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Common Eye Injuries Sustained in Car Accidents

How a lawyer can help if you suffered vision loss after a crash in Nashville

Car accidents in Nashville and throughout Middle Tennessee can result in a wide range of injuries, some of which can be particularly devastating. Among these, eye injuries and vision loss stand out as some of the most life-altering consequences of a serious car wreck.

Eye injuries and vision loss resulting from car accidents are not only physically painful but can also lead to emotional and financial hardships. Dealing with medical treatments, rehabilitation, and adapting to a new way of life can be overwhelming. This is where having an experienced car accident attorney by your side can make a world of difference.

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    Car accident eye injuries: by the numbers

    Car accidents frequently result in eye injuries and vision impairment, making them a relatively common occurrence in crashes. These injuries are not to be underestimated, as they can significantly impact a person's well-being.

    One scientific study revealed that ocular trauma, the medical term for eye injuries, constitutes 20.5 percent of all emergency room visits linked to car accidents.

    Each year, an estimated 9,378 individuals across the United States experience severe car accident-related eye injuries that necessitate immediate medical attention, according to another scientific study. The same study also sheds light on age-related patterns concerning car accident eye injuries. It indicates that teen drivers ages 15-19 are particularly susceptible to eye injuries in crashes that require emergency room treatment.

    What are common car accident eye injuries?

    Car accidents in Nashville can lead to a wide spectrum of severe and debilitating injuries, some of which can significantly impact your vision and eye health. These injuries involve various types, each with its own set of challenges. Crash victims often encounter the following common eye injuries:

    1. Eye Lacerations: These injuries typically result from flying debris, such as broken glass, which can cut the eye during a car accident.
    2. Corneal Abrasions: This medical term refers to a scratched eye, specifically involving the cornea, the eye's protective outer layer. It can occur due to various factors in a car crash.
    3. Orbital Fractures: Such fractures affect the bones around the eye socket, potentially causing severe complications to the eye itself.
    4. Retinal Detachment: This condition involves damage to the retina, the tissue layer near the back of the eye. It can occur from a direct blow to the head during a serious car crash.
    5. Black Eye: A common result of objects striking the skin around the eye, causing discoloration due to bleeding beneath the skin's surface.
    6. Chemical Burns: These injuries often stem from hazardous chemicals in older car airbags or leaked fluids coming into direct contact with the eye.
    7. Penetrating Eye Injuries: When foreign objects pierce the eye, it can lead to internal bleeding and other severe eye issues.
    8. Optic Nerve Damage: This injury impacts the nerves connecting the eye's retina to the brain, potentially leading to vision problems.
    9. Subconjunctival Hemorrhage: This term describes blood vessel breakage in the white part of the eye, leading to visible redness.
    10. Vitreous Hemorrhage: This condition involves bleeding in the vitreous humor, the gel-like substance between the retina and lens in the eye.
    11. Blindness or Permanent Vision Loss: In some severe cases, car accidents can result in blindness or permanent vision loss, profoundly affecting the victim’s quality of life.
    12. Macular Degeneration: This condition leads to progressive, long-term blurred vision, which could be linked to the initial car accident eye injury.

    While you should always seek immediate medical attention after a car accident to protect your health, see a doctor right away if you experience any of the following symptoms after a crash:

    • Blurred vision.
    • Eye pain or pain in the face around the eye.
    • Frequent headaches.
    • Dizziness or poor balance.
    • Sensitivity to bright light.
    • Stinging or burning sensation in the eye.
    • Swollen eyelids.
    • Increased tearing or watery eyes.

    How do doctors diagnose eye injuries?

    Ophthalmologists and other doctors have different methods for diagnosing a serious eye injury. Depending on what type of eye injury you sustained in a car accident, medical tests may include:

    • Eye Ultrasound Test – Eye doctors use high-frequency sound waves to diagnose eye injuries in and behind the eye. Such tests often involve an A-Scan or B-Scan and normally take about 15 minutes to complete.
    • Color Vision Test – Sometimes called the Farnworth-Munsell 100 Hue Test (FM-100), a color vision test measures whether someone can identify different shades of color.
    • Visual Field Tests – This eye test measures how much someone can see at one time. Specific types of visual field tests include the Humphrey Visual Field (HVF) and Goldmann Visual Field (GVF) tests, which map each eye's entire field of vision.
    • Computerized Optic Disc Imaging – Also known as a nerve fiber layer analysis or GDX or HRT, this test measures whether there is any damage to the eye's optic nerve or nerve fiber layer.
    • Corneal Topography – This short, painless diagnostic test measures the eye’s cornea to ensure no damage to this part of the eye.
    • Electro-Diagnostic Testing – Also known as an electroretinography (ERG) test, this medical test measures whether the nerves connecting the retina and the brain are functioning correctly.
    • Ocular Coherence Tomography (OCT) – A medical procedure that measures light patterns inside the eye to make sure the eye is functioning normally.
    • Fluorescein Angiography – A photographic procedure to ensure no leaking fluid in the retina and that blood flow is generally normal in the eye.
    • Specular Microscopy – Another photographic medical procedure focusing on the cornea to evaluate the eye's overall health.

    In some cases, eye injuries and loss of vision sustained in a car crash can be permanent, including total blindness or partial blindness. This is why it’s critical that injury victims see a doctor right away after a car crash in Nashville or another part of Tennessee.

    How driver negligence plays a role

    Crashes that lead to eye injuries and vision loss often stem from the reckless or negligent actions of at-fault drivers, including:

    • Speeding: High-speed accidents on major thoroughfares like I-24 or I-40 in Nashville frequently result from drivers exceeding speed limits. The force generated in these collisions can cause severe eye trauma and vision impairment.
    • Disregard for traffic signs: Reckless drivers who ignore posted traffic signs and signals, such as running red lights or failing to stop at stop signs on busy streets like Murfreesboro Pike, pose a significant risk.
    • Distracted driving: Distracted driving, particularly texting while driving, has become a major concern on roads like West Trinity Lane in Nashville. Inattentive drivers are more likely to cause rear-end collisions and other accidents.
    • Impaired driving: The presence of drunk drivers or individuals under the influence of drugs on busy roads like Lafayette Street can have dire consequences. Their impaired state leads to accidents, including head-on collisions, which can cause severe eye damage.

    Seeking compensation: How much is an eye injury claim worth?

    Determining the value of an eye injury claim is a complex process, as it varies widely based on the individual circumstances of each crash victim. The following factors can play a crucial role in assessing your losses:

    • Emergency medical costs: Your claim should encompass all expenses related to emergency medical care immediately following the accident. This includes emergency surgery to address initial eye injuries.
    • Ongoing eye surgeries: Eye surgeries, including any future procedures required for long-term vision loss or conditions like macular degeneration stemming from your car accident, should be included.
    • Post-accident medical care: Costs for follow-up medical care, including doctor's appointments to monitor your recovery progress, should be part of your claim.
    • Compensation for missed work: If your eye injury required time off, your claim should cover lost income.
    • Lost future earnings: In cases of permanent vision loss, which may include total blindness, the claim should consider lost future income, including potential career changes or inability to return to work.

    Only an experienced car accident lawyer can meticulously evaluate the unique aspects of your case to determine its true worth. Moreover, an attorney can negotiate with the at-fault driver's insurance company to secure a settlement covering all your accident-related expenses, both immediate and future.

    Legal help for Nashville crash victims

    Securing the compensation you rightfully deserve is essential in the aftermath of a debilitating eye injury from a car accident. At the Law Office of Eric Beasley, our dedicated team can advocate tirelessly on your behalf, ensuring your rights are protected throughout the entire legal process.

    We know the games insurance companies play, and we won’t let them take advantage of you. Nashville car accident attorney Eric Beasley has years of experience handling complex legal cases throughout Middle Tennessee and understands what it takes to get real results for clients. To learn more about how we can help with your potential legal case, contact us today for a free consultation.

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