Did you know that 20% of all people live with hearing loss? A loss of hearing can come from many causes, including disease, infections, violence, noise exposure, and accidents.
Here in Maryland and across the U.S., car accidents are a major contributor to hearing damage. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 38% of people in car accidents are left with some level of temporary or permanent hearing loss.
Can a Car Accident Cause Hearing Loss?
Hearing loss isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think about car accident injuries, but it’s surprisingly common. Car crashes are loud, with sudden screeches and impacts that are much more deafening than any daily noise you encounter.
A National Institutes of Health study found that airbag deployment presented a significant auditory risk for internal vehicle occupants in car crashes. The risk of hearing injury is even higher in accidents with multiple airbag deployments, and most modern cars have at least two airbags.
Semi-truck horns are also very loud at 80 to 90 decibels. Just 90 decibels is considered the threshold for potential deafness. Imagine a big rig’s horn blasting right in your face during a car crash. Sometimes, a horn is stuck on and can’t be silenced for a long period after the collision.
What Is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is a form of hearing loss that leaves a persistent ringing, buzzing, or unpleasant sensation in the ears. It’s one of the more common injuries or delayed symptoms someone can experience after a car accident. Head trauma, concussions, and whiplash are all associated with tinnitus.
People often ignore tinnitus symptoms due to the stereotype that it’s only present if you hear a ringing sound. However, tinnitus has many other symptoms, too.
- Ringing sounds
- Buzzing or humming sounds/sensations
- Hearing random or constant clicks or taps
- Throbbing or pulsing sensations
- Muffled speech
- Echoing sounds
- Hearing nearby sounds as far-away sounds
- Phantom noises in the ears that won’t go away
- Pain and discomfort in the ears
Injury-related tinnitus is a form of sensorineural hearing loss after car accidents. This means it’s associated with trauma to the inner ear rather than the outer ear. An audiologist, otolaryngologist, or other hearing professional can help you understand your type of hearing loss.
Three Main Forms of Hearing Loss:
- Conductive hearing loss affects the middle or outer ear.
- Sensorineural hearing loss affects the inner ear.
- Mixed hearing loss is a combination of the other two types.
There is also a fourth type of hearing loss known as auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder (ANSD), which involves having normal hearing in the ear with a dysfunction in auditory perception within the brain. Although ANSD is a rare outcome of car accidents, it can develop over time as a degenerative condition related to ear trauma.
If you suspect you have tinnitus or any form of hearing damage, seek an evaluation from a medical professional as quickly as possible. An audiologist typically diagnoses hearing injuries through a series of tests including an audiological exam, a body movement test, and imaging tests like MRIs and CT scans. They may also order important lab work to exclude other causes of your hearing loss.
Evidence for Car Accident Hearing Loss Compensation
In Maryland, people responsible for car-accident-related hearing loss can be held responsible for the injuries they cause. You have a right to pursue car accident hearing loss compensation from the person who hurt you.
Your damages could be extensive and your suffering may go on for months or years after your accident. Hearing injuries take a long time to heal. In addition, research shows that having hearing loss puts people at a higher risk of future injuries.
Take legal action now by contacting a Maryland hearing loss accident lawyer with the experience to handle tinnitus and accident-related hearing loss claims. It’s also helpful to start keeping a hearing loss journal that captures your daily struggles due to your hearing injury.
Your lawyer can help you organize your medical bills, health records, police documents, and other evidence that helps back up your case. You may be able to recover significant compensation for your hearing damage, lost wages, and the ongoing pain and suffering you’ve experienced.
Contact a Maryland Hearing Loss Injury Attorney Now
Here at Zirkin & Schmerling Law, our Maryland personal injury lawyers care about helping injured people, including those with accident-related tinnitus and hearing loss. We pride ourselves on working closely with you to ensure you receive the information you need and the compensation you deserve.
Contact us on our website or call us at (410) 753-4611 to set up an appointment with one of our experienced accident lawyers today.