August 16, 2022

What Are Types of Eye Injuries Caused by Car Accidents?

Eye injury stock image

Any part of the body can undergo trauma during a car accident, including the eyes. In fact, eye injuries resulting from car crashes are more common than you might assume. According to academic research from 2014, more than 9,000 people report accident-related eye injuries annually.

Like all injuries, eye injuries can run the gamut in severity from slight irritation to threatening one’s sight. Eye injuries may cause temporary problems or lead to a permanent condition. It is of critical importance for all drivers and passengers to seek treatment for eye concerns after being in a car accident.

How Do the Eyes Get Hurt During Accidents?

Accidents tend to be fast and sometimes violent. Therefore, survivors’ eyes can be affected in many ways:

  • Flying Debris: Due to the impact of the vehicle hitting another object, objects and debris may become dislodged. This can lead to shards of glass or pieces of metal to fly around the inside of the car.
  • Fumes and Smoke: Fumes from toxic substances or smoke from a fire can create a hazardous situation for those inside of a vehicle.
  • Rubbing: Survivors may inadvertently rub their eyes after being in an accident and transfer chemicals or debris from their fingers or hands into their eyes.
  • Blunt Force Trauma: When the head swings forward or sideways suddenly, it may come in contact with an object such as a window or dashboard. Consequently, the eyes may undergo blunt force trauma.

Every accident is unique. If you wear glasses and they break during a collision, the glass may injure the area on or around your eye. Similarly, if you wear contact lenses, the lenses could absorb an airborne chemical that could burn sensitive eye tissues. The most important thing to remember after an accident is to take care of potential eye injuries right away by getting them diagnosed.

Common Accident-Related Eye Injuries Treated by Medical Professionals

Emergency room doctors, general practitioners, optometrists, and ophthalmologists see a variety of eye injuries in accident survivors. These include the ones listed below.

  • Bacterial infections in the eyes
  • Broken blood vessels within the eye
  • Broken eye sockets
  • Chemical and thermal burns on and around the eyes
  • Damage to the optic nerve
  • Eye difficulties associated with traumatic brain injuries
  • Foreign items stuck in the eye
  • Punctures in the eyes
  • Scrapes on the eye, or corneal abrasions

Eye injuries may not be isolated. For instance, a driver who has been in a car accident may suffer from multiple types of eye trauma, or impaired vision as a result of facial or cranial trauma. As a result, the driver may require a number of medical treatments to fully recover.

What Are Some Treatments for Accident-Related Eye Injuries?

The good news for injured crash survivors is that medical professionals can address eye injuries in several ways. These can include surgeries, ointments, oral medications, and therapy.

Every treatment plan will depend upon the type of eye injury. It is vital that the plan be followed. Otherwise, the result can be permanent damage to the eye.

How Can You Tell If You Might Have Eye Trauma After a Crash?

Some post-crash eye injuries are very obvious. Others may take more time to manifest. Or, you may be so preoccupied with another injury, such as a broken bone, that you do not notice that you have something wrong with your eye.

After an accident, it is worth paying attention to the health of your eyes. Any of the following signs should be checked out by a doctor:

  • A sensation of having something stuck in the eye, even if you cannot see it
  • Eye pain
  • Itching, burning, or redness of the eyes
  • Limited eye movement
  • Partial or total loss of sight, even if it happens once and does not recur
  • Problems seeing clearly under certain circumstances, like in bright sunlight
  • Swelling of the eye
  • The inability to wear contact lenses comfortably after being in an accident
  • The presence of “floaters” in the eyes, which are usually black spots or lines
  • Visual disturbances such as double vision or blurry vision

Always take possible eye injuries seriously. Even if you do not have insurance, you should be seen and treated after being hurt in a crash.

What Can You Do to Mitigate Eye Injuries After an Accident?

The choices you make right after being in a car accident can help minimize the long-term effects of some eye injuries.

First, alert any first responders of eye problems you notice right away, such as the possibility that a piece of debris may have struck your eye or may be stuck in your eye. First responders are trained to provide emergency care.

Secondly, avoid touching your eyes until you can be seen. You may be tempted to rub your eyes or apply pressure to them. These activities can make the situation worse.

Third, use caution if you feel the need to flush chemicals out of your eyes. Use sterile water only.

What Kinds of Damages Can You Get After an Eye Injury?

When your eyes have been hurt after being in a car wreck, you may feel frustrated and worried. The most important thing to do is to take care of your health. When your eyes are stable, you can start to pursue damages if you were not fully at fault for the accident.

What types of damages are available after an accident that leads to eye trauma? Economic damages can cover the cost of all your out-of-pocket medical bills, your lost job wages, and other direct expenses that you incurred. Non-economic damages, or “pain and suffering,” are rarer.

You may be able to receive non-economic damages if your eye trauma was serious and led to a lifestyle change. For example, if you have to switch careers or apply for Social Security disability after losing all or part of your sight, you may be within your rights to seek non-economic damages.

Not sure what to do? Consider contacting a car accident lawyer. That way, you can talk about the incident and get advice. You are not obligated to hire an attorney just because you discuss your crash. However, getting legal advice can help you decide your upcoming course of action.

King of Prussia Car Accident Lawyers at Anthony C. Gagliano, III P.C. Advise Accident Survivors Who Experience Eye Injuries and Trauma

The King of Prussia car accident lawyers at Anthony C. Gagliano, III P.C. understand how confusing it can be to understand your legal rights after experiencing crash-related eye trauma. To set up a free consultation in Philadelphia, call us at (267) 861-7100 or fill out our online form. We handle cases throughout Montgomery County, Delaware County, and Norristown.