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Eye Injury

An injury to the eye is one of the most serious types of injuries. If your vision is impaired, it can compromise your ability to work, drive, and even enjoy your life. Below, we discuss common types of eye injuries, how they happen, and compensation that may be available to you by filing an injury claim with a Minneapolis personal injury attorney

What Types of Eye Injuries Can a Person Sustain? 

What Types of Eye Injuries Can a Person Sustain?

An eye injury is one of the most frightening traumatic injuries, with the potential to permanently rob you of your vision. All eye injuries should be considered serious and treated promptly, even if the initial symptoms do not seem alarming. 

The following are the most common types of eye injuries caused by trauma or accidental injury. 

Corneal Abrasion

This refers to a scratch on the surface of the eye. It can be caused by foreign objects like sawdust or debris scratching the eye. It often happens when you rub your eye, not realizing there’s abrasive debris. 

Retinal Detachment

This injury happens when the retina at the back of the eye is torn away from the layer of blood vessels supplying it with nutrients and oxygen. A detached retina usually causes eye floaters or tiny dark shapes floating across your vision, flashes of light, and shadows in your field of vision. 

A detached retina is a medical emergency. It can usually be repaired with surgery, but the longer it goes untreated, the more likely permanent vision loss becomes. 

Subconjunctival Hemorrhage

This is the medical term for a broken blood vessel just below the clear surface of the eye – or the conjunctiva. The conjunctiva absorbs blood very slowly which makes it easy for blood to become trapped, producing a very bright red patch. 


Hyphema refers to bleeding in the space between the iris and cornea. Acute hyphema is usually caused by blunt trauma or penetrating trauma to the eye or surrounding area. 

Acute hyphema is often painful and causes blurry or cloudy vision. If left untreated, it can lead to blood clots that cause eye damage and permanent vision loss. 

Traumatic Iritis

This injury refers to inflammation of the iris – or the colored part of the eye. It’s usually caused by blunt force trauma. 

Penetrating Eye Injury

A penetrating injury happens when a sharp object penetrates or lacerates the eye. These injuries are also known as open globe injuries. There is a high risk of permanent vision loss and complications, including iris prolapse, endophthalmitis (intraocular inflammation), and infection. 

Chemical Burn

Chemical burns to the eye are caused by contact with harmful aerosol, vapor, liquid, or powder chemicals. There are two main types of chemical burns: alkali and acid burns. Both can cause serious complications, including permanent vision loss. Alkali eye burns tend to be more serious, however. 

Ultraviolet Keratitis

Also known as corneal flash burn, this is a common type of light-induced trauma similar to a sunburn to the cornea. It can be caused by UV light reflecting off snow or water, but it’s usually caused by tanning beds and welding arcs. 

What Are the Long-Term Consequences of an Eye Injury?

The long-term consequences of an eye injury can vary significantly depending on the type and severity of the injury and how quickly it’s treated. Permanent vision loss is one of the most serious outcomes. 

Vision loss may be partial or total and result from most types of injury to the eye. Sometimes, permanent vision loss takes the form of double vision, blurry vision, visual disturbances, or reduced peripheral vision. 

Other possible consequences include: 

  • Chronic pain or discomfort
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Infection, which can cause further complications
  • Scarring or disfigurement

An eye injury can also have a significant emotional and psychological impact. Many survivors struggle with depression and anxiety. Vision loss can reduce independence and the ability to work.

What Causes Eye Injuries?

Almost any type of traumatic accident can lead to eye injuries. 

Most traumatic eye injuries are caused by the following: 

  • Falls: This is the leading cause of eye injuries, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, especially in older adults. 
  • Dog bites: Among younger children, a dog bite is a leading cause of serious eye injury. 
  • Assault: This is a common cause of serious eye injuries from blunt force trauma. 
  • Sports: Any sport can cause injury to the eye, but high-impact contact sports like football have a higher risk. 
  • Car accidents: In a crash, eye injuries can be caused by airbag deployment, flying debris, or blunt force trauma from striking a hard surface. 
  • Workplace accidents: Eye injuries sustained on the job are usually caused by falls, traffic accidents, chemical exposure, and accidents involving machinery. 
  • Chemical exposure: Chemical burns account for 7% to 10% of eye injuries. Exposure to common household cleaners and industrial chemicals, usually on the job, can cause these injuries. 

Not wearing appropriate protective eyewear is one of the leading factors in serious eye injuries involving workplace accidents, chemical exposure, and machinery. Foreign matter in the eye can come from heavy machinery, a lawnmower, or while using power tools to cut or finish wood, tile, plastic, and other materials. 

Workers suffered more than 18,500 eye injuries in a recent year. Construction trades workers had the highest number of eye injuries among all occupations. 

What Compensation Can I Recover For My Eye Injury in Minnesota?

If you sustained your injury on the job, you are likely entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ comp can reimburse you for medical expenses and lost wages and provide disability benefits if you are unable to return to your job. You may be eligible for compensation outside the workers’ compensation program if your injury involved a defective product or third-party liability. 

In a personal injury case, victims who have suffered eye injuries can recover compensation for: 

  • Medical bills and future medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Diminished earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Emotional distress
  • Scarring or disfigurement
  • Loss of quality of life

An experienced personal injury attorney can help you understand the types of damages you may be entitled to recover. 

Contact Our Minneapolis Personal Injury Attorneys For a Free Consultation To Discuss Your Eye Injury

Have you suffered a serious eye injury in Minneapolis, MN? You may be entitled to money for your medical bills, lost earnings, and pain. Hall Law Personal Injury Attorneys is here to help you. 

Our Minneapolis personal injury lawyers have recovered more than $90 million on behalf of accident victims like you. We have over 80 years of combined experience that we will put to work for you. 

Contact our law firm today for a free consultation to discuss your eye injury case and explore your legal options, call us at (800) 292-1979.

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