This is a continuation of a series. View part one here.
Eye injuries scare insurance companies. Even in cases with difficult liability, if you can strike the fear of G-d into the insurance company, you can settle these cases for big big money. The key is creating doubt, and therefore, a measure of fear in the minds of the insurance company. Even with a difficult, but not impossible liability situation, if you are prepared to creatively demonstrate to the jury your damages, you can still work out a big settlement. Obviously, if you have a strong liability case, like a rear end collision, all the better.
Everyone can imagine the horror of discovering that their eyesight has been irreparably damaged. Everyone can relate to someone who suffers a terrible eye injury. And so these cases have great potential. So how can you maximize this potential and? What I do is create demonstrative evidence tools that, together with that doubt about liability, work to produce substantial settlements.
I use novel techniques to put the parties in my clients’ shoes, to literally see through their eyes. For example, I have goggles prepared that simulate the client’s vision loss. With a simple pair of swimming goggles, the semi-opaque plastic sheeting found on the inside of any breakfast cereal box, some plastic wrap, and transparent tape, we are able to simulate various levels of visual acuity.
By wrapping layers of the plastic sheeting around one or both of the lenses on the goggles, you can create this effect. Wrap one lens if one eye is impaired and both lenses if both eyes are impaired. For example, a person whose vision has deteriorated to the point of “light perception” can see a source of light, but cannot see images. He or she also is unable to determine the source of that light. You simply continue wrapping layers until all that can be perceived is light. When you reach that point, you tape the sheeting to the goggles.
We want the jury to be able to appreciate the difference between the client’s visual acuity before the accident and after. If the client is left with 20/200 acuity, you can use a Snellen Eye Chart, that familiar eye chart with the large “E” at the top.
The letter “E” at the top is the 20/200 marking. A person with 20/200 vision will barely be able to discern the “E” when he is at a distance of 20 feet from the chart. The test should be conducted under typical conditions of ambient household light. Two 75 watt ceiling mounted light fixtures are adequate.
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