There are over 25,000 serious eye injuries in Australia every year with more than half being suffered by young people and children who are at a higher risk of sustaining an eye injury than other members of the population. The human eye is complex and fragile whilst retaining healing powers that make it resilient to some but not all types of injury. Blindness or loss of vision quality in one or both eyes is a catastrophic injury requiring the services of an eye injury solicitor.
In most cases an eye injury will not have been caused by a car accident however there is a significant proportion that is a direct result of motor vehicle collisions. Road traffic accidents are a major cause of traumatic injury and represent more than half of all cases handled by personal injury solicitors. If you have been injured in a car accident and you want to make a compensation claim for personal injury and loss just complete the contact form, email our offices or use the solicitors helpline. Our eye injury solicitors offer advice at no cost without further obligation. If our eye injury solicitors deal with your claim it will be on a no win no fee basis, compensation is paid in full and you do not have to fund or finance your car accident compensation claim.
An eye injury can occur in many different situations however the incidents most likely to be the fault of a third party are as follows :-
Motor Vehicle Accidents – eye injury due to vehicle collisions are less common than they used to be as a result of the enforced use of car seat belts however they are still a very real risk. Shattered glass from a windscreen or door window may cause damage to the eye; sharp objects which penetrate the vehicle during a collision may penetrate the eye and traumatic impact against the windscreen, steering wheel or dashboard may cause serious eye injury. A driver, passenger, cyclist or pedestrian who sustains an eye injury as a result of a road accident may be entitled to make a claim for compensation if it can be shown that the accident was caused by or contributed to by someone else’s wrong doing.
Workplace & Industrial Accidents – are a matter of real concern with eye injury being caused by collisions with works vehicles, explosions, electrocution, falling objects, chemical burns, caustic gases, swarf, chips, sparks, shattered machinery and the impact of slips, trips or falls. It is the duty of an employer to provide employees with a safe system of work which usually involves the provision of safe equipment and adequate eye protection and failure to do so will make the employer liable in negligence for any eye injury sustained by an employee in the normal course of business.
Leisure, Recreational & Sporting Activities – the owner or occupier of sports facilities and the organiser of recreational activities or holidays is responsible for their customers safety, to some degree, dependant on the activity and the perceived risk. In addition if you sustain an eye injury whilst involved in sporting activities by virtue of someone else’s recklessness or deliberate violence then it may be possible to make a claim for compensation. If you have suffered an eye injury whilst involved in leisure, recreational or sporting activities you should take advice from a specialist personal injury solicitor about the potential to claim compensation.
Trips Slips & Falls – are frequent causes of injury to both the structure of the eye and to the bone surrounding the eye. The owner or occupier of land or premises, both public and private, including pavements and roads, is responsible for the safety of people who might reasonably be expected to use their property and as such can be liable in negligence for any eye injury sustained by a visitor.
Employers have a duty to provide their employees with a safe work environment. Part of providing a safe work environment is taking the necessary steps to protect their employees from eye injuries. If an employer fails to take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of their employees, they could be held liable to pay compensation for any eye injury sustained by an employee during the course of performing their duties. Eye injuries that occur in the workplace are usually the result of negligence by an employer :-
The causes of eye injuries are numerous. Common causes of eye injuries include :-
Exposure to Chemicals: An eye can be burned if a caustic chemical gets inside of it. This can happen when liquid is splashed into the eye or a person rubs their eye while chemicals are on their hand. Also, air-borne chemical particles, such as aerosol products, can damage the eye.
Scratches: If you are scratched or poked in the eye, it can damage the cornea, which is the thin, transparent skin that covers your eyes.
Cuts: Your eye can be injured if cut by a sharp object. Falls also sometimes cause cuts.
Blows to the Eye: If the eye is struck by a blunt object, it can result in damage to the iris, which is the colored part of your eye. Significant blunt force trauma can cause bleeding in the eye or the fracturing of the facial bones that surround the eye.
Foreign Matter or Debris in the Eye: Some of the most dangerous types of debris that can get into the eye include small pieces of plastic, metal or wood.
Exposure to Ultraviolet Rays: Overexposure to UV rays can be the result of tanning beds, the sun or welding.
Eye injuries take a number of different forms, ranging widely in their severity and resulting complications. Some of the most common types of eye injuries are :-
Black Eye: Blood has leaked into the skin of the eyelid and surrounding areas; usually caused by blunt trauma to the eye.
Sub-conjunctival Haemorrhage: Caused by the rupture of a small blood vessel on the eye’s surface; a patch of blood will appear on some or all of the white of the eye
Corneal Abrasion: Scratch on the surface of the cornea; often caused by foreign particles in the eyes.
Iritis: Inflammation of the inside lining of the eye or iris; can be caused by blunt trauma or a chemical burn.
Hyphema: Bleeding in the fluid-filled space between the coloured iris and the clear cornea; can result in permanent loss of vision.
Orbital Blowout Fracture: Fracturing of the bones that form the orbit of the eye; caused by blunt trauma to the eye and surrounding area.
Retinal Detachment: All or part of the retina is torn or separated from the surface at the back of the eyeball.
Every year in Australia, there are more than 25,000 serious eye injuries, many of then being a work injury. Whilst the human eye is resilient with innate healing abilities, it is still a complex and fragile part of the body that is vulnerable to injury. Some of these injuries can be catastrophic, such as loss of vision quality or total blindness.
Individuals who have suffered catastrophic eye injuries whilst at work should seek the immediate counsel of an eye injury Compensation solicitor. Because complicated medical issues are involved, it is important that you work with a solicitor who fully understands eye injury claims.
If you have sustained a serious injury that affects your eye which was the fault of somebody else, then please complete the contact form and one of our eye injury compensation solicitors will contact you to discuss matters. The initial advice is offered at no cost and there is no obligation to use our services which are usually dealt with on a no win no basis.
Eye injuries are wide ranging and can be as minor as a scratch on the cornea or severe, as in an injury that causes loss of vision on a permanent basis. Causes of eye injuries involve chemical exposures, such as an acid burn or alkali burn to the affected area. You can get soap, sunscreen or even things like tear gas and pepper spray that can injure the eyes. Mace can injure the eyes, too. Most do not cause permanent injuries with the exception of alkali and acid burns.
Corneal abrasions are scratches on the cornea that occur when something comes into contact with the eye that scratches the coloured part of the eye. It is extremely painful and is usually treated with an antibiotic eye drop until the wound heals in one to two days. Traumatic iritis happens just like a corneal abrasion and happens because of a blow to the eye from a blunt object. The muscle controlling the iris is inflamed and cannot move the iris well.
Hyphaemas or orbital blowout fractures that happen because of a blow to the eye that is severe enough to injure the eye and the bone around the eye. Hyphaemas involve blood in the eye underneath the cornea and sclera. Vision can be affected until the injury heals. In a hyphaema, blood in the anterior chamber of the eye interferes with vision because the blood is opaque. There can also be lacerations of the eyelids or of the conjunctiva due to a cutting or direct blow type of injury.
Foreign bodies can happen in the eye. You can get a free-floating foreign body that is removed with a Q tip. You can also get an embedded foreign body that is removed surgically with a needle or special instrument. Intraorbital foreign bodies have gotten onto the orbit but not into the eye. Intraocular foreign bodies have penetrated the eye and are more difficult to treat.
Ultraviolet light can cause a corneal flash burn. It is essentially a sunburn injury to the cornea and is common in arc welders, those who do not wear protection in tanning booths and those unprotected from the sun.
Symptoms of eye injury are redness of the affected eye and pain in the eye. The pain is described as a burning pain to the eye. The eyelids themselves can become swollen. If there is subconjunctival haemorrhage, there is a bright red spot on the white part of the eye due to a ruptured blood vessel. The reddened area can be quite large. In corneal abrasions, there is the persistent sensation of something within the eye and sensitivity to being exposed to light. In iritis, there is pain and a deep ache to the eye. The eye is very light sensitive and tearing of the eye is common. In a hyphema, there is pain and blurry vision to the affected eye. In conjunctival lacerations there is redness to the eye, pain and a feeling of something in the eye. In an orbital blow-out fracture, the eye can have limited movement and there can be double vision and eyelid swelling. Bruising is common.
In corneal foreign bodies, there is tearing, light sensitivity, redness to the eye and a sensation of having a foreign body in the eye, which can move around if the foreign body is free-floating or fixed, if the foreign body is embedded.
Intra-orbital foreign bodies affect the degree of vision; there is double vision and pain in the eye. Intraocular foreign bodies may have no symptoms or can have eye pain and decreased vision. Light induced injuries are painful and there is light sensitivity and redness to the eye. Decreased vision is seen in solar retinopathy.
Doctors take a thorough history and physical examination to determine the possible injury involved. Vision will be examined and a special light is used to examine the cornea for injuries. Fluoresce in dye and a black or blue light is used to shine up scratches and foreign bodies in the eye. The eye can fortunately be numbed during the procedure. A slit lamp is a microscopic device that can take a careful look at various parts of the eye, including behind the cornea. X-rays are used to determine if there is an orbital blow-out fracture.
The treatment of eye injuries depends on the type of injury. Foreign bodies are removed with a needle or with a specialized instrument. Embedded foreign bodies are lifted out of the cornea with a Q tip that can be used to remove the foreign body. The eye can be washed out to remove foreign bodies. Corneal abrasions are treated with antibiotic medications and iritis is treated with a steroid eye drop. Chemical burns are first and foremost treated with flushing the eye of any chemical, including pepper spray or mace from the eye.LAWYER HELPLINE: ☎ 1800 339 958
The author of the substantive medical writing on this website is Dr. Christine Traxler MD whose biography can be read here