Some work injures are more devastating and traumatic than others. Many injuries do heal with time and with proper medical care. Some injuries never heal. The worst injuries change your life forever. Losing your vision in one or both eyes doesn’t just affect your ability to work. Blindness affects your ability to enjoy your family, perform daily routine tasks, to drive, to read, and to just enjoy life. Because loss of vision is so life-altering, the Pennsylvania workers’ compensation laws provide that workers are entitled to special benefits if they lose their eyesight.
Regardless of whether the employee can return to work or not, if you lose your sight, you are entitled to 2/3 of your average weekly wages for a 10-week initial healing period and another 275 weeks thereafter. The payment does not depend on whether you are partially or completely blind. Any loss of vision is compensable. Loss of vision includes blindness, the loss of an eye, or becoming legally blind to a workplace accident. The payments for vision loss can be paid in a lump sum payment or paid out on a weekly basis.
If the worker loses his/her sight because of facial trauma that causes disfigurement, then the worker can claim additional scheduled loss benefits because of the disfigurement. Injured workers are also entitled to see eye physicians who might reasonably be able to help the worker see better, even if marginally, than they could without medical help.
Employees who lose their sight may also be entitled to:
- Vocational rehabilitation expenses so they can learn a new job and learn how to read Braille
- Transportation expenses because they can’t drive to work
- The use and training of a seeing eye dog
- Computer training and technology that allows the worker with reduced or no vision the ability to communicate and perform work-related tasks
Other practical expenses to help the worker who has lost the ability to see may also be granted.
Types of workplace accidents that can cause vision loss
Injured workers do not need to prove their lost eyesight was due to negligence or carelessness by the employer or by a failure to follow safety rules. If the loss of sight was due to a workplace accident, then the employee should be entitled to benefits. Some of the ways eye accidents happen at work include:
- Being struck with some object, such as glass shards, wood splinters, nails from a nail gun, or any small object
- A traumatic brain injury
- Exposure to tiny amounts of silica or sawdust
- Ultraviolet or other types of radiation
- Exposure to lasers or excessive light
- An explosion of any type of product
- Chemical burns and spills
Many work-related injuries entitle to you damages over and above your lost time for work. To learn if your injury qualifies for additional money, please contact Larry Pitt & Associates. Our Philadelphia workers’ compensation attorneys fight to get you every dollar you deserve. We are skilled at tackling the tough cases. For help now, please call us at 888.PITT.LAW or fill out our contact form to review your claim. We see employees who were injured in Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Montgomery, Delaware, or Berks County.