spectrum of hearing issues, from gradual loss to trauma-induced damage. However, it’s important to note that claims for hearing loss suffered prior to May 15, 1987, are unfortunately barred due to the Crown Proceedings Act.

The Claims Process

Recognising a hearing problem and seeking medical assessment is the first step. There’s a three-year window from the time you notice hearing issues to initiate a claim. Our team at Imperium Law guides clients through every stage, from initial consultation to gathering evidence and representing them in court proceedings if necessary.

Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS)

  • Eligibility: If your hearing loss is a direct consequence of duties in the armed forces, you may qualify for an AFCS award. This includes hearing loss caused by incidents during training exercises or as a result of service-related ear infections.
  • Types of Awards: The AFCS provides two main types of awards: lump sum payments and guaranteed income payments (GIPs). Lump sum payments are tax-free and range from £1,200 to £570,000, depending on the severity of the injury or illness. GIPs are for those with the most serious injuries and illnesses, providing a tax-free monthly payment.
  • Time Limit: There is a 7-year limit to make a claim following the incident that caused your hearing loss. For service before 6 April 2005, claims are considered under the War Pension Scheme​​.

Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) Approach

  • Criticism: The MoD has faced criticism for its handling of noise-induced hearing loss claims, with accusations of denying or underpaying claims and not adequately monitoring noise levels in military environments.
  • Claim Process: For those who served after 15th May 1987 and haven’t previously claimed compensation, the average payout for a successful noise-induced hearing loss claim is around £11,000. However, individuals who left the Armed Forces before this date may not be eligible due to the Crown Proceedings Act 1947, which exempted the MoD from military accident claims before this date.
  • Further Hearing Loss Prevention: Veterans are advised to limit exposure to loud noises and use ear protection in noisy environments​​.

Claiming Process

  • Legal Representation: Specialists in military hearing loss claims can guide claimants through the process, assessing the circumstances of hearing loss and gathering necessary evidence like medical records.
  • Negligence Claims: For a successful claim, it must be demonstrated that the MoD failed to protect the individual from harmful acoustic trauma​​.

AFCS Claim Submission

  • Automatic Consideration: In some cases, if you’re medically discharged, Veterans UK may automatically consider the illness or injury that led to your discharge without needing a claim form.
  • Supporting Documentation: Submitting reports from your Medical Officer and other relevant documents can expedite the claim process.
  • Reconsideration and Appeals: If you disagree with the initial decision, you can request a reconsideration within 12 months of the decision notification. If still dissatisfied, an appeal to an independent tribunal is possible​​.

It’s important to note that each case is unique, and the specific circumstances will influence the outcome of a claim. Those who believe they have grounds for a military hearing loss compensation claim should consider consulting legal experts such as Imperium Law to ensure their rights are fully represented and to maximise the chances of a successful claim. Hearing loss should not be an accepted consequence of military service. At Imperium Law, we stand committed to helping our clients navigate the complexities of military hearing loss claims. We are not just solicitors; we are champions for the rights of those who have served our nation. For a no-obligation claim review, contact us at 0800 633 5730 and take the first step towards the compensation you deserve.