Eye injuries are not only painful and difficult to recover from, they can have a substantial effect on your ability to do your job. Fortunately, eye injuries that take place at work may be eligible for workers’ compensation. Making sure you get the appropriate amount of benefits is where having a knowledgeable Lancaster workers’ compensation attorney will prove critical.
Nikolaus & Hohenadel fights hard for the rights of injured Pennsylvania workers. If you’ve suffered a work-related eye injury, let us help you get the workers’ compensation that you deserve.
What Makes Eye Injuries Different in Workers’ Compensation Cases?
Any accident you suffer at work could have an impact on your ability to earn a living while also causing you to incur steep medical bills. Those are two of the main reasons that workers’ compensation benefits exist. However, an eye injury could potentially be much more serious than other physical injuries. It could damage the quality of your vision, making it more difficult to do your job. Since so many jobs depend upon proper sight, an injury could mean a permanent inability to perform your work.
The injury may even lead to blindness in one or both eyes. Not only will this jeopardize your current job and make it hard to get another one, but your daily activities will be severely limited. Loss of eyesight will mean you can’t drive, which in turn means you will need assistance getting to your place of employment even if your blindness is accommodated.
Under Pennsylvania workers’ compensation laws, an eye injury may allow a worker to claim wage loss and medical benefits. If the eye injury is more serious or leads to total or partial blindness in one or both eyes, the worker could be eligible for additional compensation.
Eye Injuries That Workers May Suffer
Depending on the nature of your job, your eyes could be exposed to various forms of physical trauma that can lead to a number of injuries. The most common ones include:
- Bleeding or swelling in the eye
- Scratched cornea
- Detached retina
- Foreign objects lodged in the eye
- Laceration of the eyeball or eyelid
- Chemical or UV burning of the eye
- Temporary loss of vision
- Permanent loss of vision (blindness)
Not all injuries are immediate. The one you suffer may seem minor at first but become more severe later. Taking swift action is essential to not only protecting the health of your eye but to claiming the workers’ compensation benefits you need.
What To Do After A Work-Related Eye Injury
Since eye injuries are potentially serious and could lead to blindness or other issues, the first thing you should do after suffering one is to get medical treatment. You also need to inform your doctor that the injury was work-related so you can begin documenting it for workers’ compensation purposes.
Notify your employer of the injury immediately and in writing. It’s important to keep in mind that you may need to obtain medical treatment from a list provided by your employer. Follow all recommendations by your treating physician.
Then, you may file for workers’ compensation. Your employer or the workers’ compensation insurance carrier may deny your claim and provide you notice of it. But you can appeal the rejection to the Pennsylvania Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. Having an experienced workers’ compensation attorney in your corner is essential to making sure your claim is filed correctly.
What Workers’ Compensation Benefits May Be Available for Eye Injuries?
Like any other injury, a work-related eye injury will be eligible for medical treatment, including surgery or other reasonably necessary care, along with wage loss benefits. Wage loss compensation is intended to cover your lost earnings directly related to the eye injury and your recovery.
If you lose your vision in either or both eyes, you may be entitled to specific loss benefits. This type of compensation is paid out over 10 weeks of healing, plus another 275 weeks. Loss of vision may include blindness, or it could include the physical loss of the eye or becoming legally blind. These benefits may be paid in a lump sum or over time. You should ask an attorney which method would be best for your situation.
An employee who loses his or her eyesight could qualify for additional compensation, including for:
- Job training expenses to secure new employment
- The use of a seeing-eye dog
- Transportation costs
- Computer training and related assistance to help perform work tasks
Having The Right Workers’ Compensation Attorney Makes A Difference
Since no two eye injuries are the same, the amount of workers’ compensation you may qualify for could be significantly different from someone else’s. Your situation may be severe enough for the specific loss benefits mentioned above. Demanding the benefits you deserve begins with having the right attorney, someone who is experienced with handling eye injuries.
You may face resistance or an outright claim denial from your employer or the workers’ compensation carrier. If this happens, you could be facing the prospect of receiving no benefits or having to fight your employer or the insurance company to get them. Retaining an attorney is critical to ensuring you get the fair treatment you deserve. We can help you appeal a claim denial or an adverse decision that doesn’t fully cover your losses.
Contact Our Lancaster Workers’ Compensation Eye Injuries Attorney
Your health, your recovery, and the financial support that you and your family need are simply too important to be left to chance. Filing for workers’ compensation is not a simple matter. There are forms, procedures, and deadlines that have to be followed, or you could jeopardize your benefits entirely.
Call Nikolaus & Hohenadel. We understand Pennsylvania workers’ compensation law, specifically as it applies to eye injuries. Our team can review your case, explain your legal options, and make sure your rights are protected. Reach out to us today to schedule your confidential consultation.