Acoustic Shock Compensation Claims

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By Oliviah Rix-Taylor

on Thursday 1 November 2018

receptionist on the phone

If you use a headset or a telephone line all day in work then you could be at high risk of Acoustic Shock Syndrome. This article provides claims advice for people wishing to seek compensation for personal injury caused from Acoustic Shock Disorder

Acoustic Shock Injuries

Acoustic Shock  Disorder syndrome occurs after a sudden muscle contraction of the inner ear that can cause the tearing of the inner ear membrane.

The damage to the ear is caused following a high frequency or intensity sound that has a short duration through a telephone.

Who is prone to Acoustic Shock Disorder?

People who are more prone to acoustic shock are call centre employees who spend most of their working day with a headset on.

What is Acoustic Shock?

A sudden or unexpected noise through the phone line can cause acoustic shock although high noise levels of continuous calls can also induce acoustic shock syndrome.

Typically, acoustic shock occurs after being exposed to a sudden loud noise via a telephone so the incident rate is not just limited to call centre agents but also to admin and reception staff alike.

High Pitched Tones (HPT) can also be sent via telephone lines to staff that are installing them and paring out tones. BT ex telephonists are common examples of people who have suffered acoustic shock. If you work with a head set it is hard to remove it in time to prevent the damage to your ears from HPT.

The immediate symptoms of acoustic shock are:

  • Ear pain
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Tinnitus

The less immediate effects can also include

  • Tinnitus
  • Headaches

But you may also develop:

  • Anxiety
  • Neck and jaw pain
  • Fatigue
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Lack of balance
  • Fluttering in the ear
  • PTSD
  • Depression

The Department of Trade and Industry specifications requires headsets be fitted with an acoustic limiter. Since 1992, the specifications in the UK mean the limiter prevents any sound above 118 dB from being transmitted thorough the headset. There are other headset noise limiters available on the market but if you have experienced acoustic shock through your headset , you should let your employer know immediately.

When can I claim for Acoustic Shock Disorder?

You can claim for compensation if you have experienced acoustic shock that has caused you personal harm and, importantly, you believe you employer could have reasonably prevented you from harm.

If you are unsure you can speak to one of our advisors on or free phone number, or if more appropriate we can correspond with via email.

Time Limitations

There is typically a three year time limit to personal injury claims although if the onset of the symptoms has not manifested, or the cause has not been realised it may still be possible to claim.

How much compensation can I receive for an acoustic shock injury?

Because acoustic shock is caused through a telephone line it is most likely your claim will be based on workplace negligence in which your employer breached their duty of care that they owed to you.

In that case your compensation will be calculated on;

  • Loss of earnings from absence from work
  • Additional care costs
  • Pain and suffering
  • Future support needs

There is not as yet a defined guideline amount for acoustic shock but there are some guideline pay out amounts for deafness and tinnitus compensation which is listed below.

Severity Compensation
Impairment of Taste and Smell£15,300 to £31,220
Partial Hearing Loss and/or Tinnitus£5,870 to £36,310
Total Loss of Hearing in One Ear£24,950 to £36,310
Total Deafness£72,330 to £87,410
Total Deafness and Loss of Speech£87,410 to £112,100

Making a compensation claim for Acoustic Shock Disorder syndrome

When making a claim for compensation you will want to use a solicitor who has all the relevant experience with your type of claim and success with cases that are similar to yours. Accident Line Direct can make sure you find the right solicitor for you and increase your chances of winning your claim.

We can offer No Win No Fee agreements so that there is no cost in starting a claim. Your solicitor will take a success fee from your compensation award should your claim be successful.

If you want more information you can call or email us and we will be happy to answer all your queries in regards to personal injury and can provide you with advice and help.

0808 1454275

Accident Line Direct can help you begin your potential claim, get in touch today!