Auto accidents can result in severe injuries – especially to the face, head, and neck. When an auto accident causes injury to the eye, it can be a life-changing event for the injury victim.
Sight is a fundamental part of everyday life, and nearly every activity depends on it in some way. The human eye is a remarkable and delicate part of the body.
If your vision has been impaired due to a motor vehicle collision, then read on to learn some reasons why you should speak with a personal injury lawyer right away.
Although money can’t replace the injury and pain, it can ease the burden of medical bills, job loss, and lifestyle changes brought about by the accident.
Car Accidents and Injuries to the Eyes
Although no two accidents are exactly the same, there are several common eye injuries that can happen after a car accident. Many of these eye injuries result in permanent or long-term trauma that forces the victim to stop working, abandon hobbies, and adjust to a “new normal” after the accident.
Here are several common eye injuries that can occur in a motor vehicle collision.
1. Airbag Injuries
If you think airbags are like soft, fluffy pillows that cushion your face in the event of a crash, think again. Airbags are a lifesaving auto technology that have saved numerous lives. One study estimates airbags saved about 15,000 lives over a 20-year span.
Unfortunately, they also deploy with explosive force, which can lead to injuries. In fact, they do not contain “air” at all. Instead, they are made up mostly of nitrogen gas and other chemicals that vary depending on the manufacturers. They are also designed to complement seat belts, which are the best and safest restraints in vehicles.
Some individuals have suffered eye trauma after hitting their faces and heads against a deployed airbag. Eye injuries caused by airbags include traumatic cataracts and retinal detachment.
2. Eye Injuries Caused by TBI
Concussions have received a lot of press lately – due in large part to the media’s scrutiny of the NFL and the degenerative brain diseases brought on by repetitive blows to the head in contact sports like football.
One area that often gets overlooked is how traumatic brain injuries affect vision. It makes sense when you think about it – a forceful blow to the skull can also have an impact on the eyes, whether from blunt trauma or a condition caused by damage to the brain itself.
According to health experts, even mild trauma can cause vision problems. Studies suggest that 20 to 40 percent of people living with a traumatic brain injury also experience some sort of vision problem, which can include blurred vision, vertigo, and difficulty seeing.
More severe TBI-related vision problems include visual acuity and field loss, binocular dysfunction, and spatial perceptual deficits.
3. Lacerations and Particles in the Eye
If you have ever gotten dust or an eyelash stuck in your eye, then you know that even a relatively tiny speck of dirt can result in pain, discomfort, and tears running down your face as your body fights to dislodge the foreign particle. A miniscule piece of dirt can also temporarily blind you.
In a car crash, debris, glass, dirt, and all manner of objects fly through the vehicle. If a barely-there speck of lint can result in agony and vision loss, imagine what can happen in a serious car crash.
In any kind of impact, the eyes are incredibly vulnerable. Studies show that the foam particles released during airbag deployment are one potential source of eye injury.
Corneal abrasions and corneal lacerations are serious injuries that can lead to additional trauma if left untreated. A corneal laceration can also lead to a more serious injury known as a ruptured globe.
4. Globe Rupture
Given enough pressure and trauma, the eye can actually rupture. Although doctors can sometimes perform ocular surgery to repair these types of gruesome injuries, many injury victims lose their eye and must be fitted with a prosthetic.
Blunt trauma can also cause the eye to bleed – a condition known as subconjunctival hemorrhage. Additionally, damage to the iris – the colored part of the eye – can result in loss of vision.
5. Orbital Fracture
The orbital bone is the actual socket surrounding the eye. These bones are incredibly strong, so it requires a tremendous amount of force to fracture them.
As you can probably imagine, it is an extremely painful injury and one that can force shards of bone into the eye and even the brain.
6. Injuries to the Eyelid
Most people don’t spend much time – if any at all – thinking about their eyelids. Without these amazing structures, however, life would be extremely uncomfortable and difficult.
The eyelid protects the eye and keeps it moist. Cuts and trauma to the eyelid usually requires repair and treatment by an ophthalmologist or a plastic surgeon.
7. Cosmetic Injuries
It has been said that the eyes are a window to the soul. According to one study, the eyes are also the very first thing people look at when meeting another person.
Eye contact is considered important for nearly every type of social interaction, including dating and interviewing for a job. When your eyes are damaged due to an injury, it can take a serious toll on your self-esteem.
Get Legal Help from a Personal Injury Lawyer Today
If you are a victim of an eye injury brought on by an auto accident, you don’t have to suffer anymore. An experienced personal injury lawyer can walk you through the options in your case, which include getting the compensation you deserve.
Don’t delay speaking to a personal injury lawyer about your case. Many eye injuries are so serious, they can never be fully repaired. If you have been forced to adjust to life with reduced vision, you should not have to shoulder the other burdens forced on you by the accident. Let a lawyer help you get the compensation you deserve.
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