Loss of eyesight claims

Our eyesight is one of the most precious aspects about ourselves which we tend to take for granted. It is only when something goes wrong that we realise the importance of our eyes for our day to day existence.

A loss of sight can be partial or full, temporary or permanent but whatever the extent the consequences are devastating. Losing your eyesight means a permanent change to your lifestyle which is distressing for you and equally so for your family.

Impact of an accident related loss of sight

It can mean financial stress due to you having to change jobs or stop working altogether which then affects your income and standard of living.

You will have to adapt to your change in circumstances, e.g. learn to use Braille, wear specially designed glasses or even make alterations to your home.

These are the physical aspects of your injury but don’t forget the psychological aspects as well. A serious injury such as this causes feelings of anger, frustration and shock and takes time to come to terms with.

This is where compensation can help. Money is not the issue here and there is no amount of compensation in the world which can regain your sight but it can help in other ways.

These include paying for any specialist treatment or care, equipment or aids and any additional expenses.

If you have lost your eyesight as a result of an accident or injury for which you are not responsible then you may be able to claim compensation.

Types of accidents which cause a loss of sight

These include:

  • Blow to the eye
  • Chemical splash
  • Dirt or grit in the eye
  • Dangerous bright light
  • Head injury
  • Sharp object penetrating the eye
  • Medical negligence

These are amongst the most common types of accidents which can cause a partial or complete loss of sight.

Blow to the eye

The eyes can be damaged as a result of a criminal assault or a contact sport such as boxing or rugby.

Chemical splash

Splashes from hazardous chemicals can damage the eyes as can poisonous fumes. The risk of this damage increases if eyewear such as goggles is not worn, is inadequate or defective.

Dirt or grit in the eye

Anyone who works in an environment in which they are exposed to grit or substances which are potentially harmful to the eyes should be provided with protective eyewear. But if this is inadequate then there is the risk of a particle or grit or some other substance entering the eye and causing a loss of sight.

Dangerous bright light

Bright lights such as lasers or sparks from welding torches are potentially dangerous to the eyes. Eyewear such as eye shields should be provided and a warning given whenever welding is taking place.

Head injury

Head injuries are another cause of eyesight loss. A blow to the head can be severe enough to cause brain damage; and if that damage is within an area of the brain which controls sight, e.g. visual cortex then a partial or total loss of sight will occur.

Sharp object penetrating the eye

Any sharp object which enters the eye can cause serious damage and a loss of sight. This loss may mean partial or complete blindness.

Medical negligence

Medical negligence can cause a loss of sight. Examples of this include complications during laser eye surgery, incorrect treatment and a failure to diagnose an eye problem. All of these may result in blindness.

There are other causes of sight loss but these are the most common types of accidents and account for the majority of compensation claims in this field.

In certain situations such as the workplace, employers have a duty of care to their employers which means ensuring that they are protected against accidents whilst at work.

This means reducing the risks wherever possible and then providing protective equipment and/or clothing such as safety goggles. This is especially important in industrial environments where there is a risk of injury from metal fragments, chemical splashes, dust, fumes and smoke.

If you want to know more about workplace injuries then visit our work accidents and illness section.

If you or someone you know has been injured in this way due to a lack of duty of care from their employer then you/they may be able to make a personal injury compensation claim.

Making a claim for compensation for a loss of eyesight

This means finding a personal injury lawyer, claims management firm or solicitor who has specialist experience in these types of claims. He or she will have knowledge and understanding of the complex issues related to these types of claims.

They should handle your claim with sensitivity and an awareness of the impact this has had on you and your family. Blindness is a devastating situation which causes a great deal of emotional trauma.

The lawyer or solicitor will carry out an initial assessment of your claim to see what grounds there are for making this claim and what evidence there is to support it. Any claim for compensation rests upon the issue of negligence; and if it can be proved that your injury occurred as a result of someone else’s fault then this increases your chance of a successful claim.

The claims process is discussed in more detail in our making a claim for compensation section.

Time limit for claiming compensation for a loss of eyesight

Personal injury claims have strict deadlines in place. These are usually set at 3 years from the date of the original accident although there are a few exceptions to this.

Ask your lawyer or solicitor about the time limit for your type of compensation claim.

Personal Injury Guide

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