Omaha Car Accident Hearing Damage Attorney
Suffering From Tinnitus After an Omaha Car Crash?
Following a collision, you may experience ringing in your ear, pain from loud noises, and a decreased ability to hear. While you may attribute this to age, many car crashes can lead to sudden and acute hearing loss. Insurance companies may be resistant to paying compensation for these types of injuries, but with the right attorney, you may be able to include hearing damage in your auto accident claim.
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If you or someone you love has suffered hearing damage due to a negligent driver, you should not settle for a lowball offer from their insurance company. Instead, reach out to the Omaha car accident hearing damage lawyer at Bottlinger Law L.L.C. With years of experience representing car crash victims throughout Nebraska, we can thoroughly review your claim and advocate for the maximum available compensation on your behalf. To get started on your claim today, call our office at (402) 505-8234.
What Are Some Types of Ear Injuries?
You might assume that a minor loss of hearing is nothing to worry about, but it can drastically impact your life. Hearing loss can feature a range of symptoms, ranging from an inability to hear softer noises to headaches to vertigo. You may have difficulties performing your duties at work, hearing your loved ones during casual conversations, or you may suffer from sudden onset pain. At the end of the day, these injuries are anything but minor.
One of the most common types of ear injuries is tinnitus. Otherwise referred to as “ringing in the ear,” tinnitus essentially means you are hearing sounds that are not there. This can limit your ability to concentrate or hear other noises, and even be painful in severe cases. Tinnitus is difficult to treat, as it may only present itself for a few days or last for years.
Alongside tinnitus, you may also suffer from vertigo. Vertigo occurs when you feel like you are losing your balance or that the room is spinning. It is common after blows to the head and can present itself after you stand up or turn your head too quickly.
Following a car crash, you should immediately see a doctor and ask for a hearing test if you are experiencing the following symptoms:
- Ringing in the ears
- Difficulty distinguishing between voices or sounds
- Muffled hearing
- Pain in your ears
- Headaches or migraines
In extreme cases, you may completely lose your ability to hear, often due to extensive damage to your ears. Deafness can be difficult to contend with after a collision, as you may need to get a hearing aid, which can be expensive, learn sign language, and change your entire lifestyle.
How Can Collisions Cause Hearing Loss?
Gradual hearing loss is typically attributed to old age and exposure to consistent loud noises: listening to loud music, working in noisy environments, and even faulty earplugs. However, acute hearing loss is another story altogether. This type of damage occurs when the ears are subject to intensely loud noises that damage the inner structure or nerves, making it difficult for the ears to pick up normal room-volume sounds.
Vehicle collisions are a major culprit, especially those involving large vehicles. While you may assume that hearing damage is caused by the initial impact, it is often associated with airbag deployment. As useful as these devices are, they are designed to prevent severe head and neck trauma, not protect the ears. When they deploy, they produce a small explosion to fill the bag with air and create a cushion. These explosions can rise over 140 decibels, the pain threshold for our ears. Any noise at or above this level can cause severe trauma and even permanent damage.
But direct damage to the ears is not the only way a car crash can cause hearing loss. Head trauma is also associated with hearing loss, as the brain controls how our bodies interpret sound through the auditory cortex. If this part of the brain is damaged in a collision, whether by striking the steering column, window, or pavement, you may find it difficult to interpret language and certain sounds. Broken bones in the skull can also limit blood flow to the ears, reducing your ability to hear, or cause the inner ear to rupture, leading to permanent deafness.
Beyond the brain and skull itself, the muscles of the neck can impact your ability to hear. Research has shown that whiplash can indirectly cause tinnitus, vertigo, and hearing loss. This is because soft tissue injuries can damage the nerves around the ear, making it difficult for them to properly interpret sound. Even if only partially damaged, these nerves can cause chronic pain and hearing loss.
Recovering Compensation for Hearing Damage
Hearing loss can affect every aspect of your life, ranging from your personal relationships to your career. However, if your hearing loss was the result of a negligent driver, you may be able to pursue compensation for your injuries and how they have affected your life. This can include your long-term treatment, including assisted listening devices and sign language classes, but also harm done to your career, any pain you deal with on a daily basis, and the impact on your personal life.
Pursuing an injury claim for hearing damage can be difficult, however. It is often treated as an “invisible injury” or even a preexisting condition, if the insurance company assumed it is age-related. As such, insurers require overwhelming evidence before providing proper compensation for hearing damage. They may even argue that you are exaggerating or lying about your injuries.
That being said, there are ways to support your claim. For one, your medical report may show that your hearing loss was directly related to the accident. In addition to the results of a thorough hearing test, any visible damage to the brain or tears in the ears can also support your claim, especially if you required surgery.
Another key element is witness statements. People close to you, including friends, family, and coworkers, may be able to testify that you could hear at normal volumes prior to the collision. With their testimony and your medical report, you may be able to show that the crash directly caused your hearing loss and that you should be awarded compensation for your injuries.
Strong and Diligent Legal Assistance
Losing your hearing due to a vehicle collision can be absolutely devastating. You may have to change careers, drastically transform your relationships, and deal with costly medical treatments or equipment. If your injuries were caused by a negligent driver, then you deserve proper compensation for your trauma. Your best option is to speak to an experienced and knowledgeable Omaha personal injury attorney. Since 2006, Bottlinger Law L.L.C. has been representing car crash victims in complex and serious accident claims. We can thoroughly review the details of your case and advocate for proper and full compensation for your injuries. If you suffered hearing damage as a result of a negligent driver, contact our office at (402) 505-8234 to discuss your case.
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