Eye Injury-More Common Than You Think. What you Should Know

Within a matter of seconds, devastating, life changing injuries can occur because someone was negligent.  Whether it be a negligent driver, who caused a car accident, or a negligent property owner, who caused someone to fall.  Injuries from car accidents or falls can result in extensive medical treatment costs, permanent disability, and the loss of one’s lifestyle. 

One disturbing type of injury we’ve seen at Mahaney & Pappas is an injury to one or both eyes.  This injury can be either permanent or temporary.  Even a temporary loss of vision can severely affect your life, resulting in extensive medical costs, loss of income and the ability to care for yourself and your family. 

Eye injuries can be the result of a car, truck, or motorcycle accident, or even a fall, and industrial or workplace accident.  The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) reported in 2015 that falling was the number one cause of eye injuries overall and accounted for more than 8,425 hospitalizations.  The AAO further reported that, for children ages 10 and under, the second leading cause of eye injury was car crashes.  Also, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics-US Department of Labor reported that in 2013 more than 25,000 employees required time off of work due to an eye injury.  This just goes to show that eye injuries occur more often that we think.

Did you know that eye injuries caused by blunt trauma are the leading cause of vision loss in the United States?  There are over 300,000 cases of eye injuries each year as a result of motor vehicle accidents and a lot of them are caused by air bags. Sure air bags save lives, but they can be very dangerous to the eyes.  Older model airbags exploded with such force that eye injuries were not only common but in some cases resulted in blindness.  The most common eye injury we have seen with airbag deployment are superficial scratches to the lens (corneal abrasion) and burns from the propellant used to inflate the bag.  Aside from air bags, striking an object in a car crash can also result in eye injury.  A recent client of ours was a passenger in a motor vehicle and struck his head on the dashboard with such force that it resulted in a detachment of his retina. 

As you can see from the AAO statistic above, a great deal of workers suffer eye injuries on the job.  Welders, construction workers and industrial cleaners all suffer significant injuries as a result of their profession as well as not wearing proper eye protection.  We have represented workers, who sustained injuries to their eyes from flying objects (glass or metal), tools and chemicals. 

Eye injuries manifest themselves in many ways, such as eye pain, presence of blood, blurred and double vision, or changes in appearance between both eyes.  Having dealt with many personal injury cases involving eye injuries, we recommend that anyone involved in an accident, who experiences symptoms of eye injury, should see a medical professional immediately.  Symptoms left untreated can result in further damage and possible permanent injury. 

Personal injury cases involving eye injuries can be particularly complex and usually require the use of medical experts, such as ophthalmologists, to explain the extent and permanency of eye injuries.  In some cases, insurance companies do not value eye injuries as they should, which is frustrating for the injured party when dealing with the insurance company alone.  The long term complications, pain and suffering, and increasing costs of treating eye injuries all factor into what a fair and reasonable settlement should be for someone injured by a negligent party.  Each case and injury is different.  Contact us today to arrange a time to speak with us about your case.