If you have suffered any injury because of a misdiagnosis or negligent treatment by an optician, you may be able to claim compensation for optician negligence. The best way to start is by speaking to a personal injury solicitor to determine your right to pursue an optician negligence claim.
What Constitutes Optician Negligence?
Opticians specialise in correcting vision by designing and fitting customised eyeglasses and contact lenses for their customers. They do this according to the prescription written out by an optometrist or ophthalmologist. They also help their customers choose the best style of glasses or contact lenses taking into consideration their special needs with regards to tinting, sports activities and other factors. In addition to designing and fitting eyeglasses, opticians may also conduct eye check-ups and recommend corrective treatments if necessary.
Staying updated on latest medical technologies, best practices and relevant legalities is also part of an optician’s responsibilities. This ensures that they provide their customers with the best care possible. Sometimes however, things can and do go wrong.
Any action or inaction on the part of an optician that results in some type of eye injury is considered as negligence. The eyes are extremely delicate. Even the smallest error can cause some degree of vision impairment. In its mildest form, this could lead to temporary partial blindness. In a worst-case scenario, this could cause permanent total blindness.
Some examples of optician negligence claims might include:
- Failure to identify an existing eye condition – Overlooking an eye problem could prevent you from receiving timely corrective treatment. The longer a vision-related problem goes undiagnosed and untreated, the more serious it can become.
- Misdiagnosis – Incorrectly diagnosing you with a different problem can result in you receiving the wrong treatment. This can create a different set of problems while also leaving the existing condition undiagnosed and untreated.
- Delayed treatment – Delaying or postponing the necessary eye treatment for whatever reason may also cause the existing condition to worsen.
- Using unsanitary tools while performing eye examinations – Unsanitary tools can result in an infection that could damage your eyesight.
- Inaccurate prescription – Prescribing the wrong strength lenses for eyeglasses or contact lenses can make it difficult for you to see clearly and may also cause further damage your eyesight. Wearing the wrong strength lenses can cause several different problems from blurred vision, eye strain, poor night vision and dry eyes to headaches, migraines and double vision.
Making An Optician Negligence Claim
An optician negligence claim is a specific type of medical negligence claim. To make a successful optician negligence claim, you must be able to prove that the treatment you received did not meet reasonable standards of care and that your injury was the direct result of this substandard care.
Contacting a medical negligence solicitor for free advice gives you the opportunity to discus the circumstances around your claim and get their professional opinion. If they conclude you should make an optician negligence claim the solicitor can then build a strong case to get you compensation.
Another benefit of having a medical negligence solicitor to represent you is that claiming for optician negligence can be a long drawn process, involving several months of investigation and discussions before reaching any type of settlement. This can be extremely stressful, especially when you might still be dealing with vision problems. With a solicitor handling your claim, you will be able to take the time to focus on your treatment and recovery knowing that your legal rights are being looked after by an expert.
Last but certainly not least is the fact that a medical negligence solicitor can also help to fund your claim using a No Win No Fee contract. This allows you to get expert legal help without paying any upfront fee.
How Much Compensation For Optician Negligence?
Several factors go into calculating the amount of compensation for optician negligence.
These are some of the factors that are taken into consideration:
- Total medical expenses for all treatments directly related to damage resulting from the negligence.
- Cost of visual aids if necessary.
- All travel expenses related to ongoing medical treatments.
- Loss of wages and perks from being unable to work either temporarily or permanently due to injuries resulting from the optician negligence.
- Loss of amenity to compensate you from being unable to pursue pastimes/ hobbies.
In addition, you will also be compensated for general pain and suffering.
As you may have gathered, there isn’t a definitive answer to how much compensation you could claim for optician negligence without factoring in every detail. However, by using the compensation calculator provided below, you should get some idea of the levels of compensation that can be awarded in personal injury claims relating to general damages (pain and suffering).
A solicitor would need to add up any costs related to special damages (where applicable) to provide a better estimation. If you’re unsure of what general damages and special damages are, the difference between the two is explained on this advice page.
If you have a complaint against an optician and would like a free consultation on making an optician negligence claim, and find out how much compensation your claim might be worth, please call our advisors on 0800 6524 881.
Optician Negligence Claims Time Limit
There is a time limit of 3 years for filing an optician negligence claim. The 3 years starts from the date that the negligence occurred or 3 years from the date that you were aware that your injuries were caused due to the negligence. If you do not file your claim before the time limit, you may risk losing any compensation that may have been due to you.
Putting together a medical negligence claim can take more time than you might think. If you think your injury was due to optician negligence, you should contact a medical negligence solicitor as early as possible so your optician negligence claim can be filed before the 3-year statute of limitations.