Every day, an estimated 2,000 workers in the U.S. suffer a job-related eye injury that requires medical treatment, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports. Many of these eye injuries result in temporary or permanent vision loss.
Workers who suffer eye injuries on the job may qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. In New York, loss of vision is a Schedule Loss of Use (SLU) injury, which provides additional benefits. Workers may also seek third-party liability damages against another company or another company’s employee if their negligence caused the eye injury.
Powers & Santola, LLP, can assist you. Our experienced work injury lawyers can review your case for no charge and help you to understand your rights. We work with workplace accident victims throughout New York State, including Albany and Syracuse. Contact us to learn more.
Common Sources of Workplace Eye Injuries
About one-third of all job-related eye injuries in the U.S. require treatment in hospital emergency rooms, the CDC reports. More than 100 of those cases result in one or more days of lost work.
Most occupational eye injuries are caused by small objects or particles striking or scraping the eye after being ejected by tools, blown by the wind or falling from above. If such an object or particle penetrates the eyeball, it could cause blindness.
These incidents tend to occur at construction sites and involve:
- Wood chips or splinters
- Cement chips
- Metal slivers
Splashes of industrial chemicals or cleaning products, thermal burns or infectious diseases can also cause vision loss. The CDC reports that UV radiation burns — commonly called “welder’s flash”— routinely damage the eyes and surrounding tissue of welders and nearby workers.
Health care workers, laboratory staff, janitors, animal handlers and other workers also face the risk of suffering vision loss after acquiring infectious diseases.
We Pursue Compensation for Workers with Eye Injuries
Workers who suffer eye injuries while working at a construction site or in any other workplace may seek workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits can pay for medical expenses. They can also replace a portion of a worker’s wages.
Under New York workers’ compensation law, a worker who fails to regain the vision they had before suffering an eye injury may also be eligible for an SLU award. This is an additional cash payment.
In addition to these benefits, a worker may also pursue a recovery from a non-employer who caused the eye injury. These are referred to as third-party claims. For example, if a subcontractor’s negligence at a construction site caused an object to strike one’s eye and damage one’s vision, the owner or general contractor could be held responsible.
An attorney from Powers & Santola can review your case and assess all of the options available to you. We are committed to helping injured workers obtain full and fair compensation by holding negligent parties accountable for the harm they have caused.
Since 1987, we have been helping injured workers in Albany, Syracuse and throughout Upstate New York. Our law firm has been recognized by U.S. News and Best Lawyers in America as one of the preeminent personal injury law firms in the country.
To receive a free initial consultation about your eye injury case, simply call or contact us online today.
Sources / Additional Information
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Work-Related Eye Injuries
- National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health – Eye Safety
- New York Workers’ Compensation Board – Understanding Your Schedule Loss of Use Award