Impaired Vision & Blindness

Overview

Sammy Davis Jr., an international celebrity and member of Frank Sinatra’s “Rat Pack”, may be the most famous person to experience sight loss in an accident. Davis’ near-fatal car crash occurred when another motorist backed directly into his path from an adjacent driveway. In that era before seatbelts and air bags, Davis’ unprotected face hit the pointed center of the steering wheel, puncturing his left eye.

Like Sammy Davis Jr.’s unexpected turn of events, sight loss or blindness can happen as a result of any type of motor vehicle accident. Children are particularly vulnerable when playing with sharp objects like broken sticks or in the path of flying debris from lawn trimmers or mowers. Other common occurrences include:

  • Playing high-risk sports
  • Propelled champagne bottle corks
  • Workplace and construction site mishaps
  • Boating incidents
  • Accidents aboard a cruise ship

Partial or total sight loss can also result from less ordinary events, such as:

  • Severe burns from fires or chemical splashes
  • Eye injuries due to product defects

Connecting your accident (or your child’s) to the party at fault is a critical element of your lost vision complaint. By identifying and working with subject-matter experts—including doctors ranging from ophthalmologists to neurologists—Lipcon’s catastrophic injury attorneys are highly effective in representing victims of accidental sight loss and blindness.

Types of Sight Loss & Blindness

Vision loss – partial or complete—results from both natural and man-made events.

Natural causes for lost eyesight are diverse and include:

  • Genetic predisposition to retinitis pigmentosa or glaucoma
  • Natural aging conditions like macular degeneration and cataracts
  • By-products of long-term illnesses like diabetic retinopathy
  • Incurable diseases like Stargardt, a common cause of juvenile blindness

Accidental loss of sight or blindness (where another party is negligent or at fault) results from physiological damage to the eye itself and/or damage to the nerves and visual pathways between the eye and the brain. Physical trauma to the head and serious brain injuries are among the primary reasons for vision loss in adults.

Children have a high incidence rate of accidental vision loss from:

  • Acquired glaucoma, which results from trauma, surgery or drugs.
  • Eye injuries that occur while playing “high-risk” sports. Baseball is the leading cause of eye injuries for children ages 5-14, with basketball the leading cause among sports for 15-24 year olds. Also categorized as high-risk sports are lacrosse, racquetball, hockey, football, and soccer.

Always remember legal remedies can be sought for serious eye injuries, whether the lost vision is partial or complete, temporary or permanent, and it’s advisable to call an attorney as soon as possible following an accident. Take advantage of our expertise in this area of the law, whether the incident happened on land or at sea. Give us a call at 877-233-1238 to schedule your free legal consultation.

Resources for Victims of Eyesight Damage

Information and Support:

The American Council of the Blind (ACB) provides a variety of resources, including radio stations, a job bank, a calendar of events, updates on advocacy initiatives, and information about Assistive Technology (AT) solutions.

Extensive research is now being done to improve or restore vision using stem cell and gene replacement therapies, although most of the studies are focused on developing solutions for vision lost or impaired due to natural causes like inherited conditions or old age. Since this is a rapidly growing field of research, however, check the national databases frequently if you’re interested in participating in one of the upcoming clinical trials. Regular updates are available from several online sources, including the National Eye Institute.

The Social Security Administration provides disability insurance benefits to the blind as well as Supplemental Security Income to the disabled who are financially needy.

Assistive Technology (AT) for the Visually Impaired:

Electronic Vision Access Solutions (EVAS) is a family run company that specializes in the design and manufacture of Computer Access Solutions for people who are visually, physically, hearing or learning disabled. EVAS has teamed with Dell computers to provide plug-and-play solutions for the blind and visually impaired.

AiSquared.com offers a variety of keyboards as well as screen magnification and screen reading software products for the visually impaired.

The Low Vision Store features products for those with reduced vision or blindness, including the internationally popular JAWS® software. JAWS features a screen reader and voice synthesizer that reads computer screens out loud and also outputs content via refreshable Braille displays.

DeskTalk Enterprise Pro™ features MASC® Speech Processing for Automatic Recognition Technology (SPART®). Both desktop and laptop computers with this technology are available from BeyondSight.com