Did you or a loved one suffer an eye injury or disease at work?
Find out how to get workers’ compensation benefits in Montana for vision loss.
Each day in the United States, somewhere around 2,000 workers suffer a job-related eye injury that requires medical treatment, many of which are 25-44 year old men. According to the CDC, about one-third of occupational eye injuries are treated in emergency rooms and hospitals, and over 100 of these injuries result in days away from work. An estimated $300 million is lost each year due to medical bills, compensation, lost productivity and time off work due to eye injuries.
The financial and personal toll of work-related eye injuries, diseases and disorders cannot be understated. A serious eye injury can be completely life-changing, often requiring long-term care and the need to make major lifestyle adjustments.
The team at Murphy Law Firm can help you file the necessary paperwork and determine the full extent of your losses after an eye injury at work. Our knowledgeable Great Falls, MT attorneys are committed to fighting for victims of all types of on-the-job injuries, including vision loss. Since our firm was founded over 25 years ago, the team has focused primarily on workers’ compensation and holding negligent employers accountable for their actions.
Why hire Murphy Law Firm?
- We put our clients first
- We ONLY represent the injured
- Compassionate, aggressive and personal legal representation
- Licensed attorneys with extensive legal knowledge
- 65+ years of combined experience
- We’ve recovered millions of dollars in settlements for our clients
- Contingency fee (you don’t pay unless we win)
- Free consultation
Attorney Thomas J. Murphy
Founder of Murphy Law Firm
Our attorneys know how hard it is to fight a legal battle while also trying to make a physical recovery after an accident. No amount of money will ever fully compensate you for your loss, but our goal is to secure what you need — and nothing less — to start fresh and rebuild what has been lost. We’ll make sure your voice is seen and heard by dismissive insurers and employers.
Murphy Law Firm has successfully represented thousands of Montanans, including complex workers’ compensation claims.
Work-Related Eye-Injuries & Vision Loss: Statistics & Common Factors
Jobs that involve welding, handling hazardous chemicals, and other dangerous activities pose a significant risk of eye injury, which may result in acute or chronic vision loss.
Employees on a construction site are more likely to experience an on-the-job injury than nearly every other occupation. Jobs that require employees to drive for work also have a higher risk of injury.
An estimated 40% of occupational eye injuries happen in the manufacturing, construction, and mining industries.
In addition to what industry you work in, other factors may increase your risk of an eye injury or vision loss. Some of the most common causes of work-related eye injuries and diseases include:
- Car or trucking accidents while working
- Unsafe work environments that result in slip and falls or other occupational illnesses and accidents
- The eye being pierced by a sharp object, tool, piece of metal or glass, faulty machinery or malfunctioning equipment
- Exposure to harmful chemicals or other substances that cause damage to the eyes
The eye can also become damaged as a result of a traumatic brain injury (TBI) that occurs while at work. A TBI has the potential to affect more than just brain function, and can result in several types of collateral injuries such as vision loss.
Full infographic here
Types of Work-Related
Your eyes are marvelously complex systems that science has yet to replicate. Unfortunately, this complexity also makes them fragile and vulnerable to a wide range of possible injuries. These injuries can range from treatable eye strain to serious trauma that results in permanent damage, vision loss and blindness.
Common examples include:
- Blindness (partial or full loss of vision, in either eye or both eyes)
- Loss of peripheral vision
- Abrasion of the cornea
- Detached retina
- Chemical eye burns
- Invasion of foreign particles
- Allergic conjunctivitis
- Squamous cell carcinoma of the eye
Common Signs of
Eye Injury & Vision Loss
The tricky thing about work-related eye injuries, diseases and disorders is that they often happen gradually, making them more difficult to detect. It’s vital that you’re able to recognize an injury and seek medical treatment as soon as possible in order to prevent further vision loss.
Talk to your doctor right away if you experience any of the following signs and symptoms of an eye injury:
- Difficulty or pain seeing
- A torn or cut eyelid
- One eye suddenly can’t move like the other
- One eye bulges out more than the other
- Your pupil size or shape is unusual
- There’s blood in the clear part of your eye
- There’s something in the eye or under the eyelid that can’t be removed
Calculating the Cost of Vision Loss in the Workplace
Many eye injuries are permanent, with little chance of full vision being restored. A serious eye injury can affect a worker’s ability to return to the same job functions, or to return to work at all.
Vision loss can also cause emotional damage, which impacts other areas of daily life and may cause personal and professional relationships to suffer.
A person suffering from vision loss may experience a dramatic decrease in their quality of life due to changed relationships, physical pain, and an inability to go to work and provide for their family.
If you or a loved one suffered a work-related eye injury, you should know that you’re entitled to reimbursement for emergency medical care, ongoing medical needs, lost wages, and loss of the ability to earn a wage under Montana’s workers’ compensation system. Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, meaning you’re entitled to benefits even if the accident was fully or partially your fault.
Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may also be able to file a third-party personal injury claim against the negligent party for pain and suffering, emotional distress and other damages.
How to Prevent Eye Injuries: 4 Safety Tips
Of the estimated 300,000 eye injuries that happen in the workplace each year, experts say 90% of them could have been prevented if the worker had been wearing appropriate eye protection and if the company had taken sufficient steps to make the jobsite safe for employees.
Here are some simple, effective ways for both employers and employees to help prevent a work-related eye injury or disease:
Always wear safety eyewear
Safety eyewear may seem uncool, get fogged up easily or put pressure on your head that gives you a headache, but none of those excuses are good reasons not to protect your vision. The best eye protection only works if it’s actually worn. Even if you wear contact lenses or glasses, be sure to also use protective eyewear as these don’t offer sufficient protection against workplace dangers. Appropriate eye protection might include safety glasses, goggles, face shields, welding helmets and full-face respirators.
Plan for emergencies
In places where workers may be exposed to dangerous chemicals or particles, appropriate eyewash solutions should be readily accessible to minimize the likelihood of permanent eye damage should exposure occur.
Establish proper procedures for if/when an eye injury occurs and train workers in basic first-aid.
Make eyewear available
Companies should make safety glasses and other protective eyewear readily available to their employees to use. Preferably, make sure personal protective equipment (PPE) is well fitted and comfortable for employees as this will encourage usage.
Determining which type of eye protection you need depends on your workplace and OSHA regulations. Employers should always check to make sure their protective eyewear is compliant and meets industry safety standards.
Injured on the Job? Schedule Your FREE Consultation for Help Now
At the Murphy Law Firm, we’ve spent over 65 years protecting the rights of injured Montana workers. We’ve been able to recover over $10 million in wrongfully denied benefits for past clients.
Our mission is to pursue all remedies you need, while working with experts to establish liability and hold the at-fault party responsible.
We’ll take your case on a contingency fee basis, meaning we don’t get paid until you do. If we aren’t able to secure a settlement on your behalf, then you won’t owe us a penny. It’s that simple. This guarantee means there’s no reason not to give us a call to learn more about your legal rights.
We may be able to help you obtain reimbursement and compensation for:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Travel expenses
- Loss of consortium (income, companionship, child care, etc.)
- Emotional distress (pain and suffering)
- Punitive damages (money given as punishment)
Contact Murphy Law Firm today to schedule your free consultation.
“Tommy Murphy helped me with a case that has been holding me back for some time. He did everything plus more, he always responded by phone or email with incredible speed. I was recommended by a friend for his services and I would definitely recommend him to anyone who is in need of help. Thank you Murphy Law Office!”