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Filing a Claim for Hearing Loss From a Car Crash in Harrisburg, PA

man holding ear in painHearing loss from a car accident is not as common as many other car crash injuries, but it can happen. Sometimes car crash hearing damage is a direct result of a blow to the side of the head, while other times it is a side effect of another injury.

Below, Schmidt Kramer discusses how hearing loss could result from a car crash, symptoms to watch for, and legal options for victims.

If you have been the victim of a car accident and are suffering from hearing loss, our Harrisburg-based vehicle accident attorneys may be able to help you recover compensation. We represent injured crash victims at no upfront cost.

Call us to schedule a free legal consultation. (717) 727-2550 We have secured millions for crash victims.

Crash Injuries That Could Affect Your Hearing

Hearing loss from a car crash can be directly or indirectly caused. Common crash injuries that could impact your hearing include:

Head Trauma

Head trauma can damage the auditory pathways to your brain. For example, a concussion could result in ringing in your ears, sensitivity to sound or even hearing loss.

Drivers could hit their heads on something during impact, like the steering wheel or dashboard. Even at 15 or 20 miles per hour, such a blow could cause a devastating injury. When your head jerks forward in this way, it could damage your hearing in a variety of ways, such as by:

  • Impairing blood flow to your cochlea
  • Rupturing your eardrum
  • Rupturing the ear canal
  • Damaging hairs cells and membranes in the inner ear

Temporal Bone Fractures

The temporal bones are on each side of your skull. A fracture (crack or break) to your temporal bone can lead to hearing loss, dizziness or imbalance.

Middle Ear Injuries

The more sensitive parts, such as your eardrum, are in the middle ear. Trauma, sudden changes in air pressure or loud noises from a car crash can cause these parts of your ear to drain or burst.


In some cases, whiplash can indirectly lead to ear pain or hearing sensitivity. Damage to the neck could indirectly result in temporomandibular jaw disorder (TMJ). This could cause ringing in your ears, balance issues and impairment of your hearing.

Can a Crash be Loud Enough to Damage Your Hearing Without a Blow to the Head?

You may be surprised to learn that a crash could be loud enough to damage your hearing. The sound of the collision, including the impact, shattered glass and screeching tires could produce noise in excess of 140 decibels.

The airbag makes a lot of noise when it deploys during impact. The sound of the front airbag deploying could reach 170 decibels.

Hearing loss is also more likely if the airbag hits the side of your head during the crash.

Symptoms That May Come With Hearing Loss

It may not always be obvious that you are not hearing as well as you used to, because hearing loss can present itself in different ways. But there are some common signs of hearing loss:

  • Trouble understanding speech and similarly sounding words
  • Trouble hearing high pitches
  • Turning up the volume on the TV or your smartphone
  • Tinnitus—ringing, buzzing, hissing or other noises in the ears
  • Trouble identifying the direction a sound comes from
  • Changes in speech, such as speaking more slowly or loudly, or mispronouncing words
  • Asking people to repeat what they said more often than usual
  • Burning sensation inside your ear
  • Trouble maintaining your balance
  • Sound seeming to be muffled

You may not think the crash could have damaged your hearing because you did not suffer a direct blow to the head. However, hearing loss can have many causes besides a blow to the head.

Long-Term Effects of Hearing Loss

Since some hearing loss can be permanent, it can affect a person’s relationships, mental or emotional health and overall quality of life. Untreated hearing loss can lead to:

  • Communication challenges
  • Strained relationships
  • Boredom
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Increased risk of developing dementia
  • Safety risks
  • Poor job performance
  • Financial hardship

Types of Treatments for Hearing Loss

Generally, there are several treatment options for hearing loss:

  • Medications for symptoms
  • Hearing aids
  • Cochlear implants
  • Surgery
  • Rehabilitation

It is important to note that you may have a better chance of avoiding a serious injury if you seek treatment right away. If you let the injury get worse, it may be harder to treat. However, each situation is different.

Can I Add Hearing Loss to My Accident Claim?

If you can prove that the car accident you were involved in caused your hearing loss, you may be able to file a claim with your insurance company. Pennsylvania’s no-fault law requires each driver to carry personal injury protection to cover medical care and certain other damages. That means you may be able to file a claim with your own insurance company.

However, this is not something you should do on your own. Insurance companies often take advantage of crash victims who are unfamiliar with the process and need medical care. An experienced lawyer  from our firm can explain what steps you should take to pursue full compensation for your damages.

For example, we can tell you how to help us document the effects of your injuries and what doctors you will need to see to help us validate your claim.

It may be necessary for you to visit an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist to get a detailed evaluation of your symptoms. You will need medical proof of your hearing loss to obtain compensation for resulting damages. Notes and medical records from doctors, such as an ENT, can help prove your claim.

You can also help your case by gathering evidence from the scene, but this is not always possible. Our legal team can handle this, as we have evaluated many crash scenes and collected evidence to help us build strong cases.

Contact Schmidt Kramer After a Harrisburg Collision

If you have been a victim of a car crash that caused temporary or permanent hearing loss, Schmidt Kramer may be able to help you get compensation.

We have more than 30 years of legal experience and have recovered more than $100 million for our clients.

No upfront costs. Call to schedule your free legal consultation: (717) 727-2550.