Military deafness


Serving in Her Majesty’s armed forces can often mean working in a noisy, hazardous environment.  As an employer, the Ministry of Defence has a duty of care to its personnel. If they breach this duty, and harm is caused by way of illness or injury, they can be liable for compensation. One of the hidden dangers is the risk of noise induced hearing loss, also known as military deafness.

An estimated 300,000 ex-armed forces personnel suffer with noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). * If you have been exposed to excessive noise during the course of your employment in the Armed Forces, including the Army, Navy or RAF you may be entitled to make a claim for compensation for hearing loss and/or tinnitus.

What is military deafness?

Serving in the armed forces involves exposure to obvious sources of potentially hazardous noise such as:

  • Gun and artillery fire
  • Mortars
  • Explosions
  • Pyrotechnics
  • Aircraft noise
  • Vehicle engine noise
  • Brass bands

Noise induced hearing loss  is caused by exposure to loud sounds over a prolonged period of time or from a single episode of exposure to high frequency loud sound, which can cause long term damage to an individual’s hearing. It is alleged that there is a growing number of armed forces personnel suffering from noise induced hearing loss, occupational hearing loss and/or tinnitus as a result of their exposure to excessive noise over 85dB and 95dB.

Whether you are still serving, or you have since left the armed forces, if you have sustained hearing damage as a result of exposure to excessive noise or sudden impact trauma, you may be able to claim for hearing loss and/or tinnitus.

Do I have noise induced hearing loss as a result of working in the armed forces?

It is common for many individuals suffering from noise induced hearing loss to be unaware of the problem until they return from active duty and are tested. If you are finding it difficult to keep up with conversations or have the TV turned up to a level that is not comfortable for others, then you may be suffering from a hearing impairment.

A hearing test will establish whether you have been exposed to excessive noise levels in service. At Hugh James, we can arrange a free hearing test for you to assess whether you have the grounds to make a claim for compensation. Contact our team today to enquire about this service.

How do I make a claim for military deafness?

Making a civil claim for compensation for military deafness is simple. At Hugh James our top ranked personal injury team offer free, no obligation, advice on whether you have a claim. If we think you have a strong case we will pursue compensation on your behalf and represent you on a no win, no fee basis. You do NOT have to wait until you have left service to bring a civil claim.

You could also be awarded a larger sum of compensation making a claim with us than through the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) or War Pension Scheme. A claim for compensation can be brought at the same time as a AFCS or War Pension claim.  You can also bring a claim for compensation even if you have been previously turned down under one of these schemes.  Organizations such as the Royal British Legion and Veterans Agency can assist you with applications for the AFCS or War Pension Scheme and we can also provide this service to you at Hugh James.

Why choose Hugh James?

Our military deafness team is highly experienced in this area. We are the leading solicitor in the UK for the BT deafness litigation which affected thousands of BT engineers suffering hearing loss after using equipment that was excessively noisy.

We are here to answer any questions that you may have, free of charge. If you believe you have suffered hearing loss and/or tinnitus as a result of exposure to excessive noise, please contact our team.


*Source: The Royal British Legion, Lost Voices’ report, 2014




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