Is Hearing Loss After a Car Crash a Symptom of a Serious Injury?

Young woman holding ear in painIf you have been in a car crash and are experiencing hearing issues, it is imporant to understand that this could be a sign of a serious injury.

In this article, Arnold Law Firm explores how a car crash can cause hearing loss and what actions you should take, including whether you may be eligible to recover compensation for your damages.

Have questions after being injured in a collision caused by a negligent party? Our knowledgeable auto accident lawyers in Sacramento are prepared to work tirelessly to recover the full and fair compensation to help pay for your medical costs and other losses. There is no cost for your initial case review. If we find you have a case and you choose to hire our firm, there are no upfront costs to pay. We take injury cases on contingency, so we only get paid for our services if we win your case.

Request your FREE case review today. Call: (916) 777-7777

Should I Worry If I Have Hearing Loss After a Car Crash?

Hearing loss after a crash is something you should take seriously, as you may have sustained inner ear damage. In addition to hearing loss, you may have sustained other types of trauma, including a severe head injury. For this reason, you should seek medical attention right away to rule out serious or potentially life-threatening injuries.

In addition to protecting your health, this step helps connect any injuries you sustained to the crash that caused them. When you delay seeking medical care, the insurance company has much more room to argue that your injuries could have happened elsewhere.

How Can a Car Crash Cause Hearing Loss?

Collisions can cause any number of injuries, depending on the speed the driver was traveling, how many vehicles were involved and what part of the vehicle was struck during the impact.

Hearing loss is not an injury that is talked about that much after a crash, but it is quite common and could be caused by:

The Noise of a Crash

The impact of two or more vehicles colliding is essentially metal on metal. If a crash occurs at a high speed, the noise level is considerable. Studies show that car crashes result in noise levels at or about 145 dB, which is loud enough to cause minimal hearing loss.

Airbag Deployment

In addition to the noise of the crash, airbag deployment, which occurs at the same time as the impact, is even louder. The loud explosion of an airbag deploying puts out damaging noise levels of up to 178 dB. To put it in perspective, noise levels at a mere 85 dB in comparison can still cause permanent hearing damage over time. The louder a noise gets, the more likely it is to cause hearing loss. Estimates show that about 17 percent of those exposed to the sound of a deploying airbag suffer some amount of permanent hearing loss.

Head Trauma

Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are extremely common in car crashes. During a collision, victims may experience violent, jarring, back-and-forth movement, which could cause the brain to hit against the skull. Even if they do not hit their head against anything, or get hit in the head with an object, the sheer motion can cause a TBI.

TBIs may result in many symptoms, including an intense headache that either gets worse or will not go away. Other symptoms may include vision loss in one or both eyes, slurred speech, nausea and/or vomiting, seizures and enlarged pupils. You may have a hard time waking up someone who has a TBI.

TBIs are serious even without loss of hearing, but can also cause many inner ear issues. Victims with auditory damage could suffer from these and other symptoms after a crash:

  • Tinnitus (often sounds like ringing in the ears, but there is no actual noise)
  • Extreme sensitivity to noise of any kind
  • Difficulty understanding the words people are saying, especially when accompanied by ambient or background noise
  • Inability to pinpoint where sounds are coming from
  • Irritation in the ears; victims might feel burning or itching
  • Feeling of fullness or pressure in one or both ears
  • Balance issues/vertigo
  • Dizziness
  • Everything sounds muffled
  • Inability to distinguish between different voices


Whiplash may result in injury to the nerves, muscles and other soft tissue in the neck area. This injury can also be jarring enough to damage the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), along with delicate inner ear structures, which could cause hearing loss.

Common symptoms include:

  • Persistent ringing in the ears
  • Difficulty in hearing conversations
  • Pressure or fullness in the ears
  • Dizziness or balance issues

Types of Hearing Injuries

Hearing loss after a crash could be the result of other trauma, such as a TBI or whiplash. However, with or without other injuries, you may have suffered the following damage:

  • Ruptured eardrum
  • Damage to your inner ear hair cells, membranes and other inner ear tissue
  • Damage to one of the small bones in your inner ear
  • Sensorineural hearing loss, which is permanent and results from damage to the inner ear or to the nerve that travels from the ear to the brain.
  • Conductive hearing loss, which could be caused by damage to any of the three small bones in your middle ear. This type of hearing loss may be able to be corrected with surgery.

Can Crash Victims With Hearing Loss Seek Compensation for Damages?

If you suffer hearing loss due to a car crash caused by another party’s negligence, you may be eligible to seek compensation. Damages related to any of your injuries, including hearing loss, may be sought under an injury claim in Sacramento. That said, you must be able to establish the other party’s negligence. You must also be able to link your injuries to the crash. If there is no negligence, there is no case.

Unfortunately, the burden of proof falls on the victim. However, you do not have to try to navigate the complicated legal process on your own. When you hire an attorney, he or she can walk you through the process of seeking damages for your injury.

What Treatment May Be Available for Crash Victims With Hearing Loss?

The type of treatment that may be available is largely dependent on the cause of your hearing loss, as well as the type and severity of your injuries.

Treatment options may include:

  • Medications to manage symptoms
  • Hearing aids
  • Cochlear implants
  • Surgery in severe cases or to address other underlying problems
  • Rehabilitation therapies

How Does Hearing Loss Impact a Crash Victim?

Hearing loss can have a significant emotional and physical impact on your daily life. Crash victims may have a difficult time accepting this type of life-altering change and suffer from withdrawal, depression, loneliness and irritability. For others, suffering any type of hearing loss could mean they have to change careers. Overall, it could directly affect your future earning capacity and diminish your overall well-being.

Contact Arnold Law for Legal Help You Can Trust

Hearing loss following a car crash is a serious concern, so it is essential to seek medical help right away. Time is often critical in car crash injuries.

If you find yourself needing legal help after a car crash in Sacramento, California, our law firm is ready to assist you. We encourage you to reach out as soon after your crash as possible. You have rights, and we are here to protect them.

There are no upfront costs when you hire our firm, as we accept car crash cases on contingency. You pay us no money throughout the legal process. We only get paid if you do.

Call Arnold Law Firm to discuss your situation today. (916) 777-7777