Eye Injuries Caused By Medical Negligence

By Marlon Rudy. Last Updated 10th August 2022. Eye injury claims could be valid if you can show that a medical professional breached their duty of care towards you which caused you further harm.

Studies have shown that an estimated 2 million people suffer some kind of sight loss in the UK. When you sustain an eye injury, the care and treatment you receive must be of the correct standard. Any loss of vision no matter how slight can affect you in many ways with some outcomes being life-altering.

Eye injury medical negligence claims guide

Eye injury medical negligence claims guide

When you or a member of your family suffers an eye injury due to medical negligence, your life could be turned upside down. It could mean you cannot continue working, it could negatively impact your quality of life.

You will find valuable information and advice in our guide about claiming compensation if you suffered due to medical negligence. We explain how to go about making an eye injury claim. There is a table within our guide that provides an idea of how much this type of claim could be worth. We also explain how negligent eye injury compensation is worked out, and the damages you could claim.

To find out more please click on the sections below. If you have any questions or you would like to know if you have a valid medical negligence claim, a member of our team is here to take your call. You can reach an experienced, friendly adviser by calling 0800 652 3087, and our lines are open 24/7.

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What Are Eye Injury Claims?

When you or a loved one suffers any sort of eye injury you must seek medical attention as soon as possible. Whether the injury is minor or something a lot more severe, it’s important to receive the right treatment. While most eye injuries are treated successfully if a mistake was to happen this could cost you vision problems.

Negligent eye treatment may mean your treatment was incorrect because you were misdiagnosed due to the doctor failing to relate your clear symptoms with the correct diagnosis. You could have undergone laser eye surgery that went wrong, or a medical professional failed to spot a clear underlying health condition. It may not always be clear if medical negligence has occurred. But if you believe that your condition has worsened because treatment you received was poor and below expected call our advisers for a free consultation.

For your claim to be valid, you would need to show that negligence on the part of a medical professional caused you to suffer further harm that would not have happened had you received the right level of care. All practitioners in the UK have a ‘duty of care’ towards their patients. This is a ‘duty’ not to cause unnecessary harm to a patient.

To find out how we can help you claim compensation if you suffered harm through medical negligence, please contact a member of our team on the number at the top of the page.

Types Of Medical Negligence

Medical negligence can take different forms. The area of medicine is vast and far-reaching. It is complex and multidimensional. Medical negligence could occur if a physician deviated from the correct standards required of his or her profession. Below we have listed some ways a breach of the duty of care could occur;

  • A misdiagnosis – a medical practitioner could misdiagnose an injury which means the wrong treatment plan is set in place. This could lead to complications and may even result in impaired vision. However to be able to claim medical negligence the doctor must have been negligent when diagnosing you.
  • Not recognising a serious eye issue – because they failed to listen to your symptoms. If a medical professional fails to spot the seriousness of an eye injury, it could have severe consequences. The condition could worsen over time making it that much harder to treat
  • A failed laser eye surgery – should the practitioner make a mistake when carrying out laser eye surgery, the consequences can be devastating. A mistake could occur during a procedure, or during the aftercare
  • A failure to schedule further treatment – any sort of delay in a treatment plan can result in an eye injury getting worse
  • Not providing the correct, or appropriate advice to patients on the benefits, risks as well as other treatment options
  • A cataract, vitreoretinal, or corneal surgery negligence
  • A negligent delay in diagnosing and treating Temporal Arteritis
  • Negligently misdiagnosing an ophthalmic condition (examples – Acute Angle Glaucoma or retinal detachment)
  • Not diagnosing, treating, or monitoring ophthalmic diseases
  • Failing to associate clear  symptoms of an eye issue that could result in a brain tumour
  • Negligently misdiagnosing cancerous cells within the eye

Knowing if there has been a breach of duty is not always clear. There is a test that applies to certain medical negligence cases known as the Bolam Test. This asks a group of the physicians’ peers to determine if the doctor acted accordingly. If they agree the doctor acted within the correct standards the case may not be valid.

If you have any questions about your case, an experienced adviser will provide free advice on eye injury claims and whether you have good reason to sue for medical negligence compensation.

Delayed Treatment Or Delayed Surgery

When there is a delay in treatment or surgery, medical negligence could apply if the following applies:

  • Treatment was delayed because the doctor failed to notice clear signs of an eye condition.
  • The doctor did not listen to the patients symptoms so failed to diagnose any condition.
  • Patients records were mixed up so the treatment appointments went to the wrong patient
  • Due to a negligent misdiagnosis the patient’s surgery took longer to happen
  • Tests were not carried out promptly once a patient shows symptoms that a competent medical practitioner would have recognised as significant
  • Tests are incorrectly carried out which results in delayed treatment and surgery
  • A failure to interpret test results
  • A treatment plan is not set in place in a reasonable amount of time

If you have any questions about claiming compensation or you would like to know how to start a negligence eye injury claim, please call an adviser today.

Misdiagnosis Of Eye Conditions

A misdiagnosis of an eye condition can have far-reaching effects on a person’s life. It could negatively impact their ability to work and may even be life-altering. Not all misdiagnosis will mean a physician has been negligent. If a doctor has adhered to their duty of care and acted within professional standards then a case for medical negligence would not be valid. That said let’s look at how diagnosis issues can arise;

Misdiagnosis due to medical negligence:

  • An incorrect or missed diagnosis – this is when a medical practitioner fails to diagnose or spot the symptoms of a health condition or an illness when another physician with the same training would have. This leads to any treatment the patient needs being delayed. This can cause their condition to deteriorate much more than it would have had the diagnosis been correct.
  • A misdiagnosis- this is also referred to as a ‘delayed diagnosis’ and happens when a medical practitioner fails to identify a patient’s condition even though clear signs were present. This can mean a patient is treated with medication they do not need. They may experience ill effects of the medication. But also their condition is not treated and may worsen.

To have your eye injury claim assessed today for free call our claims team on the number you will find above. They will talk you through the process of a medical negligence claim letting you know if your case has a good foundation.

Failed Eye Surgery Or Laser Eye Surgery

Having any surgical procedure may mean you suffer an injury such as at the incision site or maybe you are unwell afterwards. This can all just be the effects of the procedure. But when harm could have been avoided had the right practices been followed it may be that medical negligence has occurred.  Preventable injuries could include

  • Long-term vision issues because the surgeon was not fully trained
  • Corneal scarring because the wrong procedure was used
  • Deterioration of vision following surgery due to infection because of unhygienic tools
  • Total loss of vision

When you undergo any sort of eye surgery, you should expect a certain amount of minor pain, discomfort, blurred vision, and sensitivity following a procedure. However, if you experience more severe and longer-lasting symptoms, you must seek medical attention as soon as possible.

To discuss your case with one of our friendly advisers, please get in touch by calling the number at the top of the page.

Failures To Diagnose Diseases And Other Conditions

A medical negligence claim can be made if a practitioner failed to diagnose a health issue or disease during an examination because they acted in a negligent manner. This could include conditions like:

  • Ocular cancer
  • A condition that could have been successfully treated if it was caught earlier

If you or a loved one suffered unnecessarily because an underlying health issue or a disease was not diagnosed in time when it could have been, please reach out to a member of our team today. We provide free advice and will review your case before recommending on how best to proceed.

Common Eye Injuries And Conditions

Below you will find some of the more common eye conditions;

AMD Age-related Macular Degeneration

Age-related Macular Degeneration or AMD affects the middle part of a person’s vision. It is a common condition that affects anyone in their 50s and 60s.

Cataract Diagnosis And Treatment

As people age, they can develop cataracts which negatively impacts their vision. The solution may be to undergo cataract surgery. Risks of surgery:

Whilst most of the complications listed above can be successfully treated with further surgery and medication.

Diabetic Retinopathy Diagnosis And Treatment

If you are diabetic, you are at risk of developing diabetic retinopathy. High blood sugar levels damage the eye. The damage can happen when larger blood vessels bleed into the eye. It can result in a detached retina in advanced cases.

When the condition is caught early enough, treatment can help reduce the loss of vision or prevent the loss of vision. If the condition is not treated, misdiagnosed or undiagnosed, it can lead to total loss of vision.

If you or a loved one developed diabetic retinopathy, and a medical practitioner failed to recognise the condition because they failed to recognise your symptoms even though they were clear, discuss your case with one of our advisers, please get in touch by calling the number at the top of the page.

Retinitis Pigmentosa And Other Genetic Conditions

Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) refers to a group of inherited eye conditions which are known as retinal dystrophies. The condition negatively impacts the retina which is found at the back of the eye. Over time, it stops things from working as they should. In short, RP causes gradual damage which reduces your ability to see. But there may have been a breakthrough that allows people to keep the site that they have when they are treated please see the link above.

Charles Bonnet Syndrome

Anyone who is losing their sight may be at risk of developing Charles Bonnet Syndrome (CBS). It is a relatively common condition that causes people who have lost much of their vision to see things that are not really there. This is known as ‘visual hallucinations’.

Fortunately, these ‘hallucinations’ are temporary and only last for a while, but it can prove distressing.

Presently, no treatment for Charles Bonnet syndrome exists. Also, although there is no actual medication available to stop the hallucinations, a few medications which are used to treat conditions like Parkinson’s disease, dementia, and epilepsy have shown to be effective when treating some people with CBS.

Above are conditions that affect the eyes. If medical negligence occurs it can make a condition you already have worse or create a totally new one. To hold a valid eye injury claim you must be able to prove that the physician treating you acted in a negligent manner. Medical evidence needs to be able to establish that this negligent treatment led to you suffering harm that would not have otherwise happened.

Medical Negligence Claim Time Limits

The statutory time limit associated with medical negligence claims means you generally have 3 years to file legal proceedings. The deadline to seeking medical negligence compensation is:

  • 3 years from when you became aware of the harm caused through medical negligence

The reason for the different time limits is because a victim of medical negligence may not be aware of the harm they suffered straight away. Furthermore, the damage caused through a misdiagnosis may only become apparent years later. The time limit for suing the NHS for medical negligence is the same as above.

There are exceptions to the 3-year deadline which are:

  • Where children are concerned, the 3-year time limit starts as soon as the child turns 18 years of age. If a claim is brought why the claimant is under 18 a litigation friend needs to pursue it on behalf of the child.
  • If the claimant lacks the mental capacity to claim or suffers brain damages, or a mental illness, they are deemed ‘protected parties’. As such, there is no time limit to when they can make a negligence claim. A litigation friend can be appointed, or a claim can be made when/if they recover and the time limit of 3 years would then start
  • When a person dies due to medical negligence, their family has 3 years from the date of their loved one’s death to file a claim.

Please reach out to one of our experienced, friendly advisers to find out if you have a valid claim for medical negligence. We provide free advice and our telephone lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Eye Injury Settlement Amounts

The harm that has been caused to your eye, and the long-term affects you might suffer, will be taken into consideration when calculating your compensation. Because of the importance of an eye to a person’s everyday functions, eye injury payouts can be significant.

Compensation will be calculated based on two effects of your injury, namely:

  • The pain and distress of your injury
  • The financial losses you have suffered as a result

Compensation for the pain and distress would be awarded under general damages. Using the example of an eye puncture injury, you could seek compensation for the pain of such an injury, and the mental distress caused.

We have included some example figures for general damages for an eye injury by using the injuries and figures listed in the April 2022 edition of the Judicial College Guidelines. This is the publication commonly used to help legal professionals calculate injuries.

Injury/harm causedSeverityPotential compensation payout
General Psychiatric InjurySevere£54,830 to £115,730
General Psychiatric InjuryModerately Severe£19,070 to £54,830
General Psychiatric InjuryModerate £5,860 to £19,070
Injury to eyeTotal blindness and deafnessIn the region of
Injury to eyeTotal blindnessIn the region of
Injury to eyeTotal loss of one eye£54,830 to £65,710

Injury to eyeComplete loss of vision in one eye£49,270 to £54,830
Injury to eyeMinor eye injuries£3,950 to £8,730

If your affected eye had led to financial losses, you could seek compensation for your financial needs under special damages.

This can address losses such as:

  • Loss of earnings
  • Care costs
  • Costs towards adaptation, to cope with your lack of sight

Our advisers could help you right now by valuing your claim and offering you an estimate for compensation. To discuss your eye injury, or settlement amounts that have been reached in previous claims please reach out to one of our advisers now.

No Win No Fee Eye Injury Claims For Medical Negligence

No Win No Fee eye injury claims can be made once your case has been thoroughly assessed by a qualified and experienced medical negligence lawyer. When a solicitor agrees to represent you on a No Win No Fee basis, you don’t have to worry about paying them upfront or ongoing fees to pay them while the case progresses.

You only pay a No Win No Fee lawyer when you receive medical negligence compensation. In short, you pay the solicitor when you win your claim and the ‘success fee’ is deducted from the amount you receive.

If for any reason you lose your claim, you do not have to pay the No Win No Fee solicitor for the services they provided.

To discuss your case with one of our experienced advisers, and to find out whether you have good cause to sue for medical negligence compensation, please get in touch today.

How We Can Help

You can contact a member of our team in several ways. An experienced and friendly adviser can be reached by:

Our phone lines are open 24/7 days and an adviser will provide free advice on how best to go forward with a medical negligence claim.

Statistics On The Cost Of Clinical Negligence

The annual cost of harm caused by clinical negligence for the period 2019 to 2020 stood at £8.3 billion which showed a decrease from the previous year when it was £8.8 billion (2018/19). These figures were covered by the ‘Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts’.

Source: https://resolution.nhs.uk/2020/07/16/nhs-resolutions-annual-report-and-accounts-2019-20/

Clinical Negligence Claim Resources

Below, you can find links to all of our medical negligence claims guides:

Medical Negligence FAQs

Could I claim for a child or another person?

Yes. You can be appointed as a Litigation Friend if you are claiming on behalf of a child. In England and Wales, the law allows for a Litigation Friend to be appointed to a child when they are under 18 years of age.

Will the solicitor need to see my medical records?

For your solicitor to ensure you are fully compensated for all the suffering caused by medical negligence they will need medical proof. That said, you must give your express consent for this to happen.

How long will my case take to payout?

It would depend on the complexity of eye injury claims as to how long it would take to receive a compensation payout. Some cases are settled within months, whereas more complex medical negligence claims can take years to settle.

Guide by Honey

Edited by LisM.