Many parents of disabled children face the nagging uncertainty of not knowing what will happen to them after they are no longer able to provide the care they need. As a High Court case showed, however, alleviating such worries is one of the most important and satisfying roles played by a personal injury lawyer.
The case concerned a 12-year-old girl who will always require constant care due to a devastating bout of neonatal jaundice. She has communication and learning difficulties and functions cognitively at the level of a toddler or small child. Thanks to her parents' selfless efforts, however, she has developed into a happy and sociable child who is able to make herself understood using an iPad.
The NHS trust that bore responsibility for her care contested her clinical negligence claim. However, following negotiations, a settlement of her case was secured whereby she will receive a £6.35 million lump sum, plus annual, index-linked, six-figure payments towards the costs of her care for life. The overall capitalised value of the settlement was calculated at £17,315,000.
Approving the settlement as in the girl's best interests, the Court praised the parents' remarkable care for their daughter as an example to all. Through its lawyers, the trust expressed the hope that the settlement would bring immediate and ongoing relief to the girl and long-term peace of mind to her parents.