Compensation paid to accident victims is mainly used to fund their ongoing care but often has the knock-on benefit of greatly improving the quality of their family lives. That was certainly so in the case of an 18-year-old girl who received multi-million-pound damages after suffering grave head injuries in a road accident.
The girl was 14 when she was hit by a car near her home, suffering severe brain and orthopaedic injuries. The accident caused a change in her personality characterised by verbal and physical aggression. Her mother, despite having given her devoted care at home, was the principal target of such behaviour.
After proceedings were brought on her behalf, the car driver’s insurers agreed to pay compensation equal to two thirds of the full value of her claim. Together with a £3.1 million lump sum, she would receive index-linked payments of £93,375 a year to cover the costs of her care and case management for life.
In approving the settlement, the High Court noted that part of the lump sum would be used to build an annexe to the family home in which the girl could, with professional support, take the first steps towards independent living. Although her mother and other members of her family would remain on hand, the annexe would serve to relieve the strain on her mother and improve the family dynamic.
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