Did you suffer an eye injury in an accident? If so, the Sacramento and Roseville eye trauma lawyers at The Sevey Law Firm have the knowledge and experience you need on your side. Because eye trauma can be difficult, if not impossible, to recover from, it is critical that you have an understanding and aggressive legal team on your side to protect your rights and your livelihood.
Of the five senses, sight is one of the most precious. Many of the daily activities we take for granted would be incredibly difficult or impossible without the ability to see. In fact, 90% of everything humans perceive comes through our vision. Loss of vision can vary in severity and even length of time, but whether it’s partial, temporary, or permanent, damage to your vision due to someone else’s negligent actions can be devastating.
Because the eyes are so sensitive, any injury or damage to them could have serious and even life-altering consequences. If you or someone you know has suffered a partial or complete loss of vision, the Roseville personal injury lawyers at The Sevey Law Firm can help you take legal action against the responsible party. Our team of experienced attorneys can talk with you about your rights and legal options moving forward.
What is Eye Trauma?
Eye trauma can cover a wide range of injuries that vary in severity and permanence. Some injuries are minor and require nothing more than time and an ice pack, while others can result in serious damage and even blindness in severe cases.
One of the most common classifications of eye trauma is a scratched cornea (also known as a corneal abrasion). A corneal abrasion occurs when something scrapes the cornea, and it results in eye redness, watering, and light sensitivity. A corneal abrasion can be very painful but typically heals in a day or two with antibiotic drops. In more serious cases, an object like a piece of wood or metal can penetrate the eyeball, causing infections or even partial or full blindness if not properly removed and treated by an ophthalmologist.
Eye trauma can also be caused by a blunt object striking the eyeball or surrounding bones and socket. This can result in a variety of injuries, ranging from a black eye and swelling that can be easily treated with an ice pack to an orbital blowout fracture that needs immediate medical attention. Another type of eye injury can occur when splashing or spraying chemicals burn the eyeball and potentially cause significant damage and sight loss.
Causes of Eye Trauma
We’ve all experienced some level of eye trauma. Whether it was a sports injury causing a black eye or a foreign object irritating the eyeball, these types of injuries can be painful and cause discomfort. Because the eye is an extremely sensitive organ, an injury could leave a significant impact on your life. Furthermore, any degradation or loss of vision could have severe ramifications on your personal and professional livelihood.
A common cause of eye injuries is blunt force trauma from a motor vehicle accident. From lacerations caused by debris or shards of glass entering the eye to fractures to the bones and damage to the surrounding eye socket, victims need immediate medical attention to repair the damages. Another common cause is sporting injuries. This includes a number of actions, such as being hit with an elbow or other body part and taking a ball, bat, or hockey puck to the eye.
Some additional causes of eye trauma can happen at work. Even with occupations like construction or science that require eye protection, chemicals, debris, and other objects like metal and wood can scratch or embed themselves into the eyeball. In labs, chemicals like solvents, acids, and lye burns can result in permanent damage and even blindness if not properly flushed out and treated by a medical professional.
Symptoms of Eye Trauma
Unlike other injuries that may not immediately surface or be externally visible, eye trauma is typically easy to spot and to feel, especially if a foreign object has scratched or become embedded in the eyeball. However, some symptoms may be less painful. It’s important to be aware of the various symptoms related to eye injuries so you can seek the proper medical attention. These symptoms include the following:
- Intense burning or severe pain followed by watering and redness due to chemical exposure
- Pain, sensitivity to light, and feeling that something is in your eye
- Excessive production of tears
- Swelling or bruising of the eyeball and surrounding area
- Blurry or double vision
- Partial or complete loss of vision
Eye Trauma Diagnosis and Treatment Options
After suffering eye trauma, it’s important to administer any first aid at the scene and then visit an emergency room or specialist as soon as possible. To properly treat any eye trauma or injury, the first step is finding the underlying cause of the irritation, vision loss, or other symptoms. A doctor will examine every part of the eye—including the eyeball, lid, and surrounding bones—and look for any of the symptoms mentioned earlier.
If the doctor cannot see any foreign object or scratch with their eye, they can use a fluorescent dye and then expose your eyeball to UV or black light. When exposed to this light, any object or scratch will be shown as a yellow spot.
Unlike diseases or medical conditions that lead to partial or complete vision loss, treatment options for accident victims are less prevalent. For most victims, there are two options for treatment. The first is surgery to repair the damage. In cases where surgery isn’t an option or doesn’t lead to any progress, therapy is a viable second option to help strengthen whatever vision remains or to adapt to the injury.
In the event of a chemical burn, make sure to flush the eyes with as much as water as possible, either with an eyewash fountain or by filling up cups of water and pouring them on your eyes repeatedly. With minor eye injuries, such as subconjunctival hemorrhage, there are not many options for treatment. Make sure not to rub your eye and let it heal on its own. If you suffer a laceration to the lid, you may require stitches. A laceration to the eyeball can be treated with antibiotics, stitches, or surgery.
Eye Trauma Complications
Like any injury, there may be complications that arise weeks, months, or years after the initial trauma. Most eye injuries will heal if appropriately treated, letting you return to normal life in a fairly short amount of time. This includes injuries like subconjunctival hemorrhages and corneal abrasions. However, in more severe instances where the patient suffers a blowout fracture, they could suffer from pain and double vision if the damage wasn’t set and repaired correctly. Additionally, in chemical spills, if the eye isn’t flushed quickly, it can lead to partial or complete blindness.
For many, the hardest part of returning to anything resembling a normal life is learning to cope with the loss of vision day in and day out. This is especially hard for those living alone. Along with not being able to see as well, vision problems can also affect your balance. Of course, victims who lose eyesight completely will need therapy, training, and long-term physical and even mental care to help accomplish daily tasks.
Contact a Roseville Personal Injury Lawyer
Whether your eye trauma and loss of vision was the result of a car accident or another accident caused by someone else’s actions, you need financial compensation to help pay for mounting medical bills and future care. At The Sevey Law Firm, our team of Roseville personal injury lawyers will work with you every step of the way and will fight for what you are owed. To learn more about your legal options and to schedule a free consultation, contact us today at (916) 788-7100.