Imagine the world without your sight – whether it’s navigating the roadways of St. Petersburg to witness the stunning sunsets of its beautiful beaches or simply enjoying everyday activities at home, nothing would be the same. Unfortunately, car accidents can inflict damage or injury to our eyes, leaving a serious impact on our lives.
Whether it’s a minor fender bender or a serious collision, there are a multitude of ways that the eyes can be directly impacted.
Understanding the Impact of Car Crashes on Vision
When it comes to car accidents, the delicate nature of our eyes makes them susceptible to injuries. Let’s explore the different ways car accidents can impact vision to gain a deeper understanding of the potential consequences:
Direct trauma to the eyes
The forceful impact of a collision causes parts of the car to shatter. This may propel debris, such as shards of glass, metal fragments, or bits of plastic into the eyes. This can lead to something as minor as irritation or more serious injuries such as corneal abrasions or even a puncture of the eyeball itself.
Head, nerve, and brain injuries
In addition to eye injuries themselves, head injuries can indirectly cause vision problems. The jarring motion of a crash can result in concussions or traumatic brain injuries (TBI). This severe force can affect the neural pathways or the visual processing centers in the brain and lead to vision impairment.
Whiplash and its impact on vision
Whiplash can also have a significant impact on vision. This is because whiplash can strain the muscles, ligament, and cervical vertebrae in the neck, leading to pressure or pinching of the nerves. Many nerves in the neck affect our vision, so a whiplash-related neck injury can lead to substantial effects on vision function. These are usually related to balance and unsteadiness, which lead to changes in vision.
Common Vision-Related Issues Following A Car Crash
There are quite a few general symptoms of vision problems to look out for. If you experience any of these, it’s important to mention them promptly to a medical professional so they can be assessed. Be sure they know your recent history of a car accident so they can be sure to factor in everything correctly.
Blurriness and double vision
Following a car accident, it is not uncommon for individuals to experience blurriness in their vision. This blurriness can present itself as a haze in front of them or the inability to focus properly on objects. Double vision, also known as diplopia, occurs when a person sees two images of something instead of one. This makes it incredibly challenging to navigate their surroundings with accuracy and confidence.
Sensitivity to light or glare
Car accidents can also result in increased sensitivity to light or glare. Even seemingly ordinary light sources, such as sunlight or headlights, can become unbearable to tolerate. This sensitivity, known as photophobia, causes discomfort or pain when exposed to bright lights. People experiencing this symptom may find themselves shielding their eyes or avoiding well-lit environments altogether.
Eye pain or headaches
One of the most commonly observed vision-related complaints after a car crash is persistent eye pain or headaches. The trauma endured during an accident can strain the muscles around the eyes and contribute to tension headaches or building pressure within the eyes themselves. These painful sensations can be debilitating, causing difficulty concentrating on tasks and overall discomfort.
Types of Injuries Contributing to Vision Changes
There are lots of injuries that can cause changes in vision following a car accident. These injuries can affect different parts of the eye, leading to visual changes and potential long-term consequences. The most common types of injuries contributing to vision changes include:
Corneal abrasions and infections
In a car crash, debris or flying objects can cause scratches or damage to the cornea. The cornea is the clear, protective outer layer of the eye. Corneal abrasions or infections (ulcerations) can arise as a result of direct trauma during impact, causing discomfort, blurred vision, and increased sensitivity to light.
Traumatic iritis refers to inflammation of the iris – the colored part of the eye surrounding the pupil. It occurs when an injury damages the iris or other nearby structures within the eye. Symptoms may include redness, blurred vision, light sensitivity, and eye pain.
Think of the retina as the camera of your eye. It’s a vital tissue lining the back of the eye that captures visual information. During a car accident, rapid deceleration or blunt force trauma can lead to retinal detachment. This condition occurs when the retina detaches from its normal position, causing a sudden decrease in vision or even blindness, in certain cases.
Optic nerve damage
The optic nerve is what sends visual information back to the brain. It is the essential part that transmits visual signals from the retina to the brain. Any substantial head trauma sustained during an accident may result in optic nerve damage. This type of injury can cause partial or complete loss of vision in one or both eyes.
Eye socket fractures
Facial fractures around the eye socket (orbit) can impact both bone structure and the delicate tissues within it. If these fractures directly affect structures supporting visual function such as muscles, nerves, or blood vessels, they can contribute to vision changes or even complete loss of sight.
Seeking Prompt Medical Assessment and Care
After a car accident, your well-being should be a priority. In all aspects of your health including your vision, immediate medical attention is essential for several reasons. One of the most important reasons is something regarding your personal injury protection (PIP) insurance – it’s known as the 14-day rule. After a car accident, you need your medical examinations to be done within 14 days or you will forfeit your right to compensation. Therefore, seeking a swift medical once-over is important to protect not only potential vision-related issues caused by the accident but also the ability to have their costs covered. Check with a St. Petersburg car accident attorney as quickly as possible to have them make sure all your paperwork is in order
Why it’s medically important to see a doctor ASAP
Getting a quick medical assessment is vital because certain eye injuries may not show symptoms right away. The changes to vision may show up some days later and can worsen over time if left unnoticed or untreated. Additionally, the visit will provide necessary documentation of your injuries and treatment. This contributes to establishing a clear link between the accident and the visual changes you experience. These medical documents will be essential so your St. Petersburg car accident attorney can make sure your bills get maximum coverage.
Why keeping medical records is so important
Accurate documentation of medical expenses is vital in successfully claiming compensation for vision-related injuries. Without them, your St. Petersburg car accident attorney can’t help you get back your medical costs. It is crucial to retain all relevant bills, invoices, receipts, prescription details, doctor’s reports, medical test results, therapy records, and any other supporting documents verifying incurred expenses.
Furthermore, be sure to maintain a detailed record of how your visual impairment has impacted your daily life. The more comprehensive and detailed your documentation, the stronger your case can be for your St. Petersburg car accident attorney helping you get compensation.
Specific Tests And Exams For Evaluating Changes In Vision
To assess any changes in your vision following a car accident and determine the nature and severity of your injuries. Healthcare professionals will conduct specific tests and examinations and the records of these will be used by your St. Petersburg car accident attorney. Some common evaluations include:
Visual acuity test
This test measures how well you can see at various distances using an eye chart. By checking over your ability to read different-sized letters or numbers from a specific distance, visual acuity testing helps identify any sharpness or clarity issues in your vision.
A slit lamp is an instrument that uses a bright light to allow close examination of the structures at the front of the eye including the cornea, iris, lens, and conjunctiva. This examination assists in diagnosing corneal abrasions or ulcerations, identifying signs of inflammation, and assessing overall eye health.
A comprehensive retinal examination involves assessing the back portion of the eye (retina) which plays a crucial role in vision. Healthcare professionals may utilize specialized tools and techniques such as ophthalmoscopy or retinal photography to examine the retina’s condition, identify possible retinal detachments or tears, check blood vessel abnormalities, and observe any other signs affecting visual function.
Compensation for Vision-Related Injuries
When it comes to vision-related injuries resulting from a car accident, getting the best possible care can be seriously pricey. Talk to a St. Petersburg car accident attorney if you need further help to understand what damages may be claimed.
This includes all expenses for medical assessment, treatment, diagnostics, surgeries, medications, therapy, and transportation costs to get to these services.
Lost wages and future earnings
If your vision impairment affects your ability to work or future career growth or earning capacity, you may seek compensation for the wages lost during recovery and future earnings.
Pain and suffering
Vision-related injuries can cause physical pain, mental anguish, and loss of quality of life. Compensation for pain and suffering aims to provide consolation for these intangible losses caused by your visual impairment.
Contact A St. Petersburg Car Accident Attorney For A Free Consultation
The role of a St. Petersburg car accident attorney is incredibly important for a successful claim after a collision. Reach out to our team of experienced and compassionate lawyers today for your free consultation.
Legal matters are not easy to handle, especially when you’re facing problems with your eyesight. Having expert legal counsel look over your case allows them to explain your rights after experiencing changes in vision post-car accident. They handle all the nitty-gritty and difficult paperwork, allowing you to focus on your recovery. While you heal, they handle all the details of building a strong case to seek compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.