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Using an Optometry Expert Witness in ADA Claims

There are certain cases where an optometry expert witness may assist with a case such as low vision, near blindness and when the person requires a special type of prescription that could necessitate a claim with the Americans with Disabilities Act. In these cases, the expert must prove that his or her testimony should remain included.

Low Vision Cases

There are some individuals that suffer harm at a job when low vision complicates job duties. These employees may need reasonable accommodations provided through the ADA. However, if the person faces termination or a lack of work because of the low vision problem, he or she may need to hire a lawyer for discrimination under the ADA. In many cases, an optometry expert witness will need to explain what low vision is and how it affected the former employee. Then, the professional may need to stave off objections to admissible testimony due to a lack of understanding of optometry expert witnesses’ processes and testing methods.

The Medical Profile

Whether the employee is blind or has low vision issues, he or she usually has a medical profile with a primary optometry physician. This doctor will have a lengthy file with all the necessary
details about the visual acuity and deficiencies with what the person can and cannot see. This may include a prescription for glasses or contacts or information about a decline in vision from illness or another related matter. The expert witness generally will have a certification in low vision or a background in blindness. This lends strength and credit to the case and admissible testimony.

The ADA and Visual Problems

When an employee has low vision, visual acuity deficiencies or other problems with eyesight, he or she may require reasonable accommodations through the ADA as a disabled worker. There is a precedent for these situations, but the employee may encounter issues with the accommodations at the place of employment when the owner or manager does not believe that the person suffers from a disability. This could lead to legal complications that require a lawyer and a better understanding of the ADA and how it works for those in qualified disability status. When legal remedies are necessary, this could inform the entire location of ADA and visual problems.

Vision and Health Conditions

There are some situations that arise that could affect a person’s vision negatively such as a stroke or heart attack. This health problem may cause partial or total vision loss. Some only suffer on one side of the body with subsequent vision deficiencies while others may lose both eyes to the condition. Some companies do not understand how to provide reasonable accommodations or that they are necessary at all. In certain cases where the plaintiff needs a legal remedy, he or she may explain that the business did not provide a reasonable accommodation, terminated the person in violation of the ADA and failed to even attempt to understand the matter.

The ADA Case with an Optometry Expert Witness

When the company treats the person with a visual disability in a negative manner and does not provide the important reasonable accommodation, the individual may have a valid claim against the business. It is with the help of the expert witness that proving the elements of the case are possible. The professional may provide documents that explain low or severely impaired vision, perform tests on the person or to evaluate the situation and help in understanding the specific visual problem that exists. With more information, the court usually is better aware of the incident and why a remedy is necessary.

Some expert witnesses may need to call attention to the symptoms that the plaintiff may suffer from with visual issues. Often, these signs are within a checklist for ADA matters in the state. The condition the person suffers from may occur naturally or through an accident and injury, and the accommodations for work are crucial to perform job duties and not suffer further. Even with vision loss, a reasonable accommodation should help the employee keep up with performing tasks an remain equal in the company’s workforce.

The Optometry Expert

Testimony that comes from the optometry expert witness may clear up confusion about the disability and how the needed accommodation would assist the employee further. A remedy to the claim often arises with compensation for the termination or reinstatement to the company workforce. The expert will work with the lawyer to try to improve the chances of these outcomes.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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