It can take many years before the long-term consequences of negligence become fully apparent. However, a case in which a teenager won a £985,000 compensation down-payment less than two years after a devastating road accident shows that the law can move much faster than you might think.
The girl suffered severe head injuries and brain damage when a car in which she was a passenger crashed. She was in a minimally conscious state for months after the accident and, although she has made great strides, she is unlikely to regain any useful verbal communication skills. She will require significant support for all her personal, domestic, community and leisure activities for life.
The driver’s motor insurers admitted liability for the accident and, although the girl’s lawyers have valued her claim at several million pounds, it is still too early to finally assess her compensation. In making the interim payment, the High Court accepted that the money was needed to tide her over until that can happen.
The money will be used to cover the immediate costs of the girl’s care and to pay for the specialist adaptation of a new home for her and her family. Once that is done, it is hoped that she will be able to return home from the rehabilitation unit where she is currently being looked after.