An estimated 30 million Americans have experienced a loss of hearing. Another 22.5 million have suffered a loss in vision. Some of these cases are due to genetics, diseases, age, or other conditions that may be specific to the person. However, there are other instances in which the loss of sight or hearing was caused by the negligent actions of another. If you or someone you love has experienced visual or auditory losses and believe negligence may have been the cause, the following information can help you better understand your legal rights, including your right to pursue compensation.
Hearing Loss and Negligence
Loss of hearing, whether partial or complete, can greatly change the way a person interacts and communicates with the world around them. For example, if someone experiences a partial loss of hearing, they may be less apt to hear a noise that might indicate a potential danger (i.e. an approaching car, etc.). If they suffer from complete loss of hearing, they may need to learn a whole new way to communicate, such as learning sign language and/or learning how to read lips.
Of course, not all instances of hearing loss are caused by negligence. Some are simply due to genetic factors or age. Others may experience an accident in which negligence was not a factor. However, there are negligence accidents that can and do contribute to hearing loss. Examples may include:
- Work injuries caused by an employer who failed to provide the proper safety gear;
- A slip and fall accident, work accident, or auto accident that results in traumatic brain injury;
- Shrapnel or other trajectories that damage the inner ear during an auto accident or work injury;
- Tumors or infections that went undiagnosed by a doctor (medical negligence); and
- Damage to the inner ear bones during an auto accident, work injury, or slip and fall injury.
Blindness and Negligence
Like those who experience a hearing loss, individuals who are rendered blind lose some of their ability to interact with the world around them. The implications are different, however. Blindness, either partial or complete, can take away a person’s ability to drive or perform certain daily living activities on their own. Further, they often experience an extended period of time in which they must learn how to protect themselves from further injury due to a loss of sight. Examples of blindness due to negligence may include:
- An auto accident, work injury, or slip and fall injury that results in traumatic brain injury;
- Shrapnel/trajectories that damage the eye during an auto accident or work injury;
- Chemical exposure to the eye due to a lack of safety gear on the job;
- Medical negligence or pharmaceutical negligence; and
- Lack of oxygen during a heart attack or drowning that may be related to negligence.
Understanding Your Rights
While hearing loss or blindness that does not contain an element of negligence may be considered a tragedy, it may not necessarily lead to a personal injury lawsuit. In contrast, instances involving negligence on the part of an employer, physician, another driver, or even a business or company can and do sometimes constitute the pursuit of compensation. In these instances, it is important to seek the assistance of an experienced attorney.
If you or someone you love has suffered partial or complete blindness or hearing loss because of negligence, contact our Kane County personal injury lawyers. Dedicated to your best interests, we will fight to get you the most compensation you deserve. We offer personalized consultations and will stand by your side every step of the way. Call us today at 630-907-0909 to learn more.