New York City corrections officers face many hazards at work. The obvious hazards are from dangerous inmates who pose a threat to officers by attacking or assaulting staff who are just trying to do their job. But other hazards include the typical hazards all workers face, including falls on stairs, wet floors, and other work-related accidents. One common injury that a corrections officer could face from either an inmate or a regular hazard includes an orbital blowout fracture. This type of broken bone is in the face and can cause serious permanent injury including blindness or partial loss of eyesight. If you or a loved one suffered an orbital blowout fracture as a corrections officer, call our workers’ compensation lawyer in NYC for help with your claim.
Here at O’Connor Law, we know that it is important for victims and their families to recover the maximum amount of workers’ compensation they may be entitled to under the law for serious personal injuries like an orbital blowout fracture. Injuries such as this are catastrophic and destructive, potentially resulting in a lifetime of disability due to partial or total blindness in the one eye that is affected by the injury. This is why orbital blowout fractures to correction officers in NYC are best handled by an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer like ours. Learn more about our services during a FREE consultation by calling toll-free at (914) 595-4502.
An orbital blowout fracture is a fracture or broken bone in the bones that form your eye socket (or orbit). There are several fused bones that make up the eye socket. The purpose of these bones is to both hold the eye in position and keep the structures in place, but to also protect the eye.
However, a forceful impact to the orbit or the side of the face can result in a fracture to these bones. That includes fracturing the floor, or bottom of the eye socket, where the eye sits on top of. As a result, the eye can descend downwards and even into the sinus cavity, causing serious damage to the eye and the optic nerve. A fracture from the side of the orbit can also collapse inwards on the eye, also forcing it out of position and causing serious damage.
Individuals who suffer an orbital blowout fracture usually require surgery. The extent of the surgery depends on the extent of the damage done to the bones and to the eye itself. In some instances, a victim suffering this type of injury will require metal plates to stabilize the floor of the orbit or help the eye socket bones heal.
There are two main ways that a New York City corrections officer may suffer an orbital blowout fracture. The first is trauma, and the second is due to an accident. Some of the most common examples include the following:
– Punches or kicks from an inmate to the face or eye
– Struck with an object by an inmate
– Cell door slammed on an officer’s face
– Lifting and carrying objects that fall into a correction officer’s face
– Being slammed down to the ground and landing on his or her face
– Falls up the stairs and hitting his or her face
– Falls down stairs
– Gate injuries at Rikers
– Falls on the slippery stairs at Rikers
– Slip and falls on wet ground or due to debris on the ground
– Training accidents
– Motor vehicle accident injuries while transferring inmates to or from facilities or court
– Injuries during weightlifting or strength training, and
– Other accidents and injuries causing orbital blowout fractures to correction officers in NYC.
Under New York law, individuals who suffer work-related injuries may be entitled to recover workers’ compensation benefits. This is a no-fault benefits program, meaning that an injured worker does not need to prove fault against an employer. It also means that a work-related injury that is the worker’s partial or full fault is not a bar to recovering compensation—unless it is intentionally self-inflicted.
Workers who suffer an orbital blowout fracture or blindness may be entitled to up to two-thirds (2/3s) of lost wages, medical bills, and an award for any permanent disability that has reached maximum medical improvement (MMI). With correction officers, a blowout fracture makes them more vulnerable to future catastrophic injury which could also mean retraining or job reassignments to prevent the risk of another injury—since a CO with a face wound or vulnerability could be a target for inmates.
Orbital blowout fractures are particularly devastating types of injuries because they result in damage to the face and the boney structures, but also to the eye. Blindness or partial blindness, decreased field of vision, or blurriness are all common complications of an orbital blowout fracture. Although the injuries are obvious and severe, they are not always well-received by the workers’ comp board or an adjuster who often tries to undercut your total award or benefits. As a result, hiring a workers’ compensation lawyer in NYC to maximize your recovery is imperative, which is why our law firm offers FREE consultations to learn more about how we can help you by dialing (914) 595-4502 or by sending us a private message through our “Contact Us” box available here.