Hearing loss or tinnitus can be caused by medical malpractice or by a car accident or other traumatic injury. Our lawyers focus on this page on the settlement and trial value of hearing loss, including total hearing loss, partial hearing loss, and inner ear dysfunction.
- The 3M earplug lawsuits have really brought the issue of hearing loss and what the settlement compensation should be for these injuries front and center
Let's talk first about the trial and settlement value of hearing loss claims. If you can prove that your hearing loss was caused by negligence, there is a good chance you have a claim that may be worth a great deal of money.
There was an extremely useful study performed that sets out both settlement and verdict data in hearing loss cases.Total Hearing Loss
Not surprisingly, the most serious hearing loss claims are when the hearing loss is total. According to the study, both the average settlement and the median verdict in total hearing loss cases is $1.6 million. The median settlement is a little bit lower at $1.1 million.Partial Hearing Loss
As the severity of the ear injury decreases, verdicts and settlement data fall. Partial hearing loss has an average verdict of $557,000, but a median award of only $95,000. Why the disparity between average and median in partial hearing loss that you do not see with a total loss? The quality of the claims and the severity of the injury varies more wildly with a partial hearing loss.
The settlement data in partial hearing loss cases underscore that these are cases that sometimes need to be taken to trial. The average settlement in a partial loss case is $139,000 and the median settlement is $55,000.Inner Ear Dysfunction
The value of inner ear dysfunction is much less. The average verdict is $176,000 and the median verdict is only $20,000. The settlement data is bleaker with a $45,000 average and a $14,000 mean. Certainly, in these cases, the more clearly objective your injury is, the better the likely result.
- Settlement value based on the type of ear injury
Of course, to get a damage award, you have to win the case. The likelihood of winning a car accident case is going to depend on the type of accident and the facts of the crash.
Another helpful study looked at what types of hearing loss cases are successful. The study looked at ninety-four cases. Fifty-six percent of these cases ended with the doctor prevailing. Thirty percent were plaintiffs' verdicts and 12 of the case reached an out-of-court settlement.
Settlements in the survey ranged from $42,500 to $12.5 million (which is misleading because hearing loss was not the only injury).
As you would expect, minors did better with an average payout of $1.3 million compared to $550,000 for adults.
What kind of doctors were being sued for a hearing injury? Otolaryngologists were the defendant in 70% of the cases. The average payout in those cases was $313,230. The second most common malpractice defendant were pediatricians.
The most frequently sued were treating physicians for hearing loss. The second most common defendant was pediatricians (eight cases). In the 13 cases in which an otolaryngologist was sued, there were nine defense verdicts and four verdicts in plaintiffs' favor. Again, pediatric hearing loss cases will have a higher settlement value than the same claim for an adult.Hiring a Hearing Loss Lawyer
If you have suffered a significant hearing loss from defective earplugs, an accident or from medical malpractice, call us today at 800-553-6000 or get a free online consultation. We can help you get the compensation you deserve.