Care package will fund vital care and rehabilitation for teenager
A young man who suffered devastating, life changing injuries when he was struck by a car while crossing the road has been awarded a care package worth £18 million by the High Court to fund his future care and rehabilitation needs.
15-years-old at the time of the incident, the teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was left in a minimally aware state having suffered a catastrophic brain injury which has led to the paralysis of his upper and lower body, when he was hit by a car in 2016.
He only began to emerge from unconsciousness 18 months after the accident but has now been left with profound ongoing problems now for the rest of his life.
While he has continued to make small improvements over the years, as a result of his injuries his ability to communicate is limited, he is incontinent, cannot walk, and has limited function and control over his hands and arms such that he requires now life-long 24-hour-care.
His life-expectancy has also been significantly reduced as result of his injuries.
Following the incident the family instructed leading Catastrophic Injury law expert Matthew Clayton, a partner at Simpson Millar, to represent them in a claim for compensation, and today the High Court approved a final settlement of the claim totalling £18 million which included substantial annual payments.
Speaking following the hearing their lawyer Matthew said the money would allow the family to finally purchase a ‘permanent home’ that would help to better meet their son’s needs.
As part of the settlement the insurers of the person responsible for the accident will now fund the full care, support and case management package which is needed 24hrs day for the young man, which he will require for the rest of his life, as well as pay for specialist therapies and equipment.
The defendant insurer disputed liability seeking to put pressure on the family to accept a figure as little as £1.8 million back in 2018 which was rejected after advice from the legal team but forcing the family to take the matter to a 7-day trial to determine who was responsible for the accident.
At a liability trial which took place in 2019 the High Court Judge ruled that the defendant’s car had been driving far too fast for the circumstances as there was heavy rain, and as the young man tried to cross the road the driver did not see him until it was too late.
The Judge found that he should have seen the Claimant and if he had slowed down to take into account the adverse weather conditions he would have been able to avoid this tragic accident and the devastating effects on this young man’s life and those of the family and friends around him.
In finding for the claimant he reduced the award by 30% to reflect that the young man had also set off to cross the road having not seen the approach of the car
The Judge who approved the final settlement handed down today was the same Trial Judge when the case was before him on the liability issue, and he recalled the terrible tragedy that he had to decide upon and remarked again on the devastating effect it had on all concerned.
He signalled special praise the Claimant’s Father who has worked tirelessly to help his son try to overcome the injuries and held his family together in an immense time of crisis and trauma.
He also praised the Claimant’s counsel, and the legal team from Simpson Millar, for the way the case was conducted.
The family’s lawyer, Matthew Clayton from Simpson Millar’s national personal injury team, said the family were ‘extremely relieved’ to now have the funds in place that would enable their son to live ‘as independently as possible’ given his condition and complex needs and to be given the chance to have some quality of life despite his catastrophic injuries.
He said: “No amount of money will ever compensate this young man and his family for what they have endured over the years and for the rest of his life as a result of an injury, but it will provide some financial stability which will fund his immediate, and longer-term care needs.
“This case also highlights once again the devastating effect that such an accident can have on anyone at any time when crossing the dangerous roads of our country and why we should all try to reflect on this when we are driving and try always to think of the pedestrians as we drive about.
“The family are extremely relieved that the case has drawn to a close after 5 years of litigation and are looking forward to moving on with their lives as best they can.
“Whilst our client will never be in a position to live independently, the funds he has been awarded to pay for the care package will enable him to access vital rehabilitation, and to best utilise the latest innovations in technology that will allow him to better communicate in time.”
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