Eye Injury Compensation Lawyers

We are expert compensation lawyers with offices across Queensland including Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and major regional centres. Free initial advice and 100% risk-free claims with no upfront costs and our No Win, No Fee, No Catch® promise.


If you've suffered an eye injury on the road, at work or in a public place in Queensland, you may be entitled to compensation if someone else is at fault. Accidents can happen to anyone, and when they involve an injury to the eye, the consequences can be severe and life-changing.

On the page, we'll give you an overview of the claims process in Queensland, your rights, common causes and types of eye injuries, how to lodge a claim, time limits and frequently asked questions

Smith’s Lawyers offer free initial advice and no-obligation appointments at home, in hospital, in-office or via phone. We operate Queensland-wide, and all claims have no upfront costs or risks of being left out of pocket under our No Win, No Fee, No Catch® promise.

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Understanding Your Rights After an Eye Injury in Queensland

If you've sustained an eye injury due to a car accident, work incident or in a public place, it's essential to understand your rights about lodging a compensation claim.

Queensland's personal injury laws specifically provide rights to individuals who have encountered such incidents. 

  • Car Accident: You have the right to claim personal injury compensation from the Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurer of the at-fault vehicle.
  • Work Accident: Australian employers must provide a safe work environment. If you've sustained an eye injury at work, you may be entitled to make a statutory workers compensation claim via WorkCover Queensland or your employer's insurer if they are self-insured. You can also make a common law claim if your employer was negligent, for instance, if insufficient equipment resulted in your injury. 
  • Public Place Injury: If you got injured when you were out and about, you could have grounds for a common law claim against the local public liability insurer. 

If you believe you might be entitled to a claim, Smith's Lawyers can help guide you through the process.

What is an Eye Injury?

An eye injury refers to any damage or harm inflicted to the eye, including the surrounding areas like the orbit (bony socket) and the eyelids. These injuries can range in severity from minor scratches and irritations to traumatic incidents causing harm to key visual components, such as the cornea, iris, lens, retina, or optic nerve. Some eye injuries can even lead to significant vision loss or total blindness if not treated promptly and appropriately.

Common Causes of Eye Injuries

When it comes to eye injuries, a wide range of incidents can result in serious harm not only to the eye itself but also to the surrounding facial area.

Some common causes include:  

  • Road accidents: Flying debris from shattered windows can cause severe eye injuries. Even in minor car accidents, you could suffer serious trauma if airbags deploy incorrectly or don't deploy at all. The sudden force can result in retinal detachment or even fractures in the bones around the eye. 
  • Lack of protective equipment: Not having or improperly using safety gear can lead to foreign bodies in the eyes or splashes of harmful substances causing chemical burns.
  • Falling objects: Sudden blows from something hitting you from a height or accidental impact with stationary objects could result in bruising and swelling around the eye – or worse, a fracture to the eye socket.
  • Poor lighting: Areas where it's difficult to see could result in a fall or walking into something that injures your eye.
  • Sports and Recreation: From flying cricket balls to errant golf clubs, sports come with inherent eye risks. Protective eyewear like sports goggles or visors are crucial for minimising injuries.
Common Types of Eye Injuries

Eye injuries are an unfortunate but common occurrence that can happen due to a variety of reasons. 

Here are some common types of eye injury:

  • Corneal abrasions (scratched eye): These are scratches or scrapes on the clear surface of the eye, often caused by things like fingernails or sand. They can be quite painful and cause blurry vision, but usually heal well with proper care.
  • Foreign object interference: Getting something stuck in your eye, like dust, a lash or even a tiny insect, can be irritating and uncomfortable. According to WorkSafe Australia, foreign objects in the eyes make up around nine per cent of all non-fatal claims in the manufacturing industry. 
  • Chemical burns: Splashes of chemicals, acids or even fertilisers can cause serious damage to the eye. Even if the eye is flushed with clean water right away, you might still encounter pain or discomfort afterward.
  • Blunt force trauma: A blow to the eye from a ball, fist, or car airbag can cause a variety of injuries, including black eyes, retinal detachment, and even fractures of the eye socket.

Be sure to reach out to a medical professional if you suffer from any of these eye injuries to ensure the situation does not worsen.

Workers Most At Risk of Eye Injuries

While anyone can experience an eye injury, certain occupations inherently carry a higher risk.

In Queensland, with its diverse range of industries, some workers must be extra vigilant about eye safety. 

Here are some of the occupations most susceptible to eye injuries:

  • Manufacturing: This industry tops the list of most workplace claims, according to a report by Safe Work Australia. Working with machinery, chemicals, and sharp objects puts factory workers and assemblers at high risk. Chemical splashes, flying particles, and equipment malfunctions can all lead to eye injuries.
  • Construction: Welders, carpenters, bricklayers, and labourers are particularly at risk as they are exposed to flying debris and sparks from tools and hazardous materials.
  • Agriculture and Forestry: Exposure to branches, flying debris from machinery and chemicals used in fertilisers and pesticides makes farmers, loggers and landscapers vulnerable to eye injuries. 
  • Healthcare: These workers, particularly surgeons, dentists and lab technicians, often work with lasers, needles and hazardous materials, increasing their risk of eye injuries. 
  • Service Industry: Even seemingly "safe" jobs like chefs, hairdressers and mechanics can pose risks. Cooking sprays, hair chemicals and flying tools can all be harmful to the eyes.

To check your compensation entitlements, request a free case review with our expert lawyers.

Understanding The Compensation Claims Process

Before you start the eye injury claims process, speak to a doctor who will diagnose and keep a record of your injury. Your next step will be to speak to a lawyer to prepare, lodge, and follow the claim.

Below is an outline of the steps involved: 

1. Seek Free Initial Legal Advice

The first step is to get in touch with a law firm that specialises in compensation claims for injuries. Such a firm will have the necessary expertise and understanding of the complexities of Queensland law and can confirm your legal options, including eligibility to make a claim.

2. Engage A Personal Injury Lawyer

After an initial phone assessment, the next stage is a no-obligation consultation to explain the process and client agreement in more detail and to gather initial key information relating to your accident and injury to help assess your case and your injury and identify the liable party. The client agreement will also be explained so you can understand the terms under which the personal injury law operates. Smith’s Lawyers runs all claims risk-free with no upfront costs.

3. Gather Evidence To Build Your Case

Once your compensation matter is opened, you will be allocated a personal injury lawyer who will start gathering the required evidence to build a strong case and to determine liability. This may include medical reports, accident reports, witness statements, CCTV or dashcam footage or documentation of any loss of earnings due to your injury. Further down the track, when your injuries have settled, your law firm may arrange for independent medical assessments such as occupational therapy assessment to assess your ability to work, long-term recovery prospects and so on.

4. File Your Claim

Your personal injury solicitor will lodge a notice of claim and negotiate on your behalf with the liable parties, typically with their insurance companies (or their legal representatives), such as the CTP insurer of the at-fault party for car and road accidents or WorkCover Qld for workplace accidents. 

5. Negotiate With The At-Fault Party's Insurer

Negotiations with the insurance company aim to reach a fair settlement that covers your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.

Most cases are settled out of court in a compulsory conference, an office-based meeting involving yourself, your personal injury solicitor and a barrister they have engaged in leading the negotiations along with the legal representatives of the at-fault party's insurer. 

In the unlikely event that a settlement cannot be negotiated out of court, proceedings can proceed to court. In most ‘no win, no fee’ agreements, you could be liable for the other side's legal costs if your case is unsuccessful in court. Smith’s Lawyers No Win, No Fee, No Catch® promise protects you from this risk and means you can not be out of pocket.

6. Settlement Payment

If your claim is successful, you will receive a lump-sum tax-free compensation settlement. The amount received will depend on different factors, including the severity of your injury, any impact on your earning capacity, and any medical expenses incurred. Legal fees are charged for the work completed only if there is a successful outcome.

Seek expert advice ASAP: Remember, each case is unique, and the process can vary based on the specifics. It's suggested to seek professional legal advice and have your case reviewed by an expert team to guide you in this journey. Smith's Lawyers are experts in personal injury claims and offer a Queensland-wide service with free initial advice to get you started in your claim process.

What Evidence Do I Need To Support My Eye Injury Claim?

When it comes to securing an eye injury compensation claim in Queensland, gathering robust evidence is a key step. This evidence will serve as the foundation of your claim, helping to establish both the accident's circumstances and the impact it has had on your life.

Here are some types of evidence that can strengthen your case when claiming compensation: 

  • Medical Reports: These documents from your treating doctors and medical professionals will outline the severity of your eye injury, the treatment required, and the potential for future complications. It's recommended you keep a thorough record of all medical appointments and treatments related to your injury.
  • Details of Expense: Receipts, bills, and other records of costs relating to your eye injury should be meticulously compiled. This can be medical costs, travel expenses for treatment, or any modification costs for ophthalmic aids or home modifications.
  • Witness Testimonies: First-hand accounts from bystanders, coworkers, or anyone else who witnessed the incident can reinforce your version of events. They may provide important details about the conditions at the time of the accident and how it happened.
  • Proof of Accident: Whether it be a police report, workplace incident report, or photographs and videos from the scene, these documents can illustrate the facts of the incident, conclusively linking the accident to your injury.
  • Proof of Lost Earnings: If your eye injury has meant time off work, or you’ve been unable to resume your previous role, providing proof of lost income is essential. You can use pay slips, tax returns, or letters from your employer to demonstrate any financial hardship experienced as a consequence of your injury.

Each case is unique, so it's crucial to consult the experts who are well-versed in injury law like the team at Smith’s Lawyers. Your lawyer will provide guidance on what additional evidence could strengthen your claim based on the specifics of your case.

Calculating Your Compensation Amount

Your eye injury compensation amount isn't a predetermined figure but rather, it's carefully calculated based on several unique factors related to your situation. Understanding these factors can give you a clearer idea as to how your compensation might be determined.

The key factors include:

  • Medical Expenses: This encompasses both past and future costs associated with medical, hospital and ambulance expenses, necessary rehabilitation, and any required medication or medical equipment.
  • Loss of Earnings: Should your eye injury prevent you from working either temporarily or permanently, you are entitled to seek injury compensation for any lost income during your recovery period or any future earnings. This also considers any opportunities for promotions or wage increases you might have missed out on.
  • Pain and Suffering: Eye injury compensation could also be awarded for any physical or psychological pain or suffering you've experienced due to your accident.
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life: This involves compensation for any impact your eye injury might have had on your daily life activities, hobbies, and overall quality of life.
  • Out-of-pocket Expenses: Any other costs directly related to your injury, like travel costs for hospital appointments, can also be factored in.

It's crucial to note, though, that having the same eye injury as another individual doesn't necessarily mean you will both receive the same payout amount. Different factors such as your occupation, age, and the impact of the injury on your life and ability to work can influence your compensation amount.

For instance, a construction worker might rely more heavily on their vision compared to an office worker. Therefore, an eye injury could potentially impact a construction worker's ability to return to their job more significantly than an office worker, henceforth resulting in a higher compensation. 

The intricacies of these cases serve to emphasise the importance of seeking professional advice from personal injury lawyers to correctly ascertain what you might be entitled to. Make meticulous notes of any expenses or changes in your life or work related to your injury and submit them to your lawyer.

Time Limits For Eye Injuries

Like all Australian states, Queensland has rules in place to determine how long you have to make a claim. Failing to submit a claim in time could result in you losing the chance to receive compensation at all. 

The general rule is that a claim must be submitted within three years of the date when the injury occurred. 

However, the state also has some rules for specific circumstances. 

For work-related injuries in Queensland:

  • You have six months to lodge your claim with WorkCover. The six-month period begins whenever the incident takes place, either when you are injured or after a doctor has made their assessment. 
  • You have three years to commence legal proceedings for a common law claim. If your employer or a third party caused or contributed to your injury, this can be run alongside a standard WorkCover claim.

For motor vehicle-related injuries in Queensland:

  • You have 9 months from the date of the accident or when injuries first became apparent to lodge a Notice of Accident Claim Form (known as a 'NOAC') with the Compulsory Third Party Insurer (CTP Insurer). A “reasonable excuse for delay” can be provided outside the 9 months but must be within 3 years of the accident, or you will be barred from making a claim. 
  • Or, you have 1 month from when you first consult with a lawyer about the possibility of making a claim to lodge the form. When running a claim with Smith’s Lawyers, your appointed solicitor will help you complete and submit this form.  Note: This time limit is the earlier of the two (1 month vs 9 months), so if you have spoken to a lawyer about your potential claim, you must lodge the NOAC within 1 month.
  • Where the motor vehicle at fault cannot be identified (such as in a hit and run), or the vehicle was unregistered, you have 3 months from the date of the accident to lodge a Notice of Accident Claim form with the Nominal Defendant. For these claims, if you have missed the 3-month period, a reasonable excuse can be provided, but it must be provided within the standard 9-month limit; otherwise, you will be barred from making a claim.
  • After the Notice of Claim Form is lodged, you have 3 years from the date of the accident/injury to start legal proceedings.

These limits can fluctuate based on specific circumstances, such as exceptional delays in discovering the injury or if the injured party was under 18 at the time of the accident. For those under 18, the time limit begins when they reach adulthood.

At Smith's Lawyers, we offer free and no-obligation case reviews to aid you in understanding your legal rights after an injury. Operating on a No Win, No Fee, No Catch® basis, we aim to provide risk-free legal assistance and advocate for your right to proper compensation.

To check your compensation entitlements, request a free case review with our expert lawyers.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Can I claim compensation for the loss of sight in only one eye?

Yes, you can claim compensation for the loss of sight in one eye. The severity of the impact on your life and earning potential, along with medical expenses and pain and suffering, will be considered when determining the compensation amount. While not as high as compensation for total blindness, losing sight in one eye can still significantly impact your daily life and warrant a significant payout.

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Can I still drive a car if I've been blinded in one eye?

In most cases, yes, you can still drive with one eye as long as you meet certain vision requirements and pass a driving test. According to the City Eye Centre in Brisbane, you can drive in Queensland with one eye provided the remaining eye has good vision and field of view, certified by your doctor. You must also notify the Department of Transport.

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Can I claim compensation for negligent laser eye surgery?

If your laser eye surgery resulted in complications or vision loss due to negligence by the surgeon or clinic, you may be entitled to compensation. This would require proving that the surgery was not performed to an acceptable standard. You would need to demonstrate that the risks were not properly explained and that your injury was a direct result of their negligence. Consulting with a personal injury lawyer can help you assess your case and navigate the legal process.

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Are there any upfront costs or risks?

No; our No Win, No Fee, No Catch® promise at Smith’s Lawyers means there are no upfront costs, and you can never be left out of pocket as a result of the claim. Typically with ‘no win, no fee’ agreements, you could still be liable for the other side's legal costs if your case goes to court and is unsuccessful. In the unlikely event that your case goes to court and you are unsuccessful, we'll cover the costs - so you won't pay a cent to us or anyone else.

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Get expert advice today

To check your compensation entitlements, request a free case review with our expert car lawyers. We can explain your options to Eye Injury Compensation claims so you are clear on your rights during this difficult time.

Take our 2-minute free claim check

Fill in the form below to find out if you have a claim.

Last updated:
June 24, 2024

Disclaimer: This information is designed for general information in relation to Queensland compensation law. It does not constitute legal advice. We strongly recommend you seek legal advice in regards to your specific situation. For help understanding your rights, please call 1800 960 482 or request a free case review to talk to one of our lawyers today.