Car Crash Caused Floaters in Man's Eye ($330,000)

Denise Fullerton obtained a $330,000 settlement for a man that suffered injury to his eye from a car crash. A 54 year old man was injured in a moderate impact rear-end collision in freeway slow-down traffic. The day after the collision, he noticed a floater in his right eye. The floaters increased, and examination revealed lattice degeneration of the retina and a posterior vitreous detachment in his right eye. He then developed a haze in his right eye. A retinal hole was detected at the edge of his lattice degeneration. A vitreoretinal specialist diagnosed superior retinal flap tear, lattice degeneration, and vitreous opacities. He underwent laser photocoagulation to repair the tear and lattice degeneration.

The floaters and blurred vision continued, so he underwent vitrectomy. Within six months of this procedure, he developed an early cataract in his right eye, and his vision was 20/40 at best, even with correction. He underwent cataract surgery and posterior chamber lens implant in his right eye. Following this surgery, he was ansiometropic (one eye nearsighted, and one farsighted) and could not wear glasses to correct his vision. He was also suffering residual mydriasis (excessive dilation of the pupil), causing glare and light sensitivity.

Uneven eyebrows exacerbated the nerves’ response to the light sensitivity and atonic pupil. He was fitted with peripherally tinted lenses on the right side to reduce the glare and halo, and also the asymmetry between the pupils. The lenses did not correct the problem, so he underwent natural lens removal with implantation of an intraocular lens of his left eye to even out the refractions. Due to continued glare, he had a brow lift to even out the eyes’ response to light. He was again fit with peripherally tinted lens on the right side to reduce some of the glare and halo and also the asymmetry between the pupils.

He is expected to wear these special lenses the remainder of his life, which need to be replaced annually. The difference between the size of his pupils is apparent, and draws unwanted attention. Prior to this collision, he worked for an airline, and was at times required to use a 10 power magnifier to verify parts. While the eye injury affected his work activities, he did not suffer lost earnings other than to attend medical appointments. Medical expenses were approximately $40,000. Liability and causation were undisputed. The settlement represents $250,000 from the underlying carrier, and $80,000 from his underinsured motorist carrier.

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