Loss of Sight Compensation Claims
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by loss of sight we can help.
The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered loss of sight and is considering a legal claim for compensation. If you are looking for medical advice, please see the NHS website.
In our guide to claiming
loss of sight compensation:
According to the charity Action for Blind People, around two million people in the UK are living with some degree of sight 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.
Typical loss of sight accidents
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 claims 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 face.
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.
Do I have a loss of sight claim?
As a basic rule, you will be eligible to make a loss of sight claim if you sustained an injury:
- within the last three years, and;
- another person was to blame, and;
- that person owed you a duty of care.
Injury claim eligibility - Common questions
What if a child was injured?
The 3 year rule does not apply to minors.
A claim can be pursued for anyone under the age of 18 by a parent, guardian or litigation friend. The injured child has up to the age of 21 to start a loss of sight claim on their own behalf.
What if I don't know who was to blame?
You should contact a solicitor as soon as possible to discuss your options. Specialist lawyers have years of experience identifying the responsible party in cases where liability is uncertain.
The amount of money you could claim for your loss of sight will depend on:
- the extent 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 loss of sight has affected your life. Your solicitor will take all of these effects into account to calculate the correct compensation award for you.
This calculation will factor in 'general damages' and 'special damages'.
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.
Special damages are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.
What can I claim for after a loss of sight? (see list)
Examples of special damages (losses you can claim for) include:
- Lost earnings (including future earnings)
- Medical treatment costs
- Travel costs
- Costs of care
- Costs of adapting your home or car
Loss of sight compensation amounts
The following loss of sight payouts refer to the Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases, Fifteenth Edition by the Judicial College.These tables are used by solicitors or by the courts as a starting point when calculating your compensation.
|Eye injury||Minor||Temporary eye injury||£1,760 to £3,150|
|Eye injury||Minor||Minor eye injury||£3,150 to £6,960|
|Eye injury||Moderate||Minor but permanent loss of vision in one or both eyes||£7,270 to £16,720|
|Eye injury||Serious||Serious loss of vision in one eye||£18,880 to £31,320|
|Eye injury||Serious||Complete loss of sight in one eye||£39,270 to £43,710|
|Eye injury||Severe||Total loss of one eye||£43,710 to £52,360|
|Eye injury||Severe||Loss of one eye with reduced vision in the other eye||£50,970 to £84,510|
|Eye injury||Severe||Loss of sight in one eye with deteriorating vision in the other eye||£76,510 to £143,270|
|Eye injury||Very Severe||Total blindness||£214,210 to £214,250|
|Eye injury||Very Severe||Total blindness and deafness||Around £322,060|
How is compensation calculated if I have multiple injuries?
If you have sustained multiple injuries, the compensation amounts are not simply added together.
The upper bracket of the most serious injury may be considered as a starting point, with a reduced amount applied for the other less severe injuries.
General damages for a life-altering eye injury can be £50,000
For a less severe scarring, in isolation, you would typically receive £3,500.
However, if you have a life-altering eye injury and a less severe scarring, you would typically receive £50,000 + a reduced percentage of £3,500.
Special damages, such as loss of earnings are not usually increased if you have multiple injuries. Read more about multiple injury claims.
What is the average injury compensation for a loss of sight claim?
The Judicial College injury tables give a approximate idea of the ranges awarded for different injuries.
However, the money you would receive following a loss of sight will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.
Your loss of sight compensation will be calculated based on the unique impact your injuries have had on your life and your ability to work, and on the actual financial losses you have incurred as a result of your injuries.
See the injury table above for some examples.
Should I set up a personal injury trust?
If you are receiving means-tested benefits and are awarded compensation following a loss of sight injury, your benefits could be affected. In order to ring fence your compensation and protecting your benefits, you may be able to set up a "Personal Injury Trust" or "PI Trust". Read more: Should I set up a personal injury trust?
Calculate my loss of sight compensation
Calculating how much compensation you can claim for a loss of sight injury can be complicated.
Our injury compensation calculator tells you if you may have a claim, how much compensation you could claim, and what you can claim for.
Find out what your loss of sight claim could be worth now:
How long does a loss of sight claim take?
How long it can take to win compensation for loss of sight can vary significantly.
A simple liability accepted injury claim could be settled in a month or two. If liability is denied, however, it could take considerably longer. On average an injury claim should take 4 to 9 months. See more: How long will my claim take?
Caring and sensitive support
Your solicitor will handle your loss of sight claim from the initial consultation through to the financial settlement. In addition, your solicitor will work with other specialists to help you with:
- Financial support: interim payments while you are unable to work.
- Advice: on personal injury trusts, tax and welfare benefits.
- Coordination: with rehabilitation providers and therapists.
- Access: to treatment and therapies not always available on the NHS.
How did your injury occur?
The claims process that your solicitor follows will vary, depending on how the injury occurred:
How does no win, no fee work?
With a no win, no fee agreement, your solicitor agrees that you will have no legal fees to pay if your claim is not successful.
Our no win, no fee guarantee
If you have been injured and someone else was to blame (even partially), our no win, no fee guarantee takes the risk out of claiming compensation for your loss of sight injury. Read more about making a No win, no fee claim
What do I pay if I win my loss of sight claim?
Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, after your compensation is awarded. The solicitor's success fee can be up to 25%. You and your solicitor can agree the success fee before you start your claim.
What do I pay if I do not win my loss of sight claim?
If your loss of sight claim is not successful then you do not have to pay any legal fees whatsoever. Your solicitor may take out insurance to ensure there will be nothing to pay.
Can I get Legal Aid?
Legal aid is no longer available when making a personal injury claim, but a Conditional Fee Agreement (No Win, No Fee) can reduce the financial risks of making a claim.
How can Quittance help?
Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, and the highly-experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning injury claims.
If you have any questions, or would like to start a No Win No Fee claim, we are open 8am to 9pm weekdays, 9am to 6pm on Saturday, and 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday.
Call us FREE 0800 376 1001 or arrange a callback:
if you can claim
to start a claim
Loss of sight FAQ's
Can I claim for someone else?
Yes. In certain circumstances, it is possible to claim compensation on behalf of another person in the capacity of a 'litigation friend'.
If an injured person is either too young or vulnerable, too injured or otherwise unable to claim on their own behalf, their litigation friend can handle the claim process on behalf of the injured person.
The litigation friend will be responsible for communicating with the solicitors, and for making decisions in respect of the claim.
Can I claim if I was partly responsible for an accident?
You may still be able to claim compensation even if you contributed to your accident or to your injuries.
However, if you were partly to blame (known as contributory negligence), your compensation may be reduced and it may be more difficult to prove liability.
How long do I have to make a loss of sight claim?
In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the loss of sight to make an injury claim.
The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your loss of sight claim becomes 'statute barred'.
Can I claim for a loss of sight after 3 years?
Possibly. The general rule for adults is that a claim must be started within three years.
However, the three-year countdown starts on the day you learned of your injury or illness. This will usually be the date of the accident, but could be the date your doctor gave you a diagnosis.
If you were injured as a child, you do have up until your 21st birthday to make a claim.
There other circumstances that can also impact the limitation date. Call us now on 0800 376 1001 to find out if you are still able to claim loss of sight compensation.
In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether a loss of sight claim will be taken on by a solicitor.
Will I have to go to court?
Highly unlikely. The vast majority of claims that are settled by the solicitor panel are settled out of court.
Only a very small percentage (approx. 5%) of personal injury claims go to court. Generally, only very complex cases, or those where liability cannot be resolved, end up in court.
Cases that do ultimately go to court are held in front of a judge, not a jury.
Will I have to go to a solicitor's office?
No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. As with most professional services, it is no longer necessary to meet face to face with your solicitor. Personal injury claims are dealt with via email, post and telephone.
Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.
Can I get an early compensation payment?
If you suffer financial hardship as a result of an injury, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.
An interim payment is a partial settlement of your claim which is paid before your claim is concluded. The amount you receive in interim payments would then be deducted from your final compensation settlement or award.
Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor
About the author
Howard qualified as a solicitor in 1984 and has specialised in personal injury for over 25 years. He is a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and is a recognised Law Society Personal Injury Panel expert.