If an injury has set you back, we'll help you move forward
Losing sight due to injury or negligence is life-changing, leading t compensation claims that cover medical costs, adaptive technologies for blindness, loss of income, and the profound personal impact of sight loss.
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by loss of sight, we can help. If your injuries were caused by someone else's actions or negligence, you may be entitled to claim compensation.
You can make a compensation claim with the help and support of a personal injury solicitor.
In this article
You are not alone
According to the charity Action for Blind People, around two million people in the UK are living with some degree of vision loss. This figure includes 360,000 people who are registered blind or partially sighted.
The Health and Safety Executive consider any accident that results in "any injury likely to lead to permanent loss of sight or reduction in sight" to be a 'reportable incident' under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations.
Whether you are an employee or member of the public, if you have sustained a loss of sight as the result of another party's negligence, you may be eligible to claim compensation.
If you decide to make a loss of sight claim, your personal injury solicitor will take you through every step of the claims process. Your solicitor will be with you until you win your claim and get the compensation you deserve.
Do I have a loss of sight claim?
If you've been injured in an accident that was caused another person or organisation in the last 3 years, you will be entitled to make a claim for financial compensation.
Find out online if you can claim with our injury claim calculator. Alternatively, you can speak to a claims advisor on 0800 376 1001 and find out if you have a claim in minutes.
Is a claim still possible if I was partly responsible for my injury?
Understanding who is legally at fault for an accident often requires navigating through a maze of legal complexities.
Each year, Quittance carries out a survey of potential claimants. In our 2023 Personal Injury Claimant Survey, 13.99% of respondents felt they might be at least partly to blame for their injuries.
Claims are possible even when your actions partially caused the accident. In instances of 'contributory negligence', claims are usually settled with a split liability agreement.
How long do I have to start a loss of sight claim?
In most cases, you have 3 years from the date of your accident or injury.
If you were injured due to someone else's negligence but didn't realise it at the time, the clock starts ticking from the 'date of knowledge' - the day you become aware of your injury.
If you were injured when you were under 18, a parent, guardian or adult 'litigation friend' can make a claim on your behalf. Once you turn 18, you have until your 21st birthday to start an injury claim.
How much compensation can I claim for a loss of sight?
The amount of money you could claim for your injury will depend on:
- the seriousness of your injury, and
- any financial losses or costs you have incurred.
At the start of your claim, your solicitor will consider the many ways your injuries have affected your life. Your solicitor will take these considerations into account to calculate the correct compensation award.
Loss of sight
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Updated December 2023
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General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA).
Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.
If it can be proved that your injury left you unable to work, special damages can be awarded for any lost earnings, loss of commission or bonuses, and loss of pension contributions. It may also be possible to claim for loss of future earnings, if the medical prognosis establishes that you won't be able to work for any period in the future.
These damages will also cover the cost of any medical procedures you might need to treat or recover from your loss of sight such as surgery if needed, medication, assistive devices and vision therapy.
Typical accidents leading to blindness
Injury solicitors have dealt with a wide range of accident claims that have resulted in full or partial blindness. In the majority of cases, it is the extent of the injury rather than the circumstances of the accident that determine the amount of compensation payable.
The circumstances of the accident may, however, have a bearing on the likelihood of a claim's success:
Accidents that cause a head injury can also cause sight problems if certain areas the eyes or brain are damaged. Solicitors have assisted with eye injury claims relating to road traffic accidents, falls from height and criminal assault.
Objects penetrating the eye
Objects hitting an individuals face are a common cause of vision loss, particularly in a work context. The Courts recognise that flying debris from machinery at work or dust, grit and other particles can cause serious injury if protective eye wear is not worn.
Inadequate personal protective equipment (PPE) is likely to be strong evidence of an employer's negligence.
Chemical injuries and burns
Certain chemicals can cause chemical burns serious enough to affect sight if they come into contact with the eyes.
Specific legislation imposes a duty on employers to minimise their employee's skin and eye contact when handling these chemicals at work.
Exposure to dangerously bright lights such as the sparks from welding torches, lasers, searchlights or explosions can cause temporary or permanent loss of sight. The risk of damage increases if safety goggles are not worn.
Complications may arise during laser eye surgery or a doctor may fail to diagnose an eye problem. Although rare, these errors may cause loss of sight to a patient.
Establishing liability for a loss of sight claim?
Where the accident occurs in the workplace, the claim will be brought against the employer. By law, employers must take responsible steps to eliminate hazards in the workplace and generally providing a safe working environment. They must also comply with specific health and safety rules regarding:
- The safe handling of chemicals
- Providing personal protective equipment such as safety goggles where there is a risk of injury from chemical splashes, dust and smoke and hard hats where there is a risk of falling objects
- The safe operation of work machinery such as fitting guards to prevent flying debris.
Employers who do not observe the appropriate health and safety laws may be liable if the worker suffers an accident and loses their sight as a result.
Determining who is legally responsible for other types of accident depends on the nature of the accident and the law that surrounds accidents of the type that caused the injuries. The injury lawyer will gather evidence to show that:
- The defendant owed the claimant a duty of care
- The defendant did something, or failed to do something, which breached that duty
- The defendant's actions caused the loss of sight.
The sight does not have to be permanently or wholly damaged for a claim to be successful.
Claims may also be brought for temporary or partial loss of sight.
Average loss of sight general damages compensation
The following loss of sight payouts refer to the Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases, Sixteenth Edition by the Judicial College.These tables are used by solicitors or by the courts as a starting point when calculating your compensation.
Please note: these average figures represent general damages only, and do not include any element of special damages (e.g. lost wages).
|Eye injury||Minor||Temporary eye injury||£2,000 to £3,590|
|Eye injury||Minor||Minor eye injury||£3,590 to £7,940|
|Eye injury||Moderate||Minor but permanent loss of vision in one or both eyes||£8,280 to £19,070|
|Eye injury||Serious||Serious loss of vision in one eye||£21,530 to £35,760|
|Eye injury||Serious||Complete loss of sight in one eye||£44,790 to £49,850|
|Eye injury||Severe||Total loss of one eye||£49,850 to £59,740|
|Eye injury||Severe||Loss of one eye with reduced vision in the other eye||£87,260 to £163,430|
|Eye injury||Severe||Loss of sight in one eye with deteriorating vision in the other eye||£87,260 to £163,430|
|Eye injury||Very Severe||Total blindness||Around £244,290|
|Eye injury||Very Severe||Total blindness and deafness||Around £367,260|
Can I claim for PTS or other psychological trauma?
Although psychiatric injuries are less obvious than physical injuries and illness, mental health conditions can be no less debilitating.
Our 2023 Personal Injury Claimant Survey found that 29.03% of claimants reported a psychological injury, with 70.97% of these relating to a physical injury.
A loss of sight (or the potential for blindness in the future) often has significant psychological impact, including anxiety and grief for lost independence and lifestyle changes.
A specialist solicitor will consider psychological harm when calculating your compensation. Psychiatric injuries are recognised in the official guidelines for compensation, and the cost of treatment and other mental health support should be included in your compensation award or settlement.
Our compensation calculator can estimate your compensation for psychological injuries. Or you can call us on 0800 376 1001 to speak to a specialist advisor.
Claiming compensation for a loss of sight is dependent on how your injury occurred. Click the icons below for more detail:
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About the author
Gaynor Haliday is an experienced legal researcher and published author. She has had numerous articles published in the press and is a legal industry commentator.