Specialist child brain injury solicitors at Irwin Mitchell won vital interim payments for a young man injured in a car crash.
Edward, now 18, was involved in a serious road traffic collision five years ago when he was 14.
He was travelling as a front seat passenger in a car being driven by an acquaintance when the driver lost control and crossed onto the wrong side of the road, colliding with an oncoming car in the opposite lane. The passenger side of the vehicle where Edward was seated bore the brunt of the impact.
He suffered an extremely severe brain injury, as well as multiple orthopaedic injuries. He was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit of the Sheffield Children’s Hospital, where he remained in a coma for several weeks before slowly regaining consciousness.
Coming to terms
Kate Petchey, specialist child brain injury solicitor, met with Edward’s parents at the hospital just one week after the collision. Within two weeks, we appointed a private brain injury case manager to help Edward’s family deal with all of the unfamiliar and daunting steps involved in the treatment and rehabilitation of a critically ill child. The case manager has been instrumental in supporting Edward and his parents in coming to terms with his life changing injuries, as well as arranging ongoing private therapy and rehabilitation.
With interim funding secured through the legal claim, we helped set up a comprehensive package of rehabilitation and support for Edward, who now receives regular therapy intervention and daily support worker assistance, both at home and in school.
The former family home was unsuitable for Edward, who continues to experience difficulties with balance and coordination, and there was insufficient space to allow for professional support to be properly implemented.
A new home
Using an interim payment, a bungalow was purchased close to the former family home, and an extensive program of adaptation and renovation has recently been completed. The new property now comprises a dedicated therapy suite, an additional bedroom for an overnight carer, and a separate “wing” of the house for Edward to grow into as he becomes more independent.
Edward’s ongoing support needs are being met via regular interim payments from the defendant insurance company. He has been set up with a specialist from our Court of Protection team to manage his finances and ensure funds are spent in his best interests.
Meeting his needs for life
Kate is now in the process of evaluating, with expert assistance, Edward’s progress with his rehabilitation, and how he adapts and responds to the care support package as he moves into more independent living within the family home. This will help determine his long-term care needs, so that Kate can ensure the overall settlement secured in the claim will be sufficient to meet his needs for life.
Kate commented: “This case is an example of why children’s brain injury claims shouldn’t be rushed through to settlement, as the child needs time to 'grow into' their brain injury and for their long term needs to become clearer. Often, settlement of these sorts of cases isn’t possible until the child reaches their late teens/early 20s. However, it is vitally important that interim funds are secured in the meantime to allow Edward to the best possible rehabilitation and education to maximise his long-term prospects.”
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