Construction workers have one of the most dangerous occupations and face the risk of injury daily. Unfortunately, some of the most common injuries that occur are those involving the eyes. Regardless of whether protective eyewear is worn, thousands of eye injuries happen each day due to particles scraping the eyes, objects penetrating the eyes, and chemical burns. While construction workers may be entitled to pursue Workers’ Compensation if they suffer an eye injury on the job, they may also be able to file a lawsuit against a third party who should be held accountable.
Common Eye Injuries on Construction Sites
Many activities on construction sites can result in eye injuries if proper precautions are not taken. Carpenters, plumbers, electricians, welders, and laborers are all at severe risk of eye injuries due to blunt force trauma from falling objects or debris. Injuries can also be caused by materials entering the eye and exposure to toxic chemicals — such as gasses, compounds, and fumes — that can damage all parts of the eye.
Some common eye injuries that occur on construction sites include the following:
- Impact injuries from dirt or debris
- Contusions and abrasions
- Corneal scratches
- Fractures to the bone surrounding the eye
- Lacerations to the eyelid
- Hyphema (bleeding between the cornea and iris)
- Flash burns
- Chemical burns
Construction-related eye injuries can cause partial, total, or permanent vision loss. It’s critical for construction workers to wear OSHA-approved fitted eyewear and goggles. It might also be necessary to wear side shields or full face shields to protect from exposure to impact or blunt trauma. However, even if all safety measures are in place and protective gear is provided, devastating accidents can still result in serious injury to the eyes.
Compensation for Construction Accident Eye Injuries
Construction accident eye injuries resulting in vision loss can be disruptive, life-changing, and painful. Not only can an eye injury result in physical suffering — but also economic loss. A worker might require costly and extensive medical treatment, in addition to losing time from work. Although Workers’ Compensation provides a certain amount of financial relief, it is usually not enough to cover the full extent of a worker’s losses. It also does not compensate for pain and suffering.
A construction worker cannot sue their employer because of New York’s Workers’ Compensation laws. However, there is often a third party on a construction site who should be held accountable for the negligence that led to the injury. By filing a personal injury action for their eye injury, a construction worker may be eligible to recover both their economic and non-economic losses from a responsible third party.
Economic damages are meant to compensate workers for their unreimbursed medical expenses, lost wages, and out-of-pocket costs incurred due to the accident. Non-economic damages (commonly referred to as “pain and suffering”) were designed to compensate workers for the physical pain and mental suffering they experienced in connection with their injuries.
Contact an Experienced New York Personal Injury Attorney
If you sustained eye injuries in a construction accident, you may be entitled to monetary recovery in a personal injury lawsuit. It’s crucial to have a knowledgeable personal injury attorney by your side who can assist you with recovering the compensation you deserve. The attorneys at the Dearie Law Firm, P.C. are dedicated to fighting for the rights of construction workers who have been injured by another’s negligence and obtaining the maximum compensation available in each client’s unique case. The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. has convenient office locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx, as well as mobile locations serving Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, the Bronx, Staten Island, Westchester County, Rockland County, Nassau County, and Suffolk County. Contact us today for a consultation.