The consequences of some road traffic accidents are so appalling that no amount of money can ever compensate for them and lawyers can only do their best. In a case on point, a teenager who was aged just two when she suffered life-changing injuries received an eight-figure sum to cover the cost of a lifetime's professional care.
The girl was secured in a child seat in the back of a family car which was stationary in a line of traffic. A lorry ran into the back of a van which was thrown into the air, landing on the car and crushing its roof. She suffered grave head injuries that resulted in permanent cognitive, behavioural and visual disabilities together with mobility problems which were likely to worsen as she grew older.
Her father, who was driving the car, and her mother, who was in the front passenger seat, were also seriously injured. Although they recovered well physically, their lives remain blighted by the psychiatric impact of the accident. That, however, has not prevented them from providing exceptional care to their daughter, whose life expectancy is almost unaffected by her injuries.
After action was taken on the girl's behalf, the lorry driver's insurers accepted that the accident was entirely his fault and agreed to settle her claim for a lump sum of £11 million. In approving the settlement, the High Court acknowledged that the loss suffered by the girl and her family could never be quantified in money terms. What was apparent, however, was that she has benefited greatly from the enormous amount of love and steadfast support given to her by her family.