Most people take good vision for granted. We need our vision for quality of life and for most jobs. When your eyes are damaged and you can no longer work and take care of yourself or your family, it is a devastating injury. It is important to know that your eyes can be injured in a car accident and that motor vehicle accidents are actually a leading cause of eye injuries. Many people do not realize that their eyes are injured after a collision. As a result, researchers are calling for more automotive-related eye injury studies to be conducted to help doctors diagnose, treat, and manage people who have suffered eye injuries from an accident.
How do eye injuries occur in car accidents?
There are several ways in which people can suffer eye injuries as a result of an accident:
• Unsecured object that hits the eye
• Airbag deployment
• Face comes into contact with the steering wheel
• Broken glass from the windshield
• Traumatic brain injury that affects vision
Common eye injuries from car accidents
If you have been in a serious car accident and have eye pain, loss of vision, swimmers, flashes of light, a shadow in your field of vision, sudden sensitivity to light, headache or nausea, blurred vision, swelling around the eye, or visible injury to your eye; Seek medical diagnosis and appropriate treatment from a doctor. Common eye injuries from car accidents include:
Acid burns. If the powder from the airbag gets into your eyes, it may cause chemical burns to affect your vision.
Retinal detachment or tear. The force of a car accident can cause the retina to detach from the blood vessels on which oxygen depends. Permanent vision loss can occur if emergency care is not used.
Cuts on the surface of the eye. If the collision causes an object such as broken glass to scratch or puncture your eye, your vision can be seriously affected.
Corneal abrasion. A corneal abrasion is a scratch or abrasion on the cornea that can seriously affect your eyesight if not treated by a doctor. In an accident, this injury is often caused by foreign objects flying around.
Orbital fracture. An orbital fracture occurs when the bone in the eye socket is broken – this can happen when the face comes into contact with the steering wheel. If left untreated, an orbital fracture can lead to serious vision problems.
Hyphema. Hyphema is when blood pools, or builds up, in the front of the eye between the cornea and the iris. This condition is caused by a direct blow to the eye, e.g. By hitting the steering wheel, and requires emergency medical care to avoid permanent vision loss.
Optic nerve damage. Increased pressure in the skull caused by a brain injury can put pressure on the optic nerves. Optic nerves carry messages from the eyes to the brain. Without treatment, damage to the optic nerve can lead to impaired vision.
Traumatic maculopathy. Traumatic maculopathy is an injury to the macula in the center of the retina. This injury can lead to vision loss and whiplash injury.
Traumatic optic neuropathy. Traumatic optic neuropathy is damage to the optic nerve from direct or indirect trauma to the eye. This injury can lead to impaired vision, such as vision loss or loss of color vision, and can be difficult to diagnose and treat.
Vitreous blood / vitreous hemorrhage. A head injury can cause blood vessels to bleed into the vitreous humor, causing visual disturbances such as flashes of light and swimmers.
Black eyes. Black eyes can occur when a head hits the steering wheel or from foreign objects flying around. They don’t look pretty, but are generally not considered a serious injury.
Seek the help of a car accident attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, contact a personal injury attorney to discuss your legal rights. Let a skilled auto accident attorney fight for the full compensation you deserve. It is not uncommon for the insurance company to receive a severance payment five to ten times greater with the help of a lawyer. Call the Personal Injury Attorneys at Tario & Associates, PS in Bellingham, WA for a FREE consultation! We have represented residents of Whatcom Counties, Skagit Counties, Island Counties, and Snohomish Counties since 1979. You pay nothing in advance and no legal fees unless we claim damages for you!