Serious Injury Experts Win Battle For Justice For Dedicated Family
The family of a twin left brain damaged from a horrific motorway crash when they were travelling to a football match to celebrate his eighth birthday have spoken of their relief after securing a lifelong package of care and vital rehabilitation.
Sam Boreham, now 21, and his twin brother Ben were travelling with mum Jane, brother Dean and a family friend from their home in Ruislip, Middlesex, up to Old Trafford to see Manchester United play for a birthday treat in 1998.
They set off to travel through the night in preparation for the game the following day, but at midnight, when they had barely passed Watford Gap, their car hit a stationary unlit vehicle in the middle lane of the M1 that had crashed after the driver fell asleep at the wheel.
No charges were brought against the driver despite the family being told by doctors they were all lucky to be alive, but Sam was left with irreparable brain damage from the high speed smash, causing him ongoing neurological problems including a quick temper, lack of concentration and being unable to process thought and functions fully.
His devastated mum Jane, 45, contacted serious injury experts at law firm Irwin Mitchell in a battle for justice, but Sam’s case could only be agreed once he had reached full maturity so medics could determine the permanent long-term damage and what his future care needs might be.
Specialist brain injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell previously secured interim payments to fund adaptations to allow Sam to be home schooled and receive one-on-one support and have now arranged a large undisclosed sum approved at London High Court today (20 March) that will allow him to live as independently as possible.
Stephanie Clarke, Associate Solicitor at Irwin Mitchell’s London office, who is representing the family, said: “Due to the complex nature of Sam’s brain injuries and the uncertainty of how these affect him, this settlement has taken some time to resolve, but we’re pleased the family can now make plans for Sam’s future.
“Sam did not have an easy childhood due to the accident and he missed a lot of school. His brain injuries meant he was better placed in a specialist school with one-on-one support which we helped secure with an earlier interim payment.
“The full settlement approved today will allow Sam to eventually live on his own with the help of a specialist carer and continue with his college studies with one-on-one support. It will also supply him with the lifelong therapy and rehabilitation he needs to eventually be able to move out of the family home and live independently with the support of specialist carers.
“The love and support given by Sam’s dedicated family to him since the accident has been remarkable with his parents, grandparents and uncle all pulling together to provide a stable family unit. The settlement means they have support from specialist carers who also want the best for Sam.”
Jane had booked Manchester United tickets for the David Beckham obsessed twins hoping to give them a birthday treat they’d never forget, but it ended in tragedy, before the celebrations had even begun.
Sam was initially taken to hospital in Leicester before he was moved to the intensive care unit at Watford District General Hospital where he spent three weeks receiving treatment for his serious head injuries and fractures to his leg.
His inability to concentrate meant he quickly fell behind with his school work and he was diagnosed as having specialist education needs.
He is now attending a local college with the help of a work ‘buddy’ who ensures he gets to and from lessons safely, but he won’t ever be able to work independently and the settlement takes into account his past and future loss of earnings, as well as his current and future care needs.
Jane, a receptionist, said: “Sam has suffered terribly as a result of the head injury he sustained during the accident. He was a very happy boy and was doing well at school but that all changed when he returned after the crash and he struggled with schoolwork and friendships.
“His relationship with the rest of the family changed, particularly with his twin brother Ben, and they would regularly fight during their teenage years. It’s been harder than I can describe and there were times when I felt completely lost.
“As a family we still struggle to come to terms with what happened that day and the last 12 years have been filled with ‘what ifs’ and wishing we could turn back the clock.
“Obviously that’s impossible, but the settlement awarded today will secure a better future for Sam and help him to live his life to the best of his capabilities. It’s been a long struggle due to medics being unable to confirm the level of permanent brain damage, but at least now we can all look ahead with the knowledge Sam will always have access to the quality care he needs.”