What Is the Average Settlement in a Vision Loss Case?
The median for losing vision in one eye in Maryland is $231,000. You could drive a truck through the gap between Washington, D.C., and Virginia’s median settlements in verdicts with loss of vision in one eye cases: Washington, D.C.’s median is $162,500; Virginia’s is $320,000.
What Kind of Money Can I Expect for an Eye Injury at Work?
Workers’ compensation laws work differently than claims against other third parties. So if the claim is against your employer, a different set of laws apply. You can typically expect less money in a workers’ comp case against your employer than you would for the same injury when there was a third party responsible. But in some cases, the victim has two claims: a workers’ comp claim and a claim against the party that caused the harm.
What Types of Eye Injuries Do You See in Your Law Practice?
Our law firm has handled product liability, medical malpractice, and workplace injuries was damage to the eye that caused a partial or complete vision disturbance.
Is It Contributory Negligence Not to Wear Eye Protection?
Lawyers debate this issue. Our attorneys believe it is not contributory negligence under Maryland to not wear eye protection even if it is found that such protection would limit your injuries. (But, boy, wearing eye protection a good idea. The American Academy of Ophthalmology tells us the 90% of the 2,000 U.S. workers suffer EVERY DAY, 90 percent of these accidents can be avoided by wearing eye protection.)
Is There a Cap on Non-Economic Damages for an Eye Injury in Maryland?
Is There a Cap on Economic Damages in an Eye Injury Case?
There is not a cap on damages in an eye injury case in Maryland. Economic damages in these cases can be significant. Because of the potential loss of wages, employee benefits, and lost household services on top of future medical care, the economic losses in these cases can reach the millions very quickly.
What Is the Average Workers Comp Settlement for Eye Injury?
It is important to understand the average payout in eye injury cases data that we have presented applies only in personal injury cases. In a Maryland workers’ compensation claim, the payouts will generally be much lower than they would be in a civil lawsuit.
Sample Verdicts and SettlementsThese are eye injury plaintiffs’ verdicts from around the country. Can these give you a better idea of the range of value in these cases? Absolutely. But I think you need to be careful about reading too much into a single case that sounds much like your own. There are just too many factors in the mix to read a summary paragraph and think your case is identical factually or that all other factors in that case – most notably, jurisdiction, will be at play in yours. So take the lessons these cases teach us but don’t “overlearn” the lesson if you know what I mean.
YEAR / STATE
CASE / INJURY SUMMARY
2020 – Alabama
An employee of a beverage distribution company suffered an injury to his left eye after glass bottle shards fell out of the box he carried. His doctor assigned him with 85% impairment to his left eye and restricted him from operating heavy equipment and hazardous machinery. He also suffered chronic headaches and depression. The case settled for $100,000, far less, I think, than what the settlement value should have been based on these facts.
$100,000 – Settlement
2019 – Virginia
A man in his early 50s suffered a detached retina after a rear-end collision. The morning after the collision, he noticed floaters in his right eye. He ignored them, as he previously experienced floaters. Over the next few weeks, his vision deteriorated significantly. He saw an ophthalmologist who diagnosed him with a retinal tear and detachment. The ophthalmologist instructed him to lie, face down, as much as possible. His vision improved to 20/30, however, his vision before the accident was 20/20. He now experienced difficulty looking at a computer screen than before. The jury awarded him $500,000. This is the opposite of the last case. This would seem to be a great deal of money for going from 20/20 to 20/30.
$500,000 – Verdict
2019 – New Jersey
A woman in her early 50s suffers sphenoid wing meningioma behind the orbital canal. She gets surgery. A known complication of the repair surgery is a crushing of the optic nerve that causes blindness. After the surgery, she sees a neurologist for pain management. She sues the neurologist arguing that he failed to do a CT scan despite complaints of headaches and facial pain. These are signs that there is a concern with her optical nerve. The neurologist argues he is just treating her for pain. The neurologist also says he told her to see a neurosurgeon. But there is no notation in the file and the woman vehemently denies that he told her to see another doctor. The defense lawyers clearly believed that the jury would not believe the neurologist. The doctor settles the case for $925,000, $75,000 less than his malpractice policy limit.
$925,000 – Settlement
2017 – Florida
A man suffers from eye pressure, dizziness, hallucinations, pain, eye, and lost balance. The plaintiff alleges this results from an injection of antibiotic Gentamicin was negligently injected into his eyes after cataract surgery.
$13,653,245 – Verdict
2017 – Arizona
A construction worker suffers a severe penetrating injury to his right eye. As a result, he lost his vision. The plaintiff claims his injury results from an employee pulling his leg. An employee of defendant Caylor Construction pulled his leg, which caused the man to make an involuntary movement. The plaintiff contended that the employee’s unexpected physical contact caused the injury. The employee denied touching the plaintiff and contended he was negligent in failing to wear eye protection while on the job site. A jury determined the plaintiff was 10% at fault, the plaintiff’s employer was 10% at-fault (workers comp), and the defendants were 80% at fault.
$1,600,000 – Verdict
2014 – Oregon
$4,750,000 – Settlement
2014 – New York
$826,080 – Settlement
2014 – New York
$2,650,000 – Settlement
2012 – Maryland
$1,000,000 – Verdict
Example Maryland Vision Loss Cases
- Burley v.Western Maryland Eye Center: Lawsuit alleging eye surgeon used the wrong implant model during surgery.
- Proctor v. Prince George’s Hospital: Lawsuit alleging prolonged hypotension and anemia caused permanent vision loss.
- Wallick v. Johns Hopkins: Lawsuit against ophthalmologist after surgery to correct double vision leads to blindness.
- Dorchy v. Doctor: Lawsuit against ophthalmologist after the retina is perforated during cataract surgery.
- Grinath v. Azar Eye Surgery Center: Lawsuit alleging doctors failed to properly measure the victim’s eye before surgery, leading to blurred vision and additional surgeries.