Serious injury solicitors at Irwin Mitchell secured a seven-figure settlement for a young woman left with severe injuries after being assaulted as a baby.
Amanda, now 19, was attacked by her mother when she was just two months old.
The assault left Amanda seriously injured and as a result, severely disabled. Amanda has an abnormally small head, suffering significant microcephaly. She has cerebral palsy in all four limbs with a super imposed right hemiplegia and a curvature to the spine. Amanda also suffers from a bulbar palsy requiring her to be fed by gastrostomy, and has a severe and profound set of learning and physical difficulties.
She is wholly dependent on others for all of her care needs and requires a wheelchair for seating and mobility.
Amanda was placed with foster parents through the Local Authority and has remained with them to this day. They have provided Amanda with the care, love and support that she has needed throughout her life. The Local Authority, with the assistance of Amanda’s foster mother, Barbara, pursued a claim to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) on Amanda’s behalf.
Irwin Mitchell approached
However, in December 2011, Irwin Mitchell were approached by barrister Adam Weitzman, whom the Local Authority had sought advice from, to take over conduct of the claim as it was at a critical stage in terms of getting expert evidence and bringing to settlement. The Local Authority were happy for Irwin Mitchell to step in, as they recognised that they did not have the knowledge or expertise to continue pursuing the claim on Amanda’s behalf.
A specialist solicitor, Kate Petchey at Irwin Mitchell, took over Amanda’s claim and asked experts to assess the care and support that Amanda would require for the remainder of her life. Kate also liaised and worked closely with Barbara to ensure that she felt comfortable with the future plans for Amanda in terms of care support and accommodation needs. Expert in various disciplines were instructed, such as care, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, rehabilitation, accommodation and ophthalmology.
Amanda’s foster carers have provided her with the care she requires on a daily basis, together with that which could be provided by the Local Authority. However, as there is no guarantee what the Local Authority can provide in the future, and the fact that Amanda’s foster parents are no longer able to take care of her physical needs as they get older, it was obvious she was going to require a substantial amount of private care and therapy.
24 hour care and on-going therapies
Expert evidence revealed that, as suspected, Amanda would require 24 hour care for the remainder of her life, as well as on-going therapies.
Amanda’s claim settled in 2013 for £4.1 million, £2.4m of which will pay for the care that Amanda requires for the rest of her life.
Commenting on the case, Kate said: “This was a difficult case in which the issues surrounding Amanda’s future care needs were particularly complex and her health and care needs were significant.
“Using the right experts, who were familiar with both the specific issues relating to such a serious brain injury case and with the requirements of the CICA scheme, was key to making sure Amanda is now set up with the compensation she needs to pay for the care she requires to make her life as comfortable and fulfilled as possible.”
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