Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), or road-side bombs, have long been a weapon of choice in modern warfare; however, more IED use in Iraq is higher than in any other conflict. The result has been devastating for our soldiers, as 40% of coalition forces have been a result of road-side bombs.
A common injury associated with road-side bombs are eye injuries. While our soldiers are commonly outfitted with various types of Kevlar armor to protect vital organs, all too often their eyes are left exposed. In WWII, a little more than 5% of veterans reported eye injuries. During the Vietnam war, almost 10% of veterans reported eye injuries. The Iraq war has been responsible for 15% of our veterans suffering from some form of an eye injury.
"What types of eye injuries can qualify a veteran for disability payment?"
The majority of eye injuries qualifying a veteran for disability payment are a result of direct penetration. Shrapnel, road-side bombs, gun-fire and bomb fragments are responsible for the large percentage of these injuries.
Another source of eye injuries being reported by veterans is vision-loss due to an interior injury, or an injury that damages the brain. In this instance, the soldier's eye does not sustain direct contact with shrapnel. Instead, an area of the brain that controls eye function becomes damaged and the soldier's vision becomes impaired.
Several thousand veterans are reported to have suffered visual impairment as a result of traumatic brain injury. In most instances the soldier was the victim of a road-side bomb or other explosion that produced enough force to cause their brain to strike the inside of the skull, damaging areas essential for sight and vision functionality. These blasts can also cause retinal detachment and corneal and cataract swelling from the force or shockwave of an explosion.
"How can you tell if you've suffered an internal injury that is causing vision loss?"
Traumatic brain injuries that cause vision disability may not exhibit symptoms for several months after the injury occurred. Symptoms that may signal the start of a more serious problem include: trouble focusing, headaches, and/or seeing spots or other abnormalities in your vision.
"Can a veteran's disability lawyer increase the amount of disability benefits a vet receives for their eye injury?"
Yes. A top veteran's disability lawyer will possibly be able to increase the amount of your benefits depending upon the amount of damage sustained, or if your vision has become worse since you initially applied for your benefits.