Eye Injury Claims
Understanding Eye Injury Claims
If you, or somebody close to you, have injured an eye in an accident for which you were not entirely to blame, it may be possible to make eye injury claims for compensation. Claims for an eye injury are not always straightforward and, as you will read below, there is a great amount of variance in how much compensation for an eye injury you may be entitled to receive.
Other factors, such as pressure put on you to accept an offer of eye injury compensation which may be inadequate for your needs, and whether or not you may have contributed to either the cause or the extent of your eye injury, can also influence the success of eye injury claims.
Our article on eye injury claims provides only basic information about making claims for an eye injury and, in order to receive credible legal advice about eye injury claims for compensation, you should speak with an experienced injury claims solicitor at the first practical opportunity.
Qualifying for Eye Injury Claims
In order to qualify for eye injury claims, it has to be established that the person or persons responsible for causing your injury owed you a duty of care, that the duty of care was infringed by carelessness or negligence, and that you sustained an eye injury as a result.
The fact that you have injured your eye should not be in doubt, as you will have received professional medical treatment immediately after your accident and your eye injury will be recorded in your medical records. However, determining who was responsible for your health and safety – and proving how they failed to fulfil their duty of care in eye injury claims – can be a different matter.
Determining Negligence in Eye Injury Claims
The most appropriate way to explain what is meant by a “duty of care” and “negligence” in the context of claims for a eye injury is to give some examples of how an injury might occur which would then qualify you to claim compensation for a eye injury.
- A motorist has a duty of care to other road-users and, should he or she cause an accident in which you injured your eye while they were distracted by talking on a mobile phone, the motorist would be considered to be negligent, liable for your eye injury and against whom claims for eye injury compensation can be made.
- An employer also has a duty of care to provide a safe environment in which to work and if he or she should fail in their obligations for your health and safety and you injure your eye because they have negligently failed to conduct a risk assessment, you would be entitled to make a eye injury compensation claim against your employer.
- Places of public access – such as streets, shops and restaurants – have a duty of care to all pedestrians and customers to identify and rectify any risks which may lead to an eye injury. If they fail to spot a hazard – or deal with it in a reasonable period of time – and you sustain an eye injury as a result, you will be entitled to make an injury claim for eye compensation due to their negligence.
In order to fully determine negligence in eye injury claims it may be necessary to obtain police reports, the results of investigations conducted by the Health and Safety Executive or CCTV video in addition to statements from witness who have seen the accident which resulted in your eye injury. At a time when this may be difficult for you while you are recovering from an eye accident, it is advisable to seek the assistance of an experienced injury claims solicitor.
Making Eye Injury Claims
Once there is sufficient evidence to establish liability in eye injury claims, your solicitor would send a “Letter of Claim” to the negligent party, advising them that you are making a claim for eye injury compensation. The person or persons responsible for your injured eye has twenty-eight days in which to acknowledge receipt of your eye injury claim and a further ninety days in which to inform your solicitor whether or not they will accept liability for the accident which resulted in you injuring your eye.
Provided that liability is accepted for your eye injury, your solicitor will prepare a claim for eye injury compensation which accounts for the pain you suffered at the time your eye was injured and during your recovery, the effect that your eye injury has made to your quality of life and for any financial expenses you have incurred which are attributable to your eye injury. Should liability not be conceded for the accident which caused your injured eye, your solicitor will issue court proceedings against the negligent party and the matter will be resolved in court.
Third Party Capture and Eye Injury Claims
Once your solicitor has sent the “Letter of Claim” to the negligent party, it may be possible that you are approached directly by the negligent party´s insurance company with an offer of compensation for your eye injury. In practically all eye injury claims, it is the insurers of the negligent party who have to pay compensation when claims for an eye injury are resolved and, when they approach you directly, the insurance company is trying to reduce how much compensation for an eye injury they have to pay by offering an immediate settlement of your claim.
This approach is known in the industry as “third party capture” and, although not illegal, frequently results in the claimant receiving less compensation for an eye injury than they would if the claim was resolved by a solicitor. Without conducting a full assessment of your claim for a eye injury your solicitor does not know how much eye injury compensation you are entitled to, and it is therefore extremely unlikely that an insurance company will have considered the full consequences of your eye accident prior to making their offer.
If short-term finance becomes an issue for you, and you are tempted to accept an insurance company´s offer of compensation for an eye injury, speak at once to your solicitor. As the insurance company by their approach have effectively admitted their client´s liability for your injured eye, your solicitor should be able to arrange interim payments of eye injury compensation until such time as your claim is settled.
How Much Compensation for an Eye Injury?
The calculation of how much compensation for an eye injury you should receive is usually broken down into four elements – each of these assessed in consideration of your age, sex and general state of health prior to the accident in which you injured your eye.
- As mentioned above, general damages for an eye injury account for the physical trauma you experienced at the time of your accident and the pain you may still be suffering throughout your recovery from an injured eye. This element of eye injury compensation is often calculated based on past awards for your age group.
- Where it can be proven that you have suffered an emotional trauma at the time you injured your eye or during your recovery you will be able to include compensation for a psychological injury in a claim for eye injury. This element of an eye injury claim will depend on the extent of trauma you suffered/are suffering.
- Another variable element is the compensation for “loss of amenity” you will be able to include in a claim for eye injury. Your “loss of amenity” considers your lack of ability to perform everyday activities or participate in regular leisure or social pursuits due to your injured eye and compensates you for the deterioration in your quality of life.
- The special damages element of eye injury claims makes sure that you are no worse off financially than if the accident which caused your eye injury had never happened. This means that any costs you have incurred or income you have lost is recovered when you make claims for an eye injury.
However, with this criteria, whereas you may expect a young professional woman with small children to receive more compensation for a eye injury than a retired man; should the retired man experience a greater degree of emotional trauma, need substantially more help to cope with his eye injury than the woman and take much longer to recover from his physical trauma, how much compensation for a eye injury the man is entitled to could match or exceed that awarded to the woman.
Contributory Negligence and Eye Injury Claims
One negative element of eye injury claims which sometimes has to be taken into account is contributory negligence. The term “contributory negligence” relates to the contribution you may have made to the cause of the accident in which you injured your eye or the severity of your eye injury if you failed to seek professional medical attention at the first possible opportunity.
If it is considered that you were partly to blame for your accident occurring – or that you made your eye injury worse by your own lack of care – you are not disqualified for making eye injury claims; however a percentage liability will be assigned to you and your settlement of eye injury compensation reduced by this percentage.
Eye Injury Claims for Children
If your child has injured their eye in an accident for which they were not to blame, you may be able to make eye injury claims for children on the child´s behalf acting as a “litigation friend”. Children are not permitted to make eye injury claims in their own right until they reach the age of 18, but a parent or legal guardian can represent them in a claim for eye injury compensation.
A “litigation friend” has to be approved by the courts before eye injury claims can be presented – even if the claim for a eye injury is unlikely to require litigation in court – and any settlement of eye injury compensation which is agreed between the parties has to be first approved by the court before being paid into court funds until the child reaches adulthood.
Should funds be required to pay for expenses incurred in the treatment of the injured eye, an application has to be made to the court with justification of why the funds are required. As making eye injury claims for children requires court approval both when the claim commences and at the conclusion of your child´s claim for eye injury compensation, you will need legal representation from the very start of your claim.
No Win, No Fee Eye Injury Claims
Irrespective of whether a claim for eye injury compensation is made for yourself or on behalf of a child, if your solicitor feels that your eye injury claim has a strong likelihood of success, you will possibly be offered legal representation on a condition fee agreement – more popularly known as “No Win, No Fee” eye injury claims.
“No Win, No Fee” eye injury claims enable you pursue injury compensation for an injured eye without having to worry about legal costs as, when you case is won, your solicitor will claim his fees from the defendant´s insurance company along with your eye injury compensation. Unless you have already received interim payments of eye injury compensation you should receive 100 percent of your eye injury claim settlement.
Further Information about Eye Injury Claims
No two claims for eye injury compensation are the same – even when the nature and severity of the eye injury is the same – and there are many different scenarios relating to claims for a eye injury which it is impossible to cover in just one article. Indeed, the content of this article may have raised many more questions about making eye injury claims than you may have previously considered.
Therefore, we have established a Free Advice Line which enables you to receive free, practical advice directly from an experienced injury claims solicitor about making eye injury claims for compensation. There is no obligation on you to proceed with a claim for eye injury compensation once you have spoken with us and all calls to our Free Advice Line are completely confidential.
Our solicitors will be able to answer any questions about making eye injury claims for compensation which are not covered in this article, provide you with a free assessment of your claim for a eye injury and advise you whether you have a claim for eye injury compensation which is worth your while to pursue.
Telephone lines to our Free Advice Line are open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, and – if now is not a suitable time to speak with a solicitor about eye injury claims – please complete one of our call-back request forms, and a solicitor will be in touch at a more convenient time to discuss the circumstances of your accident and the viability of making a claim for eye injury compensation.