Paralysed teenager wins £23m personal injury settlement

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News has emerged of massive personal injury compensation settlement for a 17-year-old girl left unable to walk and with minimal use of her arms after a road traffic accident which claimed the life of her mother.  The accident was caused by the negligent acts of a car driver that pulled out without looking, causing the car being driven by the mother of the 17-year-old pupil from Cheltenham Ladies College, to collide with an HGV.  The incident also caused the brother of the victim to suffer a nasty head injury.

The settlement awarded in this case is some £23 million and whilst the headline figure sounds mind boggling and impressive, it is important to remember that to achieve such a substantial settlement value in a personal injury compensation claim, the injured party will have life changing injuries and no financial remuneration will ever ease the pain and upset caused to the victim.  When considering what factors lead to an eventual settlement value, various issues are addressed.  These will include the severity of an injury and the long term effects of the same, potential loss of income, including special damages and also the need for future medical treatment and ongoing care.  In this case, the 17-year-old will need care every day for the rest of her life and therefore, whilst the sum of £23m sounds amazing, the majority of it will be consumed in paying for nursing care, home modifications (to enable her to live a normal life) and medical treatment.  This settlement was reached after the personal injury compensation claim was heard in court.  After the hearing the girl’s solicitor confirmed that the settlement award would be made up of a £7.25m lump sum plus annual payments of £270,000

Thankfully such severe injuries are rare and as a result, so are such substantial settlements.  In most personal injury compensation claims, the average settlement value is fairly modest, around £3-£5000.

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