Laser eye surgery has become the preferred alternative for people who have certain vision problems but who find glasses and contact lenses inconvenient or ineffective. This procedure involves removing a layer of the cornea – the transparent covering of the iris – using a laser. The modern procedure is known as LASIK. The vast majority of people who choose to undergo laser eye surgery find the procedure immensely beneficial and experience minimal discomfort and side effects, which usually diminish gradually over the months following the operation.
However, as with any other surgery, the safety and effectiveness of laser eye surgery varies considerably from one patient to another and a small percentage of patients do develop complications or adverse outcomes.
The likelihood for adverse outcomes may by higher in patients who have certain pre-existing risk factors. Doctors are expected to screen patients for these risk factors and communicate with patients before going ahead with the procedure so that the patient is aware of all of the potential risks of the proposed surgery. In the event of an adverse outcome, if the potential risks had not been communicated to you before you agreed to the treatment, you may have a case for filing a laser eye surgery claim.
Difference Between Expected And Unexpected Adverse Laser Eye Surgery Outcomes
Some adverse outcomes, such as minor pain, sensitivity and blurred vision, are expected after a laser eye procedure, but these symptoms should typically be mild and temporary. Anything more severe or long-lasting is considered unacceptable. Some of the unexpected and unacceptable symptoms of laser eye surgery include:
- Long-term double vision
- Permanent corneal scarring
- Pathological dilation of cornea, known in medical terms as ectasia
- Ongoing deterioration of eyesight post surgery
- Complete loss of vision
Laser eye surgery claims usually arise when a patient has not received the acceptable standard of medical care and as a result of the sub-standard care there has been an adverse effect.
Filing A Laser Eye Surgery Claim – What You Can Claim For
You may be entitled to file for compensation in case of any surgical error or negligently performed surgery that results in any kind of permanent damage or disability. This would include any of the above mentioned unacceptable outcomes.
As a general rule, for a laser eye surgery claim to be successful, it is important to establish that the errors during the procedure would not reasonably have occurred if the same procedure was conducted by another competent medical professional. Your personal injury solicitor will need to prove that the treatment you received fell below acceptable standards and that the treatment has caused you the harm or injury for which you are claiming compensation.
Filing A Laser Eye Surgery Claim –What Is Involved
If you think you have been at the receiving end of negligent treatment and would like to file a claim for compensation, the first thing you need to do is find yourself a personal injury solicitor to represent you. Filing a compensation claim by yourself is not as simple and straightforward as it may seem. If you are not fully conversant with the prevailing legal statutes, you could actually jeopardise your otherwise strong case if you try to proceed without the help of a legal expert.
There are several key stages in filing a laser eye surgery claim:
You will first need to procure all copies of your medical and optician records and give them to your lawyer, who will study them in detail.
Your solicitor will get a specialist ophthalmic expert to examine your records and your condition thoroughly and establish whether or not the treatment was negligent in any way and whether it caused your injury.
Your solicitor will then seek expert opinion regarding the nature and extent of your injuries. This will allow them to arrive at a correct evaluation of the compensation due to you. The compensation calculation will include all of your medical expenses for and after the procedure, all present and future losses related to enforced leave of absence of work and any additional expenses you may have had to incur as a direct result of the surgery. If the injury is so severe that you are unable to continue at your present job and are forced to resign, you could be entitled to claim for compensation for loss of earnings up to your age of retirement.
To make sure that you get the compensation due to you, it is important to hire an experienced and reliable personal injury solicitor who has a reputation of looking out for the best interests of their client.