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Eye Injury Compensation

Claiming for damage to the eyes

As the eye is the instrument of our sense of sight, it can come to injury through the electromagnetic radiation of light as well as the usual physical trauma, or chemical contact, that harm other parts of our bodies. If you have an eye injury, whether caused by light or another object, and it was the fault, because of negligence or design, of someone else, then you could be eligible for compensation.

Eye classification

The human eye is a complex and sensitive organ; the main parts that it consists of are the pupil, which is the black dot that is a hole in the centre of the eye; the iris, which is the coloured ring surrounding the pupil; the cornea, which covers the pupil and iris; the lens, which is behind the pupil and iris and refracts most of the light that enters the eye on to; the retina, which lines the back of the eye and is photosensitive, creating a visual image of the world; and the optic nerve, which transmits the visual information from the retina to the brain.

There are four types of eye injury that can be suffered.

  1. Non-penetrating injury – the globe of the eye is intact but the outer part, possibly the cornea, is damaged.
  2. Penetrating trauma – the globe of the eye is penetrated.
  3. Perforating trauma –the globe of the eye is penetrated in two places, possibly an entry and exit wound.
  4. Orbital fracture – caused by a blunt trauma where the orbit of the eye is displaced.

Eye injury compensation claims

If you have suffered any of these injuries and wish to pursue a compensation claim against the person(s) responsible, then the first thing you do should be to contact a solicitor. They can advise you on whether your claim is likely to succeed and on the size of the payment you might receive. You will need a professional medical report, probably from an ophthalmologist, optometrist or ophthalmic practitioner - this will be needed as proof and can also be used by your solicitor to offer you a guide on what you may receive.

The compensation will come from two considerations. General damages, which are subject to the medical report and provide consolation for the suffering of an eye injury, and financial realignment that can be claimed if any of medical costs have arisen or any income loss has been sustained.

What follows is a guide to compensation payouts for eye injuries:

  • minor injuries - £1,300 to £2,500 – no permanent damage, with a few weeks of disruption
  • moderate injuries - £2,500 to £5,500 – chemical or trauma injuries that prove to have no lasting damage, but nevertheless have painful symptoms
  • damage to the vision - £5,500 to £25,000 – when vision is affected, though not necessarily permanently
  • blindness in one eye – maximum of £35,000
  • blindness in both eyes – maximum of £173,000.

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