VIDEO TRANSCRIPT: Can you get an ear injury from a car accident? Yes you can. My name is Robert Mansour and I'm a personal injury attorney in the Los Angeles area. This free video today addresses that very issue.
It is a rare but possible injury from a car accident to have an ear injury. Most of the time people associate ear injuries with people listening to loud music. They play in a rock band. They work construction. They're handling a jackhammer, something like that, where there's a lot of loud noise and that might affect the ear.
That's true. Sometimes that can be true. But, an actual car accident can also cause an ear injury as well. You see, what could happen is there could be damage to the structures inside the ear as the result of trauma from the accident such as hitting your head against something, or perhaps the airbags deploying and hitting the side of your head. Sometimes the whiplash effect is so severe, especially in very dramatic accidents, that that can also cause damage to the inside of your ear.
Sometimes the ear injury is actually related to a jaw injury. There's a condition known as TMJ which affects the jaw portion of somebody's face here. The jaw injury can affect the nerves in the ear which can affect the hearing.
The outer ear captures sound and sends it to the middle ear and then from the middle ear to the inner ear. There are structures inside your ear that if they are damaged can cause a problem. There are three little bones in there - the hammer, the anvil, and the stirrup - which are located inside your ear. If they get damaged, your hearing can be affected.
Also, if there is damage inside your ear there could be fluid that is leaking in there, for lack of a better term, and that can affect your balance. In fact, it is very well known that our ears have a lot to do with our sense of balance. If there is a leaking situation going on in there due to damage to the cochlea or otherwise you could have a balance issue in your ear. If you're noticing a sense of balance problem you may want to go to an ear, nose, and throat doctor and make sure that it's not an ear problem.
The other thing that clients also report, especially in loud accidents where there's a loud crash, is something called tinnitus which is a ringing sensation in the ear that they hear, as if they've been to a rock concert and you continue hearing that sound in your ear. Well, most people with healthy ears, that sound dissipates over time. By the next day you're usually okay. But, for people with an ear injury they hear that ringing all the time. It very much affects them.
If you have hearing loss you really need to see an audiologist. This is a person who can test your hearing and make sure that it's okay or if there are any deficits to your hearing. Also, you want to go see an ENT - ear, nose, and throat doctor, because those doctors specialize in those kinds of injuries.
You also want to make sure you act early. You don't want to bring up the ear issue several weeks or months later. Because the insurance adjuster for the responsible party is not going to believe that your ear injury is related to the accident if you bring it up weeks later. So, if the issue is a problem, make sure you mention it right away - right when you notice the problem. If you're going to the doctor the day after the accident saying you know, I have some ringing in my ear, I don't know what the problem is.
Or, one of my clients recently got involved in such a severe car accident that he has appreciable hearing loss in both ears, 50% in one ear, 30% hearing loss in the other ear, so much so that they had to get him hearing aids. Unfortunately, his condition is permanent, and he's going to have to wear hearing aids for the rest of his life. He never had hearing problems before the accident. He reported them in a timely fashion, and the doctors believe that it's most likely than not from the car accident.
Hearing aids can be very expensive, and they have to be replaced every few years. They have to always have batteries. It's just kind of a thing that enhances your hearing, but my client tells me that it sounds like the sound is digitized. It's not quite the organic sound that he was used to hearing before he had the hearing loss.
He also noticed the problem because when people in the family would try to talk to him, his wife, his friends, he couldn't hear them very well. He kept saying what, huh. Then, when he watches his television he has to put it up all the way to almost the highest volume in an effort to hear television. That's when he noticed that things were very different after the accident. He noticed it within 48 hours and reported it to his doctors. That's really the key, acting quickly, reporting the hearing loss quickly, reporting the tinnitus or the ringing in the ear quickly.
So, yes, it is possible to have a hearing injury, an ear injury, from a car accident which can affect your balance, can affect your hearing. My name is Robert Mansour. If you want to learn more, please visit my website at valencialawyer.com. Or, call my office at (661) 414-7100. Thank you very much.
One of the more rare yet serious injuries you can get from a car accident is an ear injury. It could be due to whiplash, deployment of an airbag, or other trauma incurred during a car accident. Here is some information about ear injuries that may occur in conjunction with auto accidents.
When we typically think of ear injuries or hearing loss, we usually associate it with listening to loud music or something similar for extended periods of time. We also might think of someone like a construction worker or someone else who works around loud noises all day. However, hearing loss can occur due to a sudden and traumatic event like a car accident. It can occur with a powerful blow to the side of the head or a severe whiplash injury. The injury can involve tinnitus (ringing sensation in the ear) or some other ear injury.
The trauma can cause a dislocation or fracture in the bones located in the middle ear. In some cases, there can be a fracture to the cochlea which is also located in the inner ear and is the main sensory organ of hearing. A hole in the inner ear may lead to inner ear fluid leakage. In some cases, other bone fractures can lead to hearing loss and in some cases, bleeding in the inner ear. A TMJ injury can also cause damage to the jaw which, in turn, affects the nerves in the ear.
The anatomy of the ear includes three main parts, the outer ear, the inner ear, and the middle ear. The outer ear captures sounds and sends them through the ear canal to the middle ear which contains the eardrum and three tiny bones known as the hammer, anvil, and stirrup. These three bones are collectively known as the ossicles. Damage to these tiny bones or surrounding structures of the ear can sometimes cause serious hearing loss.
Also, you can suffer an ear injury simply by being exposed to a very loud noise. Some car accidents can involve noises at very high decibels. Loud sounds at certain decibels can cause damage to the inner ear structures and in some cases, cause permanent hearing loss.
How can you prove an ear injury case? How do you prove hearing loss? Just like any injury that may involve a car accident, you need to have a medical professional document the injury very well from the very first day. If the injury doesn't "surface" until several weeks after the accident, the insurance adjuster may doubt the causal connection between the accident and the injury. Therefore, even if you suspect any minor problem, you should bring it up your doctor in order to document the injury. Remember, most insurance adjusters are inclined to doubt your injury. Some adjusters think everyone is out there trying to "game the system." Failure to properly document injuries is one of the biggest reason that personal injuries cases fail or fall short.
In addition to properly documenting the injury, you're going to want an "ear nose and throat" doctor and/or a professional audiologist to prepare a report that clearly links the hearing loss you have to the automobile accident. There needs to be a connection. You must demonstrate the injury was "most likely" from the car accident. You don't have to be 100% sure. This is what is known as "preponderance of the evidence."
Then, you have to show you did everything you could to try to improve your situation. This is known as your duty to "mitigate your damages." You just can't sit around and let your hearing loss (or other ear injury) get worse and do nothing about it. However, after you've done all you can, and you've gone through whatever therapy and treatment you can, you're going to reach a plateau of one kind or another. First, you may find that you totally regained your hearing which would be wonderful. Second, you may have some kind of permanent deficit, or at least one that's going to last for the foreseeable future. You can't really know this until you've tried all the medical avenues available to you. Also, an adjuster is more likely going to believe you if you've done all you can to better your situation.
Any permanent deficit needs to be documented by a medical professional. If you suspect you suffered an ear injury from an auto accident, you must act very quickly. Any delay in diagnosis and/or treatment can backfire. Go see an experienced personal injury attorney and discuss your case with him or her. If you live in the Santa Clarita area (and surrounding communities), please feel free to contact my office for a free consultation. Our number is (661) 414-7100.
by Robert Mansour
Robert Mansour is a personal injury lawyer serving Santa Clarita, Valencia,