If you've suffered an eye injury or vision loss at work, it's important to seek the advice of an experienced New York City workers' compensation attorney.
Most people don't realize that they have a legal right to workers' comp benefits if they suffer from vision loss or an eye injury on the job. However, many employers try to deny their employees a workers' compensation eye injury settlement or benefits by claiming that their injuries were caused by pre-existing medical conditions or even “self-inflicted” accidents. Our NYC workers' compensation attorneys are here to help make sure your employer doesn't get away with denying you your rightful benefits after suffering an eye injury on the job.
At Raphaelson & Levine Law Firm, we understand how difficult it can be for injured individuals and families who need financial assistance after suffering from a work-related eye injury—especially when those responsible for causing your injuries are trying so hard not to take responsibility.
Our law firm offers the expertise and compassion to pursue your case tirelessly to secure a fair worker’s comp settlement on your behalf. Call a workers' compensation injury attorney today at (212) 268-3222 or complete our online case review form to schedule a free consultation today.
Every year, there are 800,000 workplace eye injuries, including lacerations, burns, and punctures. Emergency departments treat about one-third of these injuries, and many of them result in days off work and, sometimes, temporary or permanent disability. Manufacturing, transportation, and construction workers are most vulnerable to these life-changing injuries.
Workers sustain eye injuries due to flying particles (like wood chips), chemical exposure, workplace diseases, sparks, and blunt force trauma to the eye. The impact is readily apparent, and most victims report to a hospital emergency department.
Common types of eye injuries in the work environment include:
Chemical burns are frequently career-ending and frequently happen in industrial settings. Exposure involves either acids or alkalis. Acids do not penetrate as deeply, but they still cause serious injuries. Alkalis are the most dangerous as they enter the eye quickly and cause deep tissue damage.
Examples of acids and alkalis include:
If your workplace contains any of these substances, they should offer training on storing and handling them and addressing injuries. OSHA standards require that training, and your employer may be negligent if they fail to maintain that.
Medical providers grade chemical burns by severity to assess the damage and plan medical intervention. The different grades include:
Workplaces should provide eye protection where there is a risk of these injuries. However, protective goggles and masks vary between work sites, and many employers are not attentive to ensuring every team member has access to them. If your employer was negligent when supplying eye protection or training on proper equipment use to avoid eye injuries, you might also have grounds to file a personal injury claim. You can consult with a workers’ compensation attorney to explore this option along with collecting workers’ comp benefits.
Workers’ compensation insurance benefits cover medical bills, vocational rehabilitation, specific losses, and in cases of permanent partial disability or total disability, future medical expenses and reduced earning capacity. It does not cover emotional damages, like pain and suffering or reduced enjoyment in life.
If you cannot work, you may receive a weekly benefit. Injuries sustained between July 1, 2020, and June 30, 2021, are subject to a maximum weekly benefit of $966.78. Your actual benefit is based on your average weekly wage, including overtime pay. You can receive this weekly benefit for up to 160 weeks for an eye injury, amounting to a settlement amount of up to $154,684.80.
Since your weekly benefit amount depends on your salary, we need that information to determine an exact amount. Bring a paystub with you to your first consultation, and we can calculate your estimated benefits.
Treatment rarely stops at the emergency room, and many injured workers need to consult with specialists, especially ophthalmologists, to gain sight or adapt to the loss of vision. The approved physician’s list may not include any ophthalmologists, so you are left to worry about your future and wonder if you will receive the correct treatment. Meanwhile, insurance companies look out for their best interests and will make your claims process difficult.
You qualify for workers’ compensation after an injury if:
In addition to these requirements, you must also:
Of all these requirements, most people find forms and deadlines the most challenging. The claim process is very deadline oriented and missing one can forfeit your claim. Also, you may not complete forms correctly, and that can also work against you.
A workers’ compensation lawyer knows the deadlines and procedures and can make sure you do not lose your claim on administrative matters. When you are recovering from eye injuries and fearing for your future, it is difficult to manage all the overwhelming issues associated with workers’ comp. Allow us to work for you so you can focus on healing, and we can deal with insurers and paperwork.
When you hire our firm, we take the following steps to file your claim:
We remain available through this process to answer your questions and offer reassurance as the process moves forward. It is also up to you to inform us if your condition changes or new developments may affect your claim.
Serious eye injuries and vision loss are traumatizing developments, especially for those whose professions rely on their eyesight. Uncertainty and fear are real and understandable, and the last thing you need is to fight insurance companies that only look out for their interests. Leave that battle to the workers’ comp lawyers at Raphaelson & Levine.
Call us today at (212) 368-3222 to schedule your free consultation and case evaluation, or use our online form.