Eye Injury Compensation Claims
Thousands of people suffer an eye injury each year in the UK that requires medical attention. Some of these eye injuries are caused by third-parties, such as through work accidents, assaults, sporting injuries and road traffic accidents.
Eye injuries can have a significant impact on a person’s life, both temporarily and in more serious cases, on a permanent basis. If you have suffered an eye injury and this was because of the actions or negligence of someone else, you may be entitled to make a claim for eye injury compensation.
Understanding the Eye
The eye is a complex part of the body, made up of several functioning pieces. If any of the parts of the eye are damaged, they can have a significant impact on the functionality and sight of a person.
The main parts of the eye are:
- The cornea, pupil and iris. These three parts sit at the front of the eye and function as one to control how much light is allowed to enter the eye and reach the lens.
- The lens absorbs the light that enters the eye and focuses it onto the retina at the back of the eye. The light is focused by the muscles that control how the lens is shaped.
- The retina is located at the back of the eye and is a nerve that is photosensitive. The nerve responds to the light that reaches it by electrical impulses which are carried to the brain by the optical nerve.
- The optical nerve connects the back of the eye to the brain which allows the impulses that are received throughout the eye to be processed into the images that we see.
Common Types and Causes of Eye Injuries
There is a wide range of reasons why an eye injury can be sustained. Some are through no fault of the injured party and others caused by the negligent behaviour or actions of another person. Some of the most common types of eye injuries that lead to compensation claims include:
- A blunt force trauma such as a heavy item falling onto a person, something flying at a person or a victim being hit with an object
- Cuts and lacerations – sometimes caused by car accidents, falls, machinery faults and sports injuries
- Fractures and broken bones in the face
- Abrasive damage and scratches to the eye – often caused by working with fine fibres and grains
- Entry of a foreign body into the eye such as dirt, splinters, grit, sand or small pieces of metal
- Chemical burns
- Radiation burns
- Medical negligence – such as failure to diagnose an eye condition, errors in surgery or poor aftercare following an operation
Eye Injury Liability
To make a successful claim for compensation, you will need to prove that someone else was to blame for the eye injury that you sustained and your solicitor will help you to do this. Some of the most common liable parties in eye injury claims are as follows:
Liability following an accident
Eye injuries sustained in an accident will be deemed to be the responsibility of whoever caused the accident. For example, if the injury was sustained in a road traffic accident, the driver that caused the accident will be liable, and their insurance will cover compensation payments.
If an eye injury was sustained following a trip or fall in a public area, it might be that the owner of the area was liable. This might be the case if the ground were uneven, wet or damaged.
Liability following a workplace accident
All employers have a legal duty of care to their staff as outlined in the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. If an employer breaches their obligations to protect employees, they may be held liable for any injuries sustained as a result. Some occupations pose a greater risk to the eyes and sight of staff, and as such, employers are legally required to provide safety equipment, personal protection and full training to their workers.
If your employer failed in their responsibilities to you and you suffered an eye injury as a result, you may be able to make a claim for eye injury compensation against them.
Liability following medical negligence
There are a number of eye injuries that can occur through medical negligence, and if it can be proven that a medical practitioner did not work in an adequate, acceptable or timely manner, they may be held to blame for your injury. Some common types of medical negligence that lead to eye injuries include:
- Foreign bodies entering the eye during surgery
- Failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis
- Late diagnosis
- Errors during eye operations
- Errors during laser eye surgery
- Errors in aftercare
- Failure to prescribe any or correct treatment to a patient with an eye complaint.