Serving active duty in the military often comes with a variety of risks, but when the supplies and safety gear you are supplied with are defective, this may cause you unexpected, long-term injuries. Some veterans have sustained hearing problems due to the failure of 3M Combat Arms earplugs and many have applied for compensation in a mass tort lawsuit, as a personal injury lawyer in Canoga Park, CA, such as from Unidos Legales, can explain. If you suffered these injuries, there are several qualification requirements you may want to know about before you apply.
- Time of Service
The defective 3M earplugs were used by combat soldiers between the years of 2003-2015. Most soldiers who served in Afghanistan and Iraq used these earplugs in combat, as the safety devices were supposed to shield the soldiers’ hearing from loud sounds, like gunfire or other explosive noises. If you were an active member of any branch of the military at this time and served in these countries or used them stateside, you may be able to file a lawsuit.
- The Degree of Injury
Many veterans have suffered partial or complete hearing loss in one or both ears, while others have developed tinnitus, or a constant ringing in the inner ear. Other noises, such as humming or buzzing, may also occur with tinnitus. You may want to present your attorney with a medical report that proves you suffered hearing loss or a medical history from a hearing specialist who has treated your hearing problems in the past.
- Related Medical Problems
You may be able to file a lawsuit in this mass tort if you have some hearing loss as well as other issues related to that injury. These may include feelings of depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder as you deal with your partial deafness. While veterans are filing lawsuits in all 50 states, you may want to speak to a lawyer about how these other medical problems may affect your claim.
- Law Firm Criteria
Because the lawsuit is not class-action litigation and individual veterans are filing lawsuits with different attorneys or legal groups, the requirements may differ depending on which you choose. Some groups have rigid guidelines when it comes to the 3M lawsuit, while others have more flexible rules. Your eligibility may depend on how your attorney or law group currently handles the lawsuit.
Suffering from partial hearing loss or tinnitus as a result of faulty 3M Combat Arms earplugs can be devastating, but there is help available. Contact an attorney today for additional assistance and information.