Recent claims in the media from insurers about the level of fraud in industrial deafness claims are outrageous.
Hearing Loss Claims or Industrial Deafness Claims have to be backed up by a medical report. That report comprises of an audiogram and comment from a consultant. You cannot fake the audiological assessment and if the audiogram does not look right then the claim will be thrown out.
If insurers are claiming these reports are faked then they are also claiming doctors up and down the country are in on a huge scam - that would be far more than their jobs are worth.
The reason you cannot fake the audiogram is the claimant wears headphones and presses a button when they hear a noise. The noises are played at different frequencies so if the claimant has a hearing problem they will hear some frequencies and not others. If genuine, the audiogram will look similar on repeated occasions, if not it won't. The pattern on the audiogram plus interpretation of this with the history of noise exposure will indicate whether it is noise-induced hearing loss, age-induced or some other issue.
If the numbers of those claiming has increased it is likely it is down to better information being available that hearing loss can be from excessive noise and not just age-related. Employers and insurers have to face up to this rather than just assuming there to be widespread fraud.
The insurers say that 85% of claims are rejected and point to this being proof of fraud. That is ludicrous. What this proves is that a system designed to decipher how someone has come to suffer hearing lose is working – and just because a claim is rejected does not mean it is someone trying to con insurers.
Hearing lose can ruin lives. Victims should not be discouraged to come forward because for many people this is a very serious issue and their employer was negligent. The aspect which should be remembered in all these cases is that without a genuine medical report cases fail.
If you think you may have an Industrial Deafness Claim contact Slater and Gordon. We have offices nationwide and offer a free consultation to people injured in accidents through no fault of their own. Call freephone 0800 916 9046 or contact us online and we will call you.