If you're in a serious auto accident of any kind, flying bits of debris from your car and shards of glass present some obvious dangers to your eyes. If your airbag deploys, you may get hit right in the face with all its force, which can also damage eye tissue. Finally, if you have any sort of head trauma, eye damage can be one of the unexpected results. Here is what you should know about protecting your vision and your rights after an eye injury in an auto accident.
1. Seek immediate medical care for your eyes after the accident.
If you experience any symptoms that could be related to your vision, seek immediate care from your eye doctor's office -- even if it is after hours or on a weekend. If your eye doctor isn't available, he or she most likely has an arrangement with another eye doctor to cover emergency calls.
Symptoms of eye damage may be subtle:
- You see "floaters" or tiny, shadowy filaments or spots in your line of sight. When you move your eyes, the floaters lag behind a second or two as your eye adjusts.
- You see flashes of light in your vision. That can be caused by retinal detachment or floaters catching the light.
- You have any indication that you have serious trauma to your eyes, including a problem seeing, black spots in your vision, or a sensation that your eye is bleeding.
- You can suddenly no longer adjust your focus between objects that are close by and objects that are far away.
- You suddenly develop vomiting, dizziness, nausea, and headaches along with blurred vision.
- You develop sudden pain in your eyes when under bright lights and your vision seems cloudy and blurred -- trauma can actually cause iritis, a particularly dangerous inflammation, to occur.
- There are burst blood vessels in your eye, causing an inflamed appearance in the white of your eye.
- A slowly developing dark spot on your vision could indicate that the trauma put pressure on your optic nerve, decreasing the blood flow to the eye.
Some of these conditions can resolve easily enough with time, while other require nearly immediate surgical intervention in order to save your sight. Never discount your feelings or wait if you have the slightest concern that an accident and head trauma has affected your vision.
2. Seek ongoing medical care if you do have an injury.
If you have an injury that will eventually resolve -- like a cut on the eye that requires antibiotics or floaters that aren't related to retinal detachment but the result of trauma to the vitreous gel inside your eye, make sure you make follow-up appointments with your eye doctor to assess the progress you're making.
If you have a condition that requires surgery, make certain that your eye doctor knows that you were the victim of a car accident, so that his or her notes will reflect the connection.
That helps your attorney document both your injuries and the amount of time you suffered from the condition, which can directly affect the amount of pain and suffering to which you are ultimately entitled from your case.
For more information about how to handle an eye injury after an accident, talk to your attorney today, such as from Zavodnick, Perlmutter & Boccia LLC.