If you suffered a job-related eye injury while working in California, you can pursue workers’ compensation to pay for medical treatment and lost wages. However, the process of securing benefits isn’t as straightforward as you would hope. In a situation like this, you’re not alone. You have rights as an injured worker, and we intend to help you uphold them.
A workers’ compensation lawyer with our firm can explain your rights for eye injuries and help you recover the workers’ comp benefits you need and deserve. KJT Law Group offers free case reviews where you can connect with our team and learn more. Dial (818) 507-8525 to get started.
What Job-Related Eye Injuries Qualify for Workers’ Compensation?
Every employer in California must provide employees with workers’ compensation insurance coverage. According to LAB § 3600, this coverage pays for injuries and illnesses “arising out of and in the course of the employment,” regardless of whether negligence was a factor.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that over 18,500 workers suffered work-related eye injuries or illnesses in 2020. Types of injuries that could merit workers’ compensation benefits include:
- Corneal abrasions
- Chemical exposure or burns
- Thermal burns
- Iris inflammation
- Ocular trauma
- Penetrating injuries
- Retinal detachment
- Vision loss
- Black eyes or orbital bone fractures due to blunt-force trauma
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), workers can contract eye diseases if the mucous membranes in the eye come into contact with blood, saliva, bodily fluids, or a contaminated finger or object. Whether you suffered an eye-related injury or illness, you can seek workers’ compensation benefits from your employer’s insurer.
Available Workers’ Compensation for Eye Injuries
In general, workers’ compensation benefits for eye injuries include the following:
- Medical expenses. Workers’ compensation should provide payment for reasonable and necessary medical bills related to your eye injury, including emergency treatment, surgeries, hospital stays, medications, and nursing services.
- Temporary disability. If you cannot work while recovering from your eye injury, temporary disability benefits provide up to two-thirds of your average weekly wage until you reach maximum medical improvement.
- Permanent disability. If you suffered permanent damage to your eye, you can collect permanent disability benefits, even if you can return to your job or perform another type of work. How much you receive is based on a schedule that considers your occupation, age, and illness or injury.
If your loved one suffered a fatal eye injury, workers’ compensation will pay death benefits to qualifying survivors to compensate for their lost wages. Coverage will also pay up to $10,000 in funeral and burial expenses.
What Is the Average Workers’ Compensation Settlement for an Eye Injury?
The National Safety Council (NSC) reports that the average payout for all workers’ compensation claims in 2019 and 2020 was around $41,000. More specifically, claims for facial injuries averaged about $33,000. The value of your workers’ comp benefits will vary depending on:
- The severity of your eye injury
- How long your injury prevents you from working
- Whether you will make a full recovery
- Your age at the time of injury
- Your current wages
- Whether you wore proper eye protection
- Whether you suffered full or partial vision loss
How Long Do You Have to File an Eye Injury Claim?
You should immediately report your workplace eye injury to your employer and file your claim within 30 days of its occurrence to protect your right to benefits. Your employer’s insurer should remit payment (or notify you of a denied claim) within 90 days.
Can You Sue for Eye Injury Damages?
You can take legal action if your employer’s insurer refuses to fully and fairly pay your claim. In addition, you may have grounds for a personal injury claim or lawsuit against a liable third party, such as a property owner or subcontractor. A personal injury case will allow you to recover awards not available through workers’ comp, including pain, suffering, and the cost of various out-of-pocket expenses.
If you must take legal action, you generally have two years to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit in California under CCP § 335.1. Failure to file before the deadline will likely result in the court refusing to take your case.
Why Work With a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer?
After suffering a workplace injury, you can try to navigate the workers’ compensation system alone. However, doing so can quickly become overwhelming, especially if the insurance company disputes your injury or denies your claim.
A workers’ compensation attorney with our firm can guide, serve, and protect you while fighting for the maximum compensation possible for your severe eye injury. We can handle every detail of your claim so you can focus on your health and recovery. If we cannot secure fair compensation through a settlement, we will not back down from taking your case to civil court if necessary.
Contact Us About Your Eye Injury at Work Claim
Call KJT Law Group at (818) 507-8525 to begin a risk-free, no-cost consultation. Our personal injury lawyers can answer questions about your workers’ compensation rights and explain more about our contingency-fee-payment structure.