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Eye Injuries and Medical Malpractice

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Our eyes play an important role in our everyday lives. Without our eyes, we would be unable to do many of the activities that we take for granted on a daily basis. Unfortunately, many people sustain serious eye injuries as a result of a negligent eye doctor. These individuals may be able to file a medical malpractice claim to recover compensation for their medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Here’s everything you need to know about eye injuries and medical malpractice:

What Does An Eye Doctor Do?

There are two types of eye doctors: optometrists and ophthalmologists. Optometrists have earned Doctor of Optometry (DO) degrees and are able to diagnose vision problems and prescribe glasses and contact lenses.

Ophthalmologists can either be medical doctors (MD) or doctors of osteopathic medicine (DO). These medical professionals are trained to conduct eye exams, diagnose health conditions, prescribe medications to treat eye diseases, and perform eye surgeries. Ophthalmologists go through more training than optometrists, which is why they are able to do more once they are practicing medical professionals.

The type of doctor that you see will depend on the reason for your visit. Patients who have eye problems such as glaucoma, cataracts, or macular degeneration should visit ophthalmologists since they are highly trained professionals who have experience treating these conditions. If you are in need of surgery, you will also need to visit an ophthalmologist. Patients who are just in need of an eye exam or a new prescription for contact lenses or eyeglasses can see either type of doctor.

Common Causes of Medical Malpractice

Patients can become victims of medical malpractice committed by an eye doctor in a number of ways. Some of the most common reasons why eye doctors are sued for medical malpractice include:

Misdiagnosis

Eye doctors should be able to spot issues with a patient’s eyes during a routine eye exam. However, many doctors fail to properly diagnose a patient’s condition. In fact, this is the leading cause of medical malpractice not just among eye doctors, but throughout the entire healthcare industry.

Patients who are diagnosed with the wrong condition may suffer injuries because the actual condition that they have is not treated in a timely manner. In addition, patients who are given the wrong diagnosis may undergo unnecessary treatment that could cause them further harm.

Infections

Doctors must be extremely careful when treating patients who have recently had eye surgery. This is because the eye is incredibly vulnerable to infections, and once an infection forms, it quickly spreads and affects other areas of the body. Unfortunately, some patients develop infections when their eye doctor fails to properly sanitize equipment before using it to examine an eye after an operation.

Surgical Errors

Medical malpractice can also be committed while a doctor is performing surgery. Some of the most common surgical errors that eye doctors make include performing surgery on the wrong eye, damaging other areas of the eye, using tools that have not been sanitized, and performing operations that are not necessary.

Informed Consent

Eye doctors must inform patients of any risks associated with a procedure or surgery prior to beginning treatment. In addition, a doctor must tell the patient what he thinks will happen to her eyes if she does not perform the suggested procedure. Doctors must also go over alternatives to the proposed treatment and discuss the advantages and risks of these procedures as well. This is done so the patient can decide whether to go through with the treatment after learning about the potential risks involved. If a doctor fails to give a patient this information, he can be sued for medical malpractice if the patient is injured during the treatment.

Most Common Injuries Caused by Medical Malpractice

Patients who are victims of medical malpractice committed by an eye doctor can suffer serious injuries as a result of the doctor’s negligence. Some of the most common injuries that these patients can sustain include:

Blindness

An eye doctor’s mistake could cause a patient to partially or completely lose his ability to see. This can have a significant impact on a patient’s life and affect his ability to work and live independently.

Infections

Eye doctors who negligently use tools that have not been sanitized are putting their patients at risk of developing serious eye infections. If the infection is not detected and treated quickly, it can spread to other areas of the body or become so severe that the patient loses the affected eye.

Blurry Vision

Sometimes, medical malpractice victims suffer from permanent blurry vision instead of going completely blind. Living with permanent blurry vision can be incredibly unpleasant and affect the victim’s ability to operate a vehicle, keep a job, and participate in the activities he enjoyed prior to the injury.

Other Vision Issues

Besides going blind or suffering from blurry vision, patients can also experience issues with depth perception and color detection due to a negligent eye doctor.

Proving Medical Malpractice

It’s important to note that every error made by an eye doctor is not necessarily medical malpractice. In order to prove that medical malpractice occurred, you must be able to show that the doctor was negligent. A doctor was negligent if another competent doctor would not have made the same mistake under similar circumstances. Proving what a competent doctor would do may sound simple, but it can be rather complicated. To determine if your case involved negligence, it’s best to speak to an attorney as soon as possible after the incident.

If you have been injured by an eye doctor’s negligence, contact Trial Lawyers for Justice today to schedule a consultation regarding your case. Our team of attorneys will immediately begin to investigate to determine if the eye doctor was negligent so we can help you recover the compensation you deserve.

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Trial by Human

Nick Rowley founded Trial by Human, a nationwide legal education course to help trial lawyers improve their skills in the courtroom by "being human".