Eye injuries can be incredibly painful and threaten your ability to see. At Citywide Law Group, we understand how much your life can be changed when your vision is compromised. If you’ve sustained an eye injury in a Los Angeles accident, we can help to make sure that you are fairly compensated. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and learn about the benefits of filing a personal injury claim. We will explain your rights as an accident victim and answer any questions you have.
What Is an Eye Injury?
Eyes are incredibly delicate organs and, unfortunately, prone to irritation and injury. Any injury that adversely affects your eyes and/or your ability to see will be considered an eye injury. Eye injuries can include:
- Surface abrasions
- Chemical or heat burns
- Corneal lacerations
- Macular puckers (development of scar tissue in the center of the retina), and
- Hyphema (tearing of the iris or pupil, causing blood to pool in the front of the eye).
Causes of Eye Injuries
What kinds of accidents can result in eye injuries? Since the eyes are so delicate, eye and vision-related injuries are quite common. Eye injuries are often caused by exposure to debris and/or chemicals, and can result from:
- Car accident
- Motorcycle accident
- Pedestrian accident
- Slip and fall
- Defective products
- Workplace accident
- Construction accident, and
- Traumatic brain injury.
Medical Treatment for Eye Injuries
Eye injuries can require extensive medical treatment. The type of medical attention you will require will depend on the type and severity of your injury. It is important to seek medical treatment as soon as you can after you’ve sustained an eye or vision-related injury. Your eye is a direct extension of your brain, and any lingering injuries could cause life-changing complications. Left untreated, your eye injuries may result in total or partial blindness or require the removal of your eye.
The doctor handling your injury will not only treat your immediate symptoms, but also determine the underlying cause of your injury. This will help the doctor determine which treatment, procedures, and/or rehabilitation may be necessary to help you recover. There are generally two primary treatments for eye-related injuries: surgery and rehabilitation
Surgery: Surgery may be an option if you’ve sustained an eye injury that can be fixed by actively repairing damage to your eye. For example, surgery may be required if debris becomes lodged in your eye or if your retina is detached in an accident. Surgery, when successful, can increase the chances of restoring any loss in vision.
Rehabilitation: Rehabilitation may not restore your lost vision in full. However, rehabilitation efforts can help to make sure that you recover as much of your vision as is possible. Rehabilitation may include:
- Wearing an eye patch temporarily to allow your eye to repair itself
- Performing eye-strengthening exercises, and
- Applying and/or taking medication.
Should I File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Eye injuries can change your life forever. The injury itself may be incredibly painful and require extensive medical treatment. These treatments may not be able to fully restore your vision or reduce your pain, which can make it difficult to live a normal life. As a result, you may become overwhelmed with pain and stress. Your eye injury may also prevent you from going back to work right away and, in some cases, may limit your ability to perform in your line of work ever again. These are incredibly harsh consequences.
While a successful personal injury lawsuit may not restore your vision, it can help to compensate you for the traumatic experience you’ve endured. If your injury was caused by another person’s negligent or wrongful conduct you have the right to hold them financially responsible. The person (or people) responsible for your injury can be required to pay damages to compensate for:
- Medically-necessary assistive devices
- Home alterations required by your loss of vision
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Embarrassment, and
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
The money you recover from a personal injury lawsuit can help to make this difficult time in your life a little bit more bearable. Hiring an attorney to handle your case will increase the chances of maximizing the compensation you are awarded.
Liability for Eye Injuries
Almost any type of accident has the potential to cause an eye injury. In California, anyone who is responsible for causing an accident can be held financially responsible for your eye injury. Here’s a quick look at a few different scenarios and who may be liable for your eye injury.
Car Accident: If you sustained an eye injury in a car accident, the person (or people) responsible for the crash may be responsible for your damages. Potentially liable parties may include other drivers on the road, employers of company drivers, government agencies responsible for maintaining safe roadways, and car manufacturers.
Workplace Accident: Eye injuries are incredibly common workplace injuries, especially on construction sites. If you’ve suffered an eye injury on the job you may be entitled to recover workers’ compensation benefits from your employer. If your injury was caused by a negligent third party or defective equipment, you may be entitled to compensation from those parties, as well.
Slip and Fall: Eye injuries can occur during falls. If you fall while on another person’s property (including property owned by the government) you may be able to hold the property owner responsible under premises liability laws. Property owners have an obligation to make sure that their property is safe for you to use.
Defective Product: Eye injuries can be caused when products on the market malfunction or do not work as expected. The companies responsible for designing, manufacturing, and/or selling these defective products can be held financially responsible for your injuries.
It is important to know that if you had an obligation to wear eye safety equipment, but failed to do so, you could be partially responsible for your injury. If this is the case, you will not necessarily be prohibited from recovering damages. However, your ability to recover damages will be limited by your role in the accident. Any award must be reduced by your own degree of fault.
When Do I Have to File an Eye Injury Claim?
The amount of time you have to file a claim will depend on where you sustained your injury and who is at fault.
Bodily Injury: If you’ve suffered an eye injury in a California accident you generally have two years from the date of your accident to begin the legal process of recovering compensation. This time can be extended in limited situations.
Government Fault: If you believe that the government is responsible for your eye injury you have a limited amount of time to initiate legal action. You must file a special administrative claim within six months of your accident.
Workplace Accident: If your employer is responsible for your workplace injury you may be entitled to recover workers’ compensation benefits. In order to collect these benefits, you must notify your employer of your injury and intent to collect within 30 days of your accident.
Los Angeles Eye Injury Attorneys
Eye injuries can be incredibly traumatic and result in the (partial or complete) loss of your vision. If your eye injury was caused in a Los Angeles accident you may be entitled to compensation. At Citywide Law Group, our personal injury attorneys understand that this is an incredibly difficult time in your life. We know that you are adjusting to a life where you are forced to deal with new challenges. We can help to make sure that the at-fault party is held responsible for their actions and that you are fairly compensated for the harm you have been forced to endure. Call us today to request a free consultation and learn more.