An eye injury could be considered any physical or chemical damage to the eye, as well as the eye socket. They can be temporary and last a few days to weeks, or they may cause permanent and irreparable damage for the person experiencing the eye injury.
Some common examples of eye injuries include:
- Scratched Eye: This is also known as a corneal abrasion and is most often caused by getting poked in the eye, or rubbing the eye when a foreign body is present. Corneal abrasion is very uncomfortable, causing redness and sensitivity to light;
- Foreign Object in the Eye: An example of this would be a fish hook penetrating someone’s eye, whereas a foreign body that would cause a scratched eye is more likely to be sand or dirt;
- Chemical Burn: Chemical burns most commonly result from a caustic foreign substance in the eye. This substance may be acidic, likely causing considerable redness but can be rinsed out fairly easily to solve the problem. The substance may also be alkali, which is considered to be more serious because they cause more long-term damage;
- Swelling: Eye swelling most commonly results from being struck in the face, such as being hit with a baseball while playing;
- Eye Bleeding: Although eye bleeding sounds intense, it is actually quite common and can occur from even very minor injuries to the eye. Eye bleeding may also be referred to as subconjunctival hemorrhages. It is often painless and may cause any sort of vision loss;
- Traumatic Iritis: This is an inflammation of the eye’s iris, and generally occurs after some sort of injury. It can be caused by a blow to the eye, and usually requires treatment. However, even with treatment, there is a risk of permanent decreased vision; and
- Hyphemas and Orbital Blowout Fractures: This refers to a bleeding in the anterior of the eye; or, the space between the cornea and the iris. This also refers to cracks and/or breaks in the facial bones that surround the eye. Hyphemas and orbital blowout fractures are very serious injuries that need immediate medical attention.
An eye injury claim is a lawsuit, in which a party has experienced an eye injury because of another party and wishes to take legal action against them. The goal of such action is generally to obtain a damages award in order to ease the burden of the costs associated with the incident.
How Can an Eye Injury Occur?
There are several things people are exposed to on a daily basis that could result in an eye injury. As was just discussed, eye injuries can occur when larger objects make forceful contact with the eye. Common examples of how eye injuries occur could include:
- Work related eye injuries, such as being asked to work in a potentially dangerous environment without being provided proper eyewear;
- Sporting activities, such as getting hit in the eye area with a ball or other piece of sporting equipment;
- Exposure to harmful chemicals, such as household cleaners or cosmetics;
- Injury during surgery, such as a malpractice claim against a surgeon performing a lasik eye procedure;
- Physical eye injuries, such as those caused by assault from another person or a vehicle accident;
- Eye strain, such as from looking at a computer screen all day; and
- Injuries resulting from contacts or eyeglasses, such as wearing expired contact lenses.
Can I File an Eye Injury Claim?
An eye injury lawsuit is likely to result from one party behaving negligent towards another. This could be one person physically assaulting another, or it could be a case of medical malpractice in which a medical professional caused injury to a patient’s eye.
Negligence refers to a legal theory in which an injured party is allowed to recover for the carelessness of another. A person may be negligent if they behaved carelessly given the circumstances of a situation. Generally speaking, all people going about their day owe a duty of reasonable care to one another. Reasonable care can be defined as the level of care an ordinary and prudent person would utilize in similar circumstances.
Medical malpractice refers to the negligence of a healthcare professional, resulting in the injury of a patient to whom the professional owed a duty of care. This category of professionals is vast, and those who are licensed professionals are held to a specific standard of care suitable for the seriousness of their profession. Should they deviate from that standard of care, especially resulting in injury, it is likely that they will be held liable.
Who Can Be Held Liable for an Eye Injury?
Who can be held liable for an eye injury will vary based on factors, such as the nature of how and where the injury occurred. Some examples of parties that may be held liable for an eye injury include, but may not be limited to:
- Employers: This will be further discussed below. However, you may be able to hold your employer liable for an eye injury, if the injury occurred while you were performing a work-related task;
- Manufacturers: Companies that manufacture chemical products, or equipment that can cause an injury, may be held liable for those injuries. However, if the user failed to follow provided directions for safe use or otherwise contributed to their injury in any way, they may be liable for their own injuries;
- Doctors: As previously mentioned, a doctor who is negligent in their medical duty may be held liable for any injuries resulting from their negligence. In terms of eye injuries, this most commonly occurs with lasik eye surgery;
- Sport Facilities: Owners of sports facilities, such as indoor batting cages, are to take reasonable precautions in order to ensure the safety of those utilizing their facilities. Failure to do so could result in them being held liable for any injuries sustained due to their negligence; and/or
- Individuals: If a person commits a crime such as assault or battery, they will likely be held liable for any eye injuries resulting from their actions. Another example of this would be a negligent driver who causes an accident, which results in eye injury.
What Is the Average Workers Compensation Settlement for Eye Injury?
Workers compensation refers to a state-mandated insurance program. It provides compensation to employees who have been injured while on the job. Regardless of who is at fault, if an employee is injured at work while doing work-related tasks, they are guaranteed benefits.
Generally speaking, most eye injury compensation claims involve permanent vision loss, or blindness. The amount that you may be awarded in a workers compensation settlement for eye injury will vary based on several factors, including but not limited to:
- Average weekly wage prior to being injured;
- Whether you developed PTSD or some other form of anxiety as a result of the injury; and
- Whether you have a Workers Compensation Award Letter, or are waiting to receive one.
The average amount for a workers comp claim involving eye injury ranges from $65,000 to $105,000.
Do I Need a Lawyer to Assist with an Eye Injury Claim?
If you wish to make an eye injury claim, you should immediately consult with a skilled and knowledgeable personal injury lawyer. An experienced personal injury attorney will help you gather evidence to support your claim and walk you through the process of filing an eye injury claim.
A local personal injury attorney will also be aware of any local laws that may affect your case. Additionally, they will represent you in court as needed and work towards a damages award.