Noise induced hearing loss - "The new whiplash?"
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As a lawyer experienced in dealing with Noise Induced Hearing Loss claims I was intrigued to read an article on West Law from the Independent on Sunday discussing whether the recent increase in hearing loss claims are in the main fraudulent.
Apparently claims have risen by two thirds in the past two years with an estimated 80,000.00 claims being brought in the past year compared to 55,000.00 in 2012. Despite this increase only one in 10 cases is being paid amid allegations of fraud. As a result some insurers have dubbed these claims the "new whiplash". Aviva report to reject 85% of new claims stating that "the vast majority of these claims are fraudulent".
Personally I struggle to see how a fraudulent claim can even get through the net. My practice, and that of my firm, is that we do not even consider accepting a potential new claim for hearing loss unless we have a positive audiogram. Such an audiogram will enable me to accept instructions and commence my investigations and enquiries into the claim. In due course, and once I have obtained a work history from the Inland Revenue, located the employer and/or their insurance company, received medical notes and records and taken a detailed statement from my client,I will instruct an ENT Consultant to carry out a further audiogram and examine and report on my client. If this in turn is also supportive then, and only then, will I send a formal letter of claim to the Defendant and commence the compensation process.
In my opinion if claims are properly investigated in the first instance the number of allegedly fraudulent claims will be greatly, if not completely, reduced.
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