Irwin Mitchell Secures Undisclosed Settlement To Help Support Family Following Tragedy
A couple have spoken out during Baby Loss Awareness Week after their unborn daughter was fatally injured in the womb in a high-speed crash.
Nursery worker Louise Abbott needed to give birth to her daughter Layla the day after the 29-year-old was hurt when a car overtaking a lorry ploughed into the vehicle she was a passenger in near Cambridge.
Following the collision Louise and her husband, Laurence, 30, instructed expert serious injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate the crash and to help support her as she seeks to overcome the trauma of what happened and recover from her own injuries.
The couple, of Finchingfield, near Braintree, Essex, have now joined their legal team at Irwin Mitchell in using Baby Loss Awareness Week to speak out about the support available to other families who have experienced the heartbreak of losing a child.
It comes after Louise received an undisclosed settlement to pay for the specialist therapies and support she is continuing to receive following her ordeal.
Expert Opinion“It may have been two years since Layla’s death but the pain and loss that Louise and Laurence continue to experience is still understandably extremely raw.
“While no amount of money will ever make up for what has happened, we are pleased that Louise has been able to access the support she needs so she, Laurence and their family can try and look to the future the best they can while never forgetting Layla.
“We would like to thank the insurers for the compassion and empathy they have shown all along in wanting to support the family.
“Baby Loss Awareness Week is an important time for reflection but also to promote the help available to families who have suffered the heartbreak of losing a child regardless of the circumstances.
“Layla’s death also vividly highlights the need for drivers to take care at all times so other innocent road users don’t have to suffer like Louise and Laurence have.” Tracey Storey - Partner
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The crash happened on the A1307 Linton bypass, south of Cambridge, in October 2016. A car which had tried to overtake a lorry crashed into the central reservation before hitting a VW Polo Louise was in.
Louise suffered internal bleeding and her waters broke broke in the ambulance on her way to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.
At hospital Louise and Laurence were told the devastating news that their baby had died from head injuries caused by seatbelt trauma. Louise delivered Layla naturally at 25 weeks the following day. She could not undergo a cesarean because of her injuries.
The driver responsible for the crash was jailed for two years last year after a jury found him guilty of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.
Louise said: “The crash, finding out Layla had died and then giving birth to her is something that will stay with me for the rest of my life. It is almost impossible to put into words the effect it has had on me and Laurence.
“We go through a full mix of emotions each day knowing that Layla should still be part of our family and thinking what if, even though the events were clearly out of our control.”
A few months after the collision Louise and Laurence found out they were expecting another child. Their daughter, Avery, has just celebrated her first birthday.
“At first we felt guilty because of Layla but Avery was not a replacement for Layla,” Louise said. “Layla will also be part of our family. Avery will know all about her big sister but we will always be sad that they never got to meet each other and grow up with one another, forming the bonds and friendships sisters should.
Baby Loss Awareness Week aims to raise awareness of the issues affecting those who have experienced pregnancy loss or baby death in the UK. Supported by more than 60 charities, it also campaigns for improvements in healthcare, research and bereavement support. For more information visit www.babyloss-awareness.org