When Can I Sue for LASIK Eye Injuries in Nevada?
Many people who undergo LASIK endure dreadful complications that worsen or eliminate their sight.
If you were injured as a result of a botched laser eye surgery procedure, you may be entitled to compensation for:
- Lost or worsened sight,
- Medical bills,
- Pain and suffering, and
- Punitive damages (in egregious cases).
Our caring Nevada malpractice lawyers offer free consultations to eye surgery victims to discuss their case and possible remedies.
And to help you learn more about how LASIK victims may be able to sue for money damages, our Las Vegas Nevada personal injury attorneys discuss the following, below:
- 1. What is "LASIK Eye Surgery"?
- 2. How does the FDA regulate LASIK?
- 3. Can I sue for botched LASIK surgeries in Las Vegas, NV?
When it goes well, LASIK (Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis) reduces a person's reliance on glasses and contact lenses. This outpatient surgery permanently reshapes the person's cornea, the fragile clear covering on the front of the eye. LASIK is more commonly performed on nearsighted patients, and it normally lasts about 15 minutes per eye.
Patients are advised to inform their healthcare providers of any of the following conditions prior to undergoing LASIK eye surgery:
- Blepharitis (eyelid inflammation);
- Large pupils;
- Thin corneas;
- Previous refractive surgery; or
- Dry eyes.
Potential Health Risks:
Complications of LASIK can include:
- Loss of vision;
- Debilitating visual symptoms;
- The continued necessity of glasses or contacts;
- Dry eyes;
- Poor results; and
- Results that gradually diminish
As with any surgical medical procedure, LASIK can go wrong and lead to serious injuries.1
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates the sale of medical devices, including LASIK lasers. Before anyone can sell medical devices in the U.S., they must obtain approval from the FDA by presenting evidence that the device is sufficiently safe and effective.
Once the FDA approves a medical device, a doctor may use that device for other purposes if it is in the patient's best interest. Note that the FDA does not wield the authority to:
- Regulate a doctor's medical practice;
- Set prices for LASIK surgery;
- Mandate that laser manufacturer information be provided to the patients;
- Provide recommendations for specific doctors; or
- Make medical device rating systems.
In short, the FDA does not regulate the practice of “off-label use” or the practice of medicine.2
Possibly. Sometimes the doctor is at fault for negligence in Nevada. Or sometimes the laser manufacturer made an error. Manufacturers bear the duty to ensure their products' safety as well as to notify the medical community and the general public about known risks associated with its products. Manufacturers could be liable for injuries if they provided inadequate warnings or if the laser was unreasonably dangerous.
Note that in some circumstances, several similarly injured patients can join a class-action lawsuit in Nevada and collectively demand money damages. Also note that patients who get LASIK usually sign an agreement beforehand indemnifying the physician for potential bad outcomes; depending on the nature of the injuries, the patient may have little legal recourse.3
The short answer is that to sue for LASIK eye injuries, you must usually be able to prove that the person performing the procedure did not conform to a reasonable standard of care.
Injured by eye surgery in Nevada? Call us for help...
If you have been injured after undergoing LASIK surgery, you may be able to receive compensation for those injuries.
For a free consultation with one of our Las Vegas medical malpractice attorneys, fill out the form on this page or call us at 702-DEFENSE (702-333-3673).
- LASIK, FDA.
- See e.g. Leavitt v. Siems, 130 Nev. 54 (2014).