In the video below, Attorney Fred Pritzker discusses eye injury lawsuits and compensation for survivors.
Eye Injuries Caused by Negligence and Wrongdoing
When an eye is damaged because of the negligence or wrongdoing of a person or company, the injured person and his or her family have the right to sue for compensation. The primary reason for a lawsuit is money, and our lawyers work hard to get large settlements for our clients. But a suit can also force a company to provide information that would otherwise not be obtainable.
For example, if someone’s eye is lost in an explosion involving a gas pipeline, our lawyers will be able to get corporate documents regarding the installation and maintenance of that pipeline. They will also be able to ask corporate executives, managers and other employees questions, the answers of which can be used as evidence.
In one of our many lawsuits against a trucking company, our lawyers dug through a room full of boxes filled with corporate documents looking for evidence. They also “deposed” (interviewed with a court reporter taking notes) the truck driver and corporate executives. Although the trucking company insisted their driver was not at fault, our lawyers found enough evidence to get a multi-million-dollar settlement.
There are a number of eye injuries and complications that can be caused by blunt force or flying debris (for example, metal shards from a defective air bag):
blindness, total or partial loss of vision
aneurysm in the orbit or retina
emphysema of the orbit and lids
orbital blow-out fracture (broken socket)
traumatic retrobulbar hemorrhage
traumatic optic neuropathy
intraorbital foreign body
penetrating ocular injury
intraocular foreign body
traumatic chorodial rupture
Many people sustain eye injuries that are initially healed but carry long term risk involving retinal scarring or changes in occular pressure leading to glaucoma. Things that don’t manifest at the time of the incident may surface later and have significant implications for future loss.
We work with ophthamologists and neuro opthamologists who understand these kinds of cases and who understand the future implications because we need to obtain compensation for injuries that exist now and for the injuries that might occur in the future.
Part of that also involves medical monitoring and the need for diagnostics and ongoing care to evaluate those changes. We need to ensure that we can quantify the risk and the emotional distress with that risk so that we can obtain excellent compensation for our clients who have suffered severe eye injuries.
Lamellar laceration (sharp object partially penetrates eyewall (the cornea or sclera));
ruptured globe (open globe injury resulting from blunt trauma, which can rupture the cornea, scleral, equator, staphyloma).
Serious Eye (Ocular) Burns
Serious ocular burns (grades 3 and 4) cause permanent injury, including blindness. There is an alteration of eye tissue, with possible “necrosis” or destruction of tissue. Some possible damage includes:
tissue “necrosis” or destruction (burned away)
abscess of the cornea
symblepharons of cornea
Ocular burns can be chemical (lye, ammonia, battery acid, bleach, industrial chemicals), thermal, electric or caused by radiation.
blunt force trauma to the head affects the brain and eyes;
an object penetrates the eye and the brain.
In one of our cases, a tow truck hook large enough for an 18 wheeler hit our client, smashing the right side of his head, taking out the right eye. It is a miracle he lived. He now has a glass eye and severe, permanent brain damage. The multi-million-dollar settlement we got for him and his family is helping them cope with a very difficult, tragic situation.