Loss of Eyesight InjuriesClick For Your Free Consulation
Humans are visual creatures. Studies show that 80-85% of human sensory perceptions come through the eyes. When accident victims lose their sight, even temporarily, they experience a profound impact on their lives.
Someone can lose their eyesight for many reasons. Eye trauma, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), and diseases can damage the eyes, the optic nerve, or the visual cortex. These injuries can temporarily or permanently rob someone of their eyesight.
Here is a short guide to loss of eyesight injuries and the compensation you can seek for them.
Table of Contents
The eyes are sensory organs. They contain nerves that collect information from outside the body and transmit it to the brain for processing and memory.
You can lose eyesight if any part of the visual system gets injured.
Many eye injuries can lead to visual loss. Some examples include:
The retina sits at the back of the eye inside the eyeball. It collects light that makes up an image and creates nerve impulses that carry the image to the brain.
The retina can detach from the back of the eyeball. When this happens, the retina loses its blood supply and can die.
Most retinal detachments result from disease, congenital defects, and old age. But retinal detachments can also result from trauma. A blow to the eye can cause the eye to bleed and become irritated. As the eye swells, the retina can tear away from the inside of the eyeball.
One of the leading causes of traumatic eyesight loss is a ruptured eyeball. When the eyeball, or globe, gets penetrated by a foreign object, the structures inside the eyeball can get damaged. Similarly, a blunt impact to the eyeball can cause the eyeball to burst under pressure.
A ruptured globe can lead to blindness in many ways. If the cornea or iris get damaged by a foreign object, they might not work properly to collect light. A penetrating object could also damage the retina or the optic nerve, preventing the eye from producing nerve signals for the brain.
A ruptured globe can become infected. Infections can destroy the tissue of the eye and cause blindness.
When the eyeball ruptures, the eye can bleed and experience inflammation. A blood clot in the blood vessels that feed the eye can cause tissue death. Inflammation can cause the eye to swell and choke off its blood supply.
The bone surrounding the eye, called the orbital, can fracture when impacted. When the orbital fractures, pieces of bone can sever the optic nerve. Pieces of bone can also penetrate the globe, causing a rupture.
If the visual cortex of the brain gets damaged, the brain cannot process visual information. This can happen even when the eye remains undamaged.
For example, a concussion can cause you to have blurry vision or see stars. A contusion can cause the brain to swell and cut off the blood supply to the visual cortex. When an anoxic injury deprives the brain of oxygen, brain cells in the visual cortex can die.
You can lose your eyesight temporarily if swelling in the eye and facial tissue obstructs light from entering your eye. It can also happen when the brain suffers short-term inflammation.
You might regain your eyesight when the swelling to your eye tissue, facial tissue, or brain subsides. But if the swelling impeded the flow of blood to the eye, tissue death might have taken place. If this is the case, you might never fully regain your vision.
Unfortunately, doctors have no way to replace the eye. Doctors also have no way to regrow nerve cells. This means that injuries like a detached retina or damaged optical nerve will cause permanent loss of vision.
Any accident that causes facial, eye, or brain trauma can lead to eyesight loss. Some examples include:
Car accidents are notorious for causing facial injuries. Hitting your face on the steering wheel, airbag, or dashboard can fracture the orbital.
Penetrating injuries can also result from flying glass and other debris that enters the eye. This debris can damage the cornea or even rupture the globe.
Workplace accidents can damage the eyes in many ways. Caustic chemicals such as cleaning products, solvents, and acids can destroy eye tissue, leading to permanent blindness. Flying objects can penetrate the eyeball and rupture the globe.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health estimates about 2,000 workers injure their eyes every day in the U.S. Some of these workers will suffer permanent loss of eyesight.
A fall from a height or a slip and fall could lead to a loss of eyesight. Your face could strike an object as you fall, damaging your eye or fracturing your orbital. For example, if you fall down a flight of stairs or off a scaffolding, your face could strike a railing as you tumble.
Falling accidents can also cause a TBI. As your head strikes the ground, you could develop a contusion or hematoma. The bruising, swelling, and blood loss could result in permanent damage to your visual cortex.
Injury compensation covers your medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering. While you might incur substantial medical costs immediately after your injury, the bulk of your damages will likely come from your loss of income and your pain and suffering.
A loss of eyesight might force you to change jobs or even stop working. Your damages include the income you lose due to your injuries. Your compensation can include the value of your diminished earning capacity for the rest of your life.
Pain and suffering damages cover all of the ways your vision loss diminishes your quality of life.
In addition to the physical pain and mental suffering you endured, you can also recover compensation for inconvenience and loss of activities. Losing the ability to do many of the things you take for granted, such as driving and reading, can represent a major impact on your life.
To discuss the compensation you can pursue for your loss of eyesight injuries, contact the Law Offices of Jay S. Knispel, LLC to schedule a free consultation. Our skilled New York City personal injury attorneys will discuss the facts of your case and help you to determine your best path forward.
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