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Experts at Irwin Mitchell have recovered a significant sum for a young woman who suffered a serious head injury as a baby. This compensation helped her towards building a successful, independent life of her own.
Our client, Sophie, was injured in a road traffic accident when she was just four months old. She sustained a skull fracture and brain injury. A CT scan showed a superficial haemorrhage on the surface of the right frontal lobe and small raised areas of density that indicated widespread haemorrhagic bruising.
Her parents instructed a small local firm of solicitors who obtained medical evidence which suggested Sophie wouldn’t have any long term problems as a result of the brain injury. Her solicitors advised acceptance of an offer of £4,500.
As any settlement required approval, the matter went before a judge. But he refused to approve the award and said that further evidence needed to be gathered.
Irwin Mitchell Instructed
At this point in time, her parents transferred instructions to Irwin Mitchell.
One of our solicitors obtained a detailed account of Sophie's appearance in the immediate aftermath of the accident. She was described as being “floppy like a rag doll” and very quiet whereas ordinarily she had been “quite a crybaby”.
The solicitor at Irwin Mitchell advised that it would be appropriate to monitor Sophie’s progress, as only time would tell whether she would have any long term difficulties associated with the brain injury.
Problems At School
Over the years, it became apparent that Sophie had a number of issues with cognition and behaviour. As she progressed through school and greater intellectual demands were placed upon her, problems became increasingly evident and she began to fall behind her peers socially and academically, particularly as she went through secondary school.
Initially her difficulties were shown as trouble with concentration and attention span. She needed prompting and help with organising. Physically, she was clumsy. She also found it difficult to form and maintain relationships and could be blunt in conversation.
Her secondary school didn’t provide support after the first year and through the claim it was arranged that she have input from an occupational therapist to help her with life and study skills. It also became apparent that Sophie was unable to navigate her way from one location to another and the occupational therapist was able to provide strategies to assist with this.
Success With GCSEs And Apprenticeship
With input from the occupational therapist, a support worker and encouragement from her very dedicated parents, Sophie achieved 7 GCSE passes and obtained an apprenticeship at Chesterfield Hospital to train as a nursing auxiliary.
The occupational therapist helped her with her study skills and Sophie was able to complete her NVQ and get a job as a nursing auxiliary, becoming a healthcare assistant. She loved her job but was struggling to manage full time work. She was doing very little outside of work other than sleeping.
As such fatigue wasn’t normal for an 18 year old, members of her therapy team liaised with her employers, ensuring that they were aware of the problems her brain injury entailed. They then helped her to negotiate a reduction in hours, enabling Sophie to cope better with her chronic tiredness.
When Sophie felt settled at work, the therapy team worked on a trial of independent living, renting a flat on her behalf for this purpose. Over a period of months Sophie gradually progressed from spending a few hours a week at the flat to living full-time there.
Her therapy team helped her to develop skills and strategies to manage living in the flat independently, and Sophie has since gone on to buy her own home.
The claim has recently been settled for a sum in excess of £1 million. This settlement will ensure that she has the support she needs in the future.
Sophie is currently 22 and her parents have said:
“Jennifer and I would like once again to thank Irwin Mitchell for all your help and professional assistance in providing Sophie with a real future to look forward to.
“Without Irwin Mitchell's guidance we could have settled Sophie’s case many years ago, like most trusting the solicitor recommended to us, and it’s unthinkable how Sophie would have struggled on the pittance that was recommended by them when she was still a baby.
“As proud parents of a beautiful daughter our world was turned upside down at the time of our accident, but now finally today after 21 years we can be assured that her life will be made easier with the financial aid that will support her thanks to Irwin Mitchell and more to the point Caroline Mitchell who right from the start knew what Sophie‘s problems could and would be, and over the years of working together she for us feels part of our lives.
“It’s incredible thinking back then how lucky we were to have someone from Irwin Mitchell that understood her problems right from the start, the weight and frustration was taken from us overnight as we struggled to get others to understand something was clearly wrong with our little girl.
“To have a specialist in the field of acquired brain injury was a godsend and provided clear understanding of what direction and assistance Sophie required.
“The work that both Sophie and the team have put in with regard to helping us all understand where we all could help and more to the point understand her problems is remarkable, and is clearly seen by the progress she has made today.
“We have been very fortunate to put our trust in Irwin Mitchell and how they have delivered.
“From the whole family we again express our thanks and appreciation.”
If you or a loved one has suffered a serious head or brain injury as the result of an accident, our serious injury claims team could help you claim compensation. Visit our Brain & Head Injury Claims page for more information.
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