The eye is a very delicate organ that can easily be damaged in a workplace accident, while playing sports, and in many other circumstances. As much of what we perceive comes through our eyes, an eye injury can be devastating and might change your life forever.
If you suffered eye damage due to the negligence of another person or company, you might be entitled to make an eye injury claim. While most claims are for relatively mild injuries with an expected full recovery, some eye injuries can cause permanent blindness and even death.
Some common causes of an eye injury are road traffic accidents, accidents at work, medical negligence and violent crimes. You could claim eye injury compensation for a detached retina, damage to the cornea, full or partial blindness, eye infections and other more or less severe eye injuries.
Usually, you must start legal proceedings within three years after an accident or after becoming aware of an injury. If you have a reasonable claim for compensation, your solicitor will offer you a no win no fee service. This way, you can take legal action regardless of your financial situation and without taking any financial risks.
Do I have a valid eye injury claim?
If you suffered an eye injury at work or in any other circumstance, the easiest way to find out if you could make a claim is a free consultation with a legal adviser. Simply put, you should be eligible for eye injury compensation if you suffered an injury in the last three years and:
- Another party owed you a duty of care
- They breached their duty by acting negligently
- You suffered eye damage as a result
You do not have to worry about establishing a duty of care. Depending on the circumstances of your accident, your solicitor will use various laws to prove liability, such as:
- The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
- The Occupiers Liability Act 1957
- The Road Traffic Act 1988
- The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992
In an eye injury claim, the defendant might be an employer, the local council, a road user, a healthcare professional or another individual. You will need relevant evidence to show they acted negligently and build a strong case. This could include:
- Medical records that state the type and extent of your eye damage, the treatments you received and your recovery prospects
- Photographs at the scene of the accident, capturing the exact cause of your injury
- Proof that your employer did not provide safety equipment if you suffered an eye injury at work
- Relevant photos of any visible injuries and your recovery process
- Evidence showing a lack of safety procedures in the workplace
- An accident report that you should file with the responsible party. This will confirm the date, time and location where you were injured. The company’s accident log
- book may also show a pattern of similar incidents.
- A CCTV or dash cam recording of the accident, if it was captured on camera
- Contact details of any witnesses to the accident
- Your written details about how the events unfolded and how your eye injury affected your life
- Evidence of lost wages and other financial losses you incurred due to the injury
Your solicitor can help you gather all the proof you need and send a claim notification form to the defendant. If they admit responsibility, you can start negotiating your eye injury compensation award. Otherwise, you might have to argue your claim before a judge who will assess liability based on the available evidence.
For a free consultation with a legal adviser, call 0800 678 1410. They can let you know if you may be eligible to make a claim and answer any questions you may have.
What are the most common types of eye injury?
Accidents at work, vehicle collisions, sports trauma, and many other unfortunate circumstances can cause many injuries to the eye, eyelid, or eye socket. The most common types of eye damage that may lead to an eye injury claim include:
A corneal abrasion is a scratch on your eye that can easily happen from contact with dust, wood shavings, metal particles, sand or an accidental poke in the eye. Symptoms include pain, tearing, light sensitivity and headaches.
A more severe injury can permanently affect your sight and increase the risk of infection. It is advisable to seek medical attention as soon as possible and speak to a solicitor if your injury was due to negligence.
A detached retina happens when the thin layer at the back of your eye becomes loose and is a medical emergency. The symptoms include the sudden appearance of many floaters, blurred vision, gradually reduced peripheral vision and flashes in one or both eyes.
A detached retina will usually require surgical treatment. Recovery time may range between two to six weeks, during which you may have to take time off work and need help with daily tasks. If another individual was responsible for your injury, you might want to claim compensation.
Deterioration due to environmental factors
Constant exposure to intense radiation, bright lights and other hazards in the workplace may cause your vision to deteriorate over time. Your employer should follow the relevant health and safety legislation and take all reasonable measures to protect your eyesight. Otherwise, they might be liable to pay you eye injury compensation.
Full or partial blindness
Head injuries, exposure to bright lights, penetrating wounds, medical negligence and other incidents could lead to a complete or partial loss of sight in one or both eyes.
A punctured eyeball is a severe injury, and you should seek immediate medical assistance. You should try to shield the injured eye and not attempt to remove the foreign object yourself. While penetrating injuries can cause loss of sight, getting immediate treatment can minimise or avoid this.
Chemicals, fumes, and other irritants can burn and permanently damage the eye, causing blindness and scarring. Some substances may cause severe pain but be harmless in the long run, while others may permanently damage the eye. It is essential that the correct equipment and training are available when working around hazardous substances to prevent a chemical injury.
An eye bleeding or subconjunctival haemorrhage is a fairly common injury that might look worse than it usually is. It can result from trauma to the eye and involves leakage of blood from breaks in a blood vessel that lies between the white of the eye and its covering.
An eye bleeding is usually painless and does not require treatment. The eye should return to normal appearance within several weeks without causing complications such as temporary or permanent vision loss.
Many accidents could cause a black eye, including falls, being hit by a ball, a car accident, assaults or contact with machinery in the workplace. Usually, this is not a severe injury, but it is advisable to seek medical attention to ensure there is no internal damage and avoid complications.
Loss of an eye
Severe trauma, eye cancers, end-stage glaucoma or an uncontrollable infection may require the surgical removal of an eye. Although a prosthetic eye cannot restore vision, it provides a more natural appearance and could help reduce the psychological impact of the trauma.
Eye socket fractures
Getting hit by a bat, getting punched in the face, and other trauma or blunt force can cause orbital fractures. This means that the bones inside the eye socket shatter, and the muscles that support the eye may stretch or tear. An orbital fracture is a severe injury and a medical emergency which may cause temporary or permanent blindness.
If your injury was due to the negligence of another party, you might be eligible for compensation. If you feel you may have a valid eye injury claim, call 0800 678 1410 or request a call back to receive a free consultation with a legal adviser.
What are the leading causes of eye injuries?
Unfortunately, accidents happen, and you could suffer eye damage without anyone being at fault. But, they can also be due to the negligent behaviour of another individual, which might entitle you to claim eye injury compensation.
Some common circumstances which might allow you to bring an eye injury claim include:
Accidents at work
Thousands of eye injuries occur at work in the UK each year. While most accidents are mild, around 10 to 20% result in partial or complete blindness. Common causes of eye damage are chemical spillages, machinery accidents, exposure to heat or radiation and flying debris.
Employers must carry out regular risk assessments and remove hazards. When this is unattainable, they should provide adequate training and equipment such as face shields and goggles. If your employer was negligent in their duty of care towards you, they might be liable to pay you compensation.
Road traffic accidents
Road traffic accidents are common occurrences which may involve a collision between two vehicles or other road users such as pedestrians or bicycle riders. There are several ways how you could suffer an eye injury in a road accident, including:
Blunt trauma could be due to the airbag opening or hitting your head against a hard surface. These may cause retinal detachment, eye bleeding and even orbital bone fractures.
Flying debris or shattered glass may cause cuts, lacerations and corneal abrasions. These may cause a lot of pain and discomfort and need surgery to avoid vision loss.
If another road user caused the accident by acting negligently, they might be liable to pay you eye injury compensation.
When a healthcare professional offers a substandard level of care, you could suffer severe and permanent eye damage. This can result in a particularly distressing time for patients and their families and might entitle you to make an eye injury claim.
Some examples of medical and optician negligence claims include:
- Failure to give appropriate advice on the risks and benefits of a procedure
- Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis of glaucoma or high blood pressure in the eyes
- Surgical accidents, including laser surgery complications
- Inappropriate or delayed treatment
Medical negligence during childbirth can also cause eye injuries to babies. These include mishandling tools or using unnecessary force during delivery, which may result in permanent vision impairment in one or both eyes.
Slips and trips
Slips and trips due to wet pavements, hazards left in walkways and uneven surfaces can also lead to severe eye injuries. A blow to the eye can damage the eyeball, eyelids, the supporting muscles and ligaments and even the eye socket bone.
Your local council and every business owner have the duty to keep all public spaces well maintained and free of hazards. If you suffer an injury due to their negligence, you could claim compensation for your eye damage.
Working in the military is inherently dangerous, and some military injuries are unavoidable. Eye trauma in military personnel can be due to metal shrapnel, dirt and explosive blasts. Injuries may range from mild haemorrhages and corneal abrasions to severe ruptures and perforating injuries.
Between July 2004 and May 2008, there were 63 cases of eye damage in British Armed Forces deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, of which 48 were severe eye injuries.
You might have suffered an eye injury in an assault or another violent crime. Even if the attacker only used their fist, this could cause anything from a black eye to an eye socket fracture.
An attack with a sharp object, bat or gun can cause retinal detachment, deep lacerations and other severe injuries. These may lead to permanent loss of vision or even the loss of an eye. Victims of violent crimes could claim compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority within two years of the attack.
Blunt trauma to the eye during sports such as football, basketball, cricket, rugby, hockey and many others can cause severe injuries. These include corneal abrasions, retinal detachment, orbital fractures and haemorrhages.
You might think that sports injuries are nobody’s fault, but some could be prevented by taking all the appropriate safety measures. If your accident was due to faulty equipment or poorly maintained facilities, you might have a valid eye injury claim.
Regardless of whether you suffered an eye injury at work or in any other scenario, an expert solicitor might be able to help you claim compensation. To find out if you have a valid eye injury claim, enter your details into our online claim form or call 0800 678 1410 to speak to a legal adviser.
How much eye injury compensation will I get?
In every eye injury claim, the value of the compensation award will depend on several factors, such as:
- The type and extent of the eye damage
- The emotional and psychological impact you suffered as a result
- Whether you were partially at fault for the injury
- The financial costs and losses you incurred
Your solicitor will consider how your eye injury at work or in another accident affected your life to calculate a suitable compensation amount. If your case is successful, you could recover two types of damages:
Special damages awarded for financial losses and out-of-pocket expenses, such as:
- Lost earnings due to taking time off work during recovery
- Loss of earning capacity if you are no longer able to return to work or you have to take a lower-paying job
- The care and assistance you received, even if provided by friends or family
- Any modifications to your home or vehicle to accommodate your disability
- The cost of eye prostheses and assistive technology
- Medical expenses for consultation fees, medication, interventions and hospital stays
- Costs of rehabilitation and counselling
- Any other extra costs you had to cover, such as travel costs and accommodation
General damages, awarded for subjective, non-pecuniary losses, such as:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental anguish and emotional trauma
- Physical injury and impairment
- Lowered quality of life
- Loss of companionship in wrongful death cases
- Loss of consortium
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of ability to participate in sports, hobbies and other leisure activities
- Loss of prospects and enjoyment of life
It may be difficult to precisely quantify and calculate a fair eye injury compensation award for general damages. Solicitors and courts often refer to other similar cases and the guidelines published by the Judicial College. According to the Judicial College recommendations, you could receive:
- £2,200 to £3,950 for a relatively minor and transient eye injury, with full recovery within weeks
- £3,950 to £8,730 for mild injuries such as blunt trauma or exposure to smoke or liquids causing initial pain and a temporary impact on vision
- £9,110 to £20,980 for relatively mild injuries causing a permanent impact on vision, such as sensitivity to bright lights or double vision
- £23,680 to £39,340 for more severe eye injuries where there is some loss of vision in one eye
- £49,270 to £54,830 for loss of sight in one eye, with or without scarring
- £54,830 to £65,710 for the total loss of one eye, with or without psychiatric damage
- £63,950 to £179,770 for complete blindness in one eye and impaired vision in the other eye
- Up to £268,720 for loss of sight in both eyes
Your solicitor will always try to secure the maximum award possible for your unique circumstances. To learn more about your compensation prospects, enter your details into our online claim form or call 0800 678 1410 to speak to a trained legal adviser.
Is there a time limit to make a claim?
Usually, there is a three-year time limit to bring any personal injury claim, which is imposed by the Limitation Act 1980. The countdown begins on the date when you suffered eye damage or became aware of an eye injury. The latter is known as the date of knowledge and refers to the moment you have realised your injury may have been the result of negligence and is significant enough to take legal action.
If you do not begin your eye injury claim within the appropriate time limits, your case becomes statute-barred. In this case, the court will likely dismiss your claim on the grounds that too much time has passed, and you would lose your chance to recover damages.
The last date you can start legal proceedings is the claim limitation date, and it is not always subject to the three-year time limit. For example:
- You could claim on behalf of a child who suffered eye damage due to another party’s negligence. In this case, no time limits apply until the child turns 18, regardless of when they were injured. Afterwards, they have up until their 21st birthday to make their claim themselves.
- There is no time limit to claim eye injury compensation for an individual who lacks the mental capacity to conduct legal proceedings. They may lack the ability to take legal action due to a pre-existing condition such as a mental health disorder or as a result of their accident. If the victim regains mental capacity, they have three years to start a claim.
- If your injury was due to a faulty product, you might be able to start an eye injury claim within ten years from when the product was first released.
- If you or a loved one suffered eye damage due to a violent crime, you could claim compensation through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). You have two years to start a CICA claim.
- You might be able to claim compensation if you suffered an eye injury at work or while on holiday abroad. Your right and time limit to make a claim might be subject to the foreign county’s laws, so you should seek legal advice as soon as possible.
- If you are claiming on behalf of a loved one who died, you could take legal action within three years after they passed away, or an autopsy revealed the cause of their death.
- If you suffered an eye injury while serving in the military, you could pursue compensation through the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme within seven years of your accident. Alternatively, you have three years to make a civil claim under standard personal injury claim rules.
To start your claim, speak to a trained legal adviser by calling 0800 678 1410 for a free consultation. As a general rule, the sooner you take action, the easier it is to gather evidence, talk to witnesses, and secure the eye injury compensation you deserve.
Can I claim for an eye injury using no win no fee?
If you suffered an injury without being at fault, you might want to ask for compensation for your pain and suffering. A free consultation with a legal adviser can let you know whether you have a valid eye injury claim and how you should proceed.
At the start of your claim, they will advise you on your funding options. If you have legal expenses insurance or can access support through a trade union, these might be best for you. Otherwise, they will likely offer you a no win no fee service.
This involves setting up an After the Event (ATE) insurance policy that provides financial coverage for legal expenses at no cost to you. If you lose the case, the ATE insurance will cover the legal costs you must pay to the defendant and the disbursements your solicitor incurred in pursuing your claim, such as:
- Police and medical reports
- Counsel’s fees
- Court fees
- Barrister and expert witness fees
In no win no fee claims, you do not have to pay any upfront solicitor fees. Therefore, if you reach a no win no fee agreement, you can have the certainty your eye injury claim is valid and has a real chance of success.
If you win, your solicitor gets a success fee, which is capped at a maximum of 25% of your eye injury compensation. However, you won’t owe them a single penny if your case is lost.
No win no fee is a preferred way of funding a claim because it offers everyone the chance to pursue compensation, regardless of their financial situation. Furthermore, due to its unique advantages, you have nothing to lose if your claim is unsuccessful.