Auto accidents happen on a daily basis in Dallas and throughout Texas; our experienced Dallas auto accident attorneys can help. The personal injury lawyers at the Law Office of Doug Goyen have spent decades assisting injured victims and their families in Dallas and throughout Texas, if you need a Dallas auto accident eye injury lawyer.
Attorney Goyen has been representing clients in personal injury cases since 1997 and is a Texas-licensed auto accident injury lawyer. We have settled thousands of personal injury claims for our clients, totaling millions of dollars in settlements. We provide our clients with aggressive, experienced, and powerful representation. You can rely on us to obtain the compensation you are entitled to in your case.
WHAT KINDS OF EYE INJURIES CAN HAPPEN IN AN AUTO ACCIDENT?
According to the National Institutes of Health, motor vehicle collisions are the leading cause of eye injuries in the United States. Every year, approximately 9,300 people are injured in car accidents, resulting in eye injuries. Temporary vision impairment or total vision loss can result from eye injuries.
Eye injuries from trauma, including auto accidents, include a black eye, bleeding in the eye, burns and irritation, corneal abrasions, injuries from a foreign object, orbital fractures, retinal detachments, PVD injuries, and floaters from PVDs or retinal detachments or fractures (trauma).
Types of eye Injuries from trauma, including auto accidents:
→Black eye. The term “black eye” refers to bruising around the eye caused by a facial or head injury. Blood and other fluids accumulate in the area around the eye, causing swelling and dark bruising in the tissue.
→Lacerations of the eye are a type of wound. Lacerations to the eyeball can cause almost any level of disability, from temporary partial vision loss to permanent total vision loss. One possibility is retinal detachment (see 3 below). Even minor lacerations to the eyelid can result in serious impairment if scar tissue forms and interferes with the ability to close the eyelid.
→Bleeding in the eye. Known as a Hyphema. Bleeding can occur in the front (or anterior chamber) of your eye, between the cornea and the iris, as a result of an injury. This type of bleeding is known as a hyphema.
This area of your eye contains a clear liquid known as aqueous humor. This fluid is produced by ciliary processes, which are folds in the back (or posterior chamber) of your eye. It then enters the anterior chamber through your pupil.
→Corneal abrasion. A corneal abrasion is a scratch on the surface of your eye. It can happen in a split second. You poke your eye, or something, such as dirt or sand, gets trapped under your eyelid. Your eye hurts, and closing it – if you can keep it shut – doesn’t help. It stings and burns when exposed to light.
It is, in fact, on your cornea. That’s the clear layer that protects your eye’s iris, which is the colored part of your eye. It also protects the pupil, which is the black circle in the center of your eye.
→Burning. Acid, ultraviolet light exposure, and excessive light exposure (direct sunlight or reflective sunlight such as from snow, welder’s arc, and sunlamps) can all cause burns. These types of injuries are likely to affect both eyes, and there is no medical treatment available to alleviate the condition. During the initial painful stages, the only available treatments are pain-relieving medications combined with psychological counseling.
→Cataracts and glaucoma can be causes of blindness. Cataracts and glaucoma can be caused by both trauma and disease processes. The trial lawyer’s problem is to establish a causal link between the trauma and the condition. A “cataract” is a condition that causes the crystalline lens or its capsule to become opaque, resulting in partial or total blindness. Glaucoma is a disease in which the pressure inside the eye increases, causing hardening and vision impairment that can lead to blindness. Primary open-angle glaucoma is the most common type, and it usually develops slowly. Typically, peripheral vision is affected first, followed by central field vision. It is typically treated with drugs, though surgical intervention is used in some cases. Acute or closed-angle glaucoma is characterized by a sudden onset of pain and a rapid increase in eye pressure, which is frequently accompanied by nausea and pupil dilation.
→Injuries to the oculomotor system. Oculomotor injuries can cause ocular motility or binocular vision loss (the ability of the eyes to move together spontaneously in a coordinated fashion). This loss can result in a loss of central vision and/or a loss of visual field in one or both eyes.
→Orbital fractures. The eye socket is a bony cup that protects and surrounds the eye. The socket’s rim is made of fairly thick bones, whereas the floor and nasal side of the socket are paper-thin in many places. A fracture is defined as a broken bone in the eye socket that involves the rim, the floor, or both.
→Orbital rim fractures are caused by a direct impact to the face, most commonly by a car dashboard or steering wheel during a car accident. Because these fractures require a great deal of force to cause, they frequently occur in conjunction with extensive injuries to other facial bones and, in rare cases, brain injuries. Even if the damage is limited to the eye area, the optic nerve (responsible for vision), the eye muscles, the nerves that provide sensation in the forehead and cheek, the sinuses around the eye, and the tear duct may be injured. Orbital rim fractures are classified into two types. The lower edge of the eye rim, which is part of the cheekbone, is involved in a zygomatic fracture. A frontal bone fracture, also known as a frontal sinus fracture, involves the upper edge of the eye rim, which is part of the frontal bone of the forehead.
→Indirect orbital floor fracture. When the bony rim of the eye remains intact, but the paper-thin floor of the eye socket cracks or ruptures, this is known as an indirect orbital floor fracture (also known as a blowout fracture). This can result in a small hole in the eye socket’s floor, trapping parts of the eye muscles and surrounding structures. The injured eye may not move normally within its socket, resulting in double vision. The majority of blowout fractures are caused by an impact to the front of the eye from something larger than the eye-opening, such as a baseball, a fist, or a car dashboard.
→Direct orbital floor fractures. If an orbital rim fracture extends into nearby parts of the eye socket floor, both the rim and the socket floor are fractured.
Approximately 85 percent of traumatic eye injuries, including eye socket fractures, occur as a result of an accident, such as during contact sports, at work, in car accidents, or while performing home repair projects.
→Retinal detachment. The retina is a tissue layer at the back of the eye that converts visual images into nerve impulses in the brain. Injuries to the eye can cause the retinal layers to separate, resulting in a retinal detachment. Any detached portion of the retina cannot send visual signals to the brain. If untreated, retinal detachment can result in blindness. A retinal detachment is a medical emergency that necessitates immediate medical attention.
Blunt eye trauma can result in retinal bruises and scarring. Tears can form as a result of blunt trauma and lead to blinding retinal detachments at any age. Light flashes, floaters, and loss of vision are all symptoms of retinal detachment. To treat retinal detachment, both surgical and non-surgical procedures are used.
→PVD injury. A PVD can be caused by direct eye trauma or eye surgery. PVD is typically detected by patients as a sudden onset of new floaters. Flashes of light can also be seen, indicating pulling on the retina.
A PVD can sometimes cause a retinal tear, which can lead to a retinal detachment. The symptoms of PVD are very similar to those of a torn retina or early retinal detachment; therefore, it is critical that the retina be examined with a dilated examination as soon as possible.
→Floaters in the eye. Eye floaters frequently appear in your field of vision as dark shapes or transparent threads. As your eyes move, these spots will move with them, eventually drifting out of your visual field. Eye floaters occur when the vitreous gel — the clear fluid that fills the majority of the eye — breaks loose and clumps together, resulting in dark flecks that interfere with normal vision.
WHAT IS LEGAL BLINDNESS?
A person who has less than 20/200 corrected vision is considered legally blind. True, these people can still function in society and hold a variety of jobs, but they frequently require the assistance of special equipment or other people. These special accommodations must be factored into the plaintiff’s damages. In such cases, the aids may be more expensive than the revenue generated by the injured client, in which case the defense will argue that the individual should not be allowed to work.
DAMAGES FOR EYE INJURY CASES
In addition to past and future medical bills, physical impairment, disfigurement, and loss of consortium due to a serious eye injury, special consideration is often needed due to the damage done to a person’s earning capacity and to the mental anguish suffered due to any loss of sight or vision.
Lost Earning Capacity: Any loss of visual ability will result in some loss of earning capacity, even if there are no demonstrable actual income losses. Visual acuity (near and far vision), field of vision, depth perception, accommodation, and color vision are all examples of such losses.
Mental Anguish: Every loss of sight necessitates the services of psychologists, psychiatrists, and vocational specialists. The psychological impact is significant, and many people choose to isolate themselves after losing their sight. Suicide is on the rise. Early and intensive counseling will help the majority of victims alleviate some of their problems.
The challenge that an injured person faces is getting help as soon as possible. It can take a long time to receive financial assistance from a legal claim. The victim is left to seek whatever assistance is available through private savings and insurance, as well as government and charity programs. Because they are not always dependable, all of these sources will add to the victim’s mental anguish.
Blindness or even a diminished loss of vision can be a legitimate cause of future mental anguish. Furthermore, humiliation or embarrassment fall under the umbrella term of mental anguish and are compensable for future damages. Houston Lighting & Power Co. v. Reed, 365 S.W.2d 26 (Tex. Civ. App.-Houston 1963, writ ref’d n.r.e.).
EYE INJURY TERMS
ACCOMMODATION-the adjustment of the eye’s lens to bring an object into sharp focus at different distances. The ciliary muscle changes the shape of the crystalline lens, which alters its power and focuses a clear image on the retina.
ACUITY, FAR-clarity of vision at a distance of twenty feet or more.
ACUITY, NEAR-clarity of vision at a distance of twenty feet or less.
AFTER-IMAGE-a visual impression that remains after removing a stimulus.
AMBLYOPIA EX ANOPSIA-amblyopia caused by a lack of eye use.
AQUEOUS-clear fluid that fills the anterior chamber of the eye.
ASTHENOPIA-eye strain caused by internal or external muscle fatigue.
ASTIGMATISM-defective curvature of the eye’s refractive surfaces, resulting in light rays not being sharply focused on the retina for either near or distance vision.
BINOCULAR VISION-the ability to use both eyes at the same time to focus on the same object and fuse the two images into a single image that correctly interprets its solidity and position in space.
CATARACT is a condition in which the crystalline lens of the eye becomes opaque, resulting in a loss of visual acuity.
CHIASMA-the crossing of the optic nerve’s nerve fibers.
COLOR PERCEPTION OR VISION-the ability to identify and differentiate between colors.
CONES AND RODS-two types of light-sensitive receptors found in the retina that allow the eye to send visual impulses to the brain. Cones are concerned with motion and vision at low levels of illumination, whereas rods are concerned with fine detail and color (as in night vision).
CONVERGENCE-the process of directing the visual axes of the two eyes to a close point, causing the pupils of the two eyes to become closer together, or turned inward.
CONVERGENCE: NEAR POINT-the closest point at which the two eyes can direct their gaze at the same time, usually about three inches from the nose.
CORNEAL GRAFT-operation to restore vision by replacing an opaque section of the cornea with a transparent section of the cornea.
CYCLOPLEGICS-a class of drugs that, when injected into the eye, cause temporary paralysis and relaxation of the ciliary muscles, which control accommodation and pupil dilation; frequently used to determine refraction error.
DEPTH PERCEPTION (three-dimensional vision)-the ability to judge distance and space relationship so that objects can be seen where and as they are.
DIOPTER-a unit of measurement for lens strength or refractive power. A one-diopter lens focuses parallel light rays one meter away from the lens.
DIPLOPIA is a condition characterized by the perception of two images of a single object.
DIVERGENCE-simultaneous outward turning of both eyes away from each other.
DYSLEXIA-the inability to read or understand printed symbols; this condition can be caused by a variety of factors.
ECTROPION is the turning out (eversion) of an eyelid.
EMMETROPIA is a refractive condition of the normal eye that causes the image of distant objects to focus on the retina.
ENTROPION-turning in of the lower eyelid margin.
ENUCLEATION is the surgical removal of the entire eyeball.
EPIPHORA-excessive tear production.
ESOPHORIA-the eye’s latent tendency to turn inward (see heterophoria).
ESOTROPIA is a visible turning in of one eye (convergent strabismus or crossed eye).
EXOPHORIA is a latent proclivity of the eye to turn outward (see heterophoria).
EXOPHTHALMOS is a condition characterized by abnormal protrusion or bulging of the eyeballs from their sockets.
EXOTROPIA-(divergent strabismus) observable turning outward of one or both eyes from the visual axis of the other.
EXTORTION is an outward rotation.
EXTRAOCULAR MUSCLES-muscles located outside of the ocular muscles.
FARSIGHTEDNESS-Hyperopia; hypermetropia; eye condition in which light rays from distant objects focus behind the retina when the eye is at rest.
FIELD OF VISION-the area that can be seen to the right and/or left while the eyes are fixed on a given point.
FLUCTUATING LENS MYOPIA-swelling of the lens fibers as a result of diabetes.
GLAUCOMA is an eye disease characterized by a mechanical increase in intraocular pressure, which causes organic changes in the optic nerve and defects in the visual fields.
HEMIANOPIA is defined as blindness in one-half of the field of vision.
HETEROPHORIA-a tendency of the eyes to deviate from the normal position for binocular fixation, which is compensated for by simultaneous fixation and fusion (prompted by the desire for single binocular vision). When a deviation is not visible, it is referred to as latent heterophoria.
HETEROTROPIA-squint, strabismus, cross-eye; occurs when one or more muscles are out of balance, causing one eye to turn in while the other corrects. It could be either a divergent or a vertical muscle.
HYDROPHTHALMOS-(congenital glaucoma) is a rare congenital defect in which the eyeball grows abnormally large due to pressure elevation. It is present at birth or emerges early in childhood.
HYPEROPIA-farsightedness; hypermetropia; an eye condition in which light rays from distant objects focus behind the retina when the eye is at rest.
HYPERMETROPIA-farsightedness; hyperopia; an eye condition in which light rays from distant objects focus behind the retina when the eye is at rest.
HYPERTROPIA is characterized by an upward deviation of one eye.
IRIDECTOMY is a surgical procedure that removes a portion of the iris.
IRITIS-inflammation of the iris; condition characterized by pain, inflammation, and sensitivity to light.
LACRIMATION is the production of tears.
LAGOPHTHALMOS-inadequate eyelid closure.
MYOPIA-nearsightedness; a refractive error in which light rays focus in front of the retina due to the eyeball being too long from front to back or having excessive curvature of the cornea or lens.
MYOPIC-nearsightedness is an eye condition in which the point of focus for light rays from distant objects is in front of the retina.
NEARSIGHTEDNESS-myopia; a refractive error in which light rays focus in front of the retina due to the eyeball being too long from front to back or having an excessive curvature of the lens’s cornea.
NYSTAGMUS is defined as an involuntary movement of the eyeballs from side to side, up and down, in a rotary motion, or a combination of such movements.
OCCLUSION-the act of obscuring one eye’s vision in order to force the use of the other eye.
OCULAR MOTILITY-spontaneous eye movement
OCULI UTERQUE – bringing both eyes together.
OCULOMOTOR-moving the eyeball; referring to the third Cranial Nerve, which controls eyeball movement and function.
OCULUS DEXTER—the right eye
OCULUS SINISTER—the left eye
OPTIC ATROPHY-degeneration of the optic nerve fibers, characterized by pallor of the optic nerve head and accompanied by visual loss.
PERIPHERAL VISION-the ability to detect the presence, motion, or color of objects that are not in the direct line of sight.
PHOTOPHOBIA-excessive sensitivity to light.
STRABISMUS-a manifest deviation of the eyes such that they are not directed to the same object at the same time; see heterotropia.
SYMPATHETIC OPHTHALMITIS-severe inflammation of one eye as a result of infection in the other.
VISUAL ACUITY OR FUNCTION-vision sharpness, the ability of the eye to distinguish detail.
CASE REVIEWS ARE FREE
If you are looking for an auto accident eye injury lawyer, call (972) 599 4100. We offer free phone consultations. We also provide a free strategy session. The strategy session includes a summary of your case, legal issues involved, and legal issues we identify as being critical to maximizing the compensation owed.
THERE IS NO FEE IF WE DO NOT WIN
You owe us nothing if we are unable to recover. We charge a contingency fee structured to take a percentage of what we recover. As a performance-based contract, the better we do for you, the better we do for ourselves. This aligns our interests in the case with our client’s interests.
DIRECTIONS TO OUR OFFICE
Law Office of Doug Goyen
15851 Dallas Pkwy #605
Addison, Texas 75001
(972) 599 4100 phone
(972) 398 2629 fax
Directions to our office: We are on the southbound side of the service road to the Tollway. Stay on the Dallas North Tollway until you come to the Keller Springs exit. Take the Keller Spring exit. Stay on the service road on the southbound side and go just past Keller Springs. Our office is the 2nd building south of Keller Springs, located on the service road to the North Dallas Tollway in the Madison Business Center on the 6th floor.
By Doug Goyen, email@example.com
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