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Retinal Tears and Detached Retinas After an Accident

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Retinal Tears and Detached Retinas After an Accident


The retina is a thin layer of tissue within the eye that is composed of glial cells and photoreceptor cells. Located in the rear of the eye, the retina is responsible for capturing photons and transmitting them on neural pathways as chemical and electrical signals. This helps the brain with perceiving a visual image via the optic nerve. When a tear forms in the retina, it may increase the risk of severe vision loss and retinal detachment. The longer that this ocular condition goes untreated, the higher the risk for permanent loss of vision. That is why it is essential to seek immediate medical treatment after trauma to the eye for a favorable prognosis.

Did you suffer a retinal tear or detached retina in an accident? Our experienced personal injury lawyers in California can help you seek fair compensation for your lost income, medical bills, and other losses. Call now for free, friendly advice on your case at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400.

Since 1982, our law firm has successfully represented clients in personal injury and wrongful death matters. Whether you are suffering from a retinal tear or a detached retina after a serious crash, we have the experience, skills, and resources necessary to build a strong case on your behalf. When you turn to our legal team for assistance, we will provide you with the compassion and attention you need in this difficult situation. Our family at AutoAccident.com will treat you like a member of our own family and will stop at nothing to obtain the fair compensation you need to put this life-changing incident behind you. Get started now with a free case evaluation and learn more about how we can help.

What are the Common Causes of Retinal Tears and Detached Retinas?

Like tears of the retina, retinal detachment may occur from the vitreous fibers tearing a hole in the retina as they pull away. The accumulation of fluid beneath the retina may occur gradually and result in a greater risk of retinal detachment. Conversely, the formation of scar tissue on the retina may also cause a detachment over time. Blunt trauma to the eye may also contribute to a detached retina. For additional information on ocular conditions and treatment, it is essential to see an ophthalmologist for further evaluation.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of a Retinal Tear or Detached Retina?

A patient presenting with an acute retinal tear may experience symptoms that are comparable to those of a detached retina. Both conditions are often painless and may produce symptoms such as:

  • A formation of a shadow over the visual field often described as a curtain effect
  • The sudden appearance of specks that travel through the field of vision
  • Photopsia or flashes of light in both eyes or in one of the eyes
  • Gradual reduction in peripheral vision

As with any ocular condition, such as a retinal detachment, it is crucial to seek immediate medical attention when experiencing any of the warning signs mentioned above. This condition is a medical emergency because of the potential for permanent vision loss.

What are the Three Types of Retinal Detachment?

Following are the three categories of retinal detachment:

  • Exudative: When there are no tears or holes in the retina, but there is an accumulation of fluid beneath it, this is categorized as an exudative detachment. This is generally attributed to inflammatory disorders or tumors, trauma to the eye, and macular degeneration with aging.
  • Rhegmatogenous: Among the most common retinal detachments are rhegmatogenous. These are generally caused by a tear or hole in the retina. This results in the passing of fluid through the retina and the accumulation of fluid underneath it. Over time, this may cause the retina to pull away from underlying tissues. Vision loss occurs from the loss of blood supply in locations where the retina has detached. The most common reason for this type of detachment is aging.
  • Tractional: When a formation of scar tissue occurs on the surface of the retina, this causes the pulling of the retina from the back of the eye. This is categorized as a tractional detachment and is most often seen in patients with poorly managed diabetes and with other health conditions.
How is a Retinal Tear or Detached Retina Treated?

When diagnostic testing through a 3-mirror lens or a scleral depression confirms a retinal tear promptly before it progresses into a detached retina, the prognosis is generally good. Treatment of a retinal tear is performed in an office setting and may include cryotherapy or a laser. Mild discomfort may occur from the procedure because of the utilization of local or topical anesthesia. Ongoing monitoring is crucial after the treatment of a tear in the retina because of the risk of developing additional retinal tears.

In cases where a retinal tear develops into a detached retina, a patient may require surgical management to repair it. This is preferably done within days of a retinal detachment diagnosis. Various factors may have an influence on a surgeon’s recommendation for the type of surgery, such as the severity of the detachment. After a surgical procedure, it may take several months for an improvement in vision. In other cases, a patient may require a second surgery for successful management. However, it is possible for a patient to never regain all their lost vision. That is why it is recommended to join support groups to speak with others who are also experiencing vision loss from a detached retina or retinal detachment.

There are a few surgical options for the management of a detached retina. Pneumatic retinopexy involves the injection of gas or air into the eye, specifically the vitreous cavity, to stop the flow of fluid into the area behind the retina. During this procedure, a surgeon may perform retinal cryopexy to repair the break in the retina. Scleral buckling is another type of surgery intended to indent the surface of the eye to relieve some of the pressure resulting from the tugging of the retina by the vitreous. Vitrectomy involves the draining and replacement of fluid in the eye to help flatten the retina, and this procedure may be combined with scleral buckling.

Importance of Medical Treatment After an Accident Resulting in Traumatic Injuries

Seeking immediate medical treatment after an accident is crucial to protecting you and your health. Aside from this, prompt medical care also has a considerable influence on a personal injury claim and its outcome. That is because the insurance company representing the other side or even your own will attempt to use it against you when you try to settle your injury case or in court. Claims adjusters are trained to look for reasons that may be referenced when downplaying the value of a case. When it comes to a delay in medical treatment for traumatic injuries such as retinal tears and detached retinas, the insurance carrier or defense counsel will undoubtedly argue that the claimant is not as badly injured as they claim to be. Conversely, the other side may also make arguments such as the reported injuries are attributed to a pre-existing health condition or have resulted from other factors outside of the incident.

In addition to immediate medical care, it is also essential to keep up with follow-up visits for further evaluation. For instance, if the physician refers an injured party to an ophthalmologist for the treatment of a retinal tear or detached retina, it is crucial that they schedule a consultation with the eye specialist and follow the orders from the physician. Failure to follow the recommendations set out by the treating physician may cause the insurance company to question the severity of accident-related injuries. If there are gaps in medical care, the insurer or defense counsel may also use that information as a way of downplaying the value of the injury case or outright denying it. That is why it is a good idea to keep up with doctor’s appointments, follow their directives, and tell your physician about your symptoms. This way, all this information is well-documented in your medical records, a form of evidence that is key when it comes to a personal injury case for an accident.

What Types of Damages are Recoverable?

After negligence has been proven on the part of the other side, a personal injury claim may be brought forward to seek compensation for economic and non-economic damages. These consider the intangible and financial losses that have resulted from accident-related injuries, such as retinal tears and detached retinas. Failure to establish that the other party was responsible for the incident may possibly leave the injured individual on the hook for their losses. That is why it is crucial to gather and preserve as much evidence as possible to prove negligence. Recoverable economic and non-economic damages in personal injury cases may include but are not limited to:

Depending on the facts and circumstances of the car accident case, punitive damages may be sought in addition to non-economic and economic damages. If an injured party works with a retinal tear attorney, they can depend on their injury lawyer to collect evidence demonstrating that the other side engaged in egregious conduct leading up to the incident, such as DUI and excessive speeding. This will help a judge or jury determine an appropriate award for punitive damages to punish the at-fault party for their egregious actions. Watch the video below for more information on bodily injury claims and the factors that may influence them.

How Long Do You Have to Bring a Personal Injury Case?

Personal injury cases in California are subject to a two-year statute of limitations. This means that the claim must be settled with the other side, or a lawsuit must be filed in civil court to protect the statute. Failure to follow this may result in the dismissal of the case by the court. Given that there are strict filing criteria and deadlines in these cases, it is essential to have all aspects of your detached retina or retinal tear case handled by a skilled personal injury lawyer in California.

Contact a Retinal Tear Attorney Today

An injury from an accident, such as a retinal detachment or detached retina, may cause significant disruptions in your life and that of your loved ones. When the incident was the result of someone else’s negligence, our personal injury law firm can help you hold the other side accountable and obtain the favorable results you deserve. Our legal team is dedicated to securing fair compensation on behalf of our clients and our Settlements and Verdicts are a testament to that. Get started now with free, friendly advice on your case from one of our experienced retinal detachment lawyers at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400. Our family at AutoAccident.com is here for you and your family.

Photo Attribution: By “cocoparisienne” via Pixabay

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