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The ever increasing costs of care, combined with historically low interest rates, have resulted in growing levels of compensation being paid to accident victims. In one case, the family of a girl who was catastrophically injured in a road crash has won a record payout that is expected to be worth £28 million over her lifetime.
The girl, then a toddler, was in a child seat in the back of her parents' car when a van driven by a council employee ran into the back of it. She suffered a life-threatening skull fracture and will remain profoundly disabled for life. She will never be able to speak, walk independently or use her arms.
Following negotiations with the girl's legal team, the council agreed to a settlement of the case. She will receive a lump sum of just under £9 million and index-linked, tax-free annual payments to cover the costs of her care for life. Those payments will start at £145,000 before rising to £155,000 when she reaches the age of 12. From the age of 19, they will rise again to £250,000.
The girl has a near-normal life expectancy and, in approving the settlement, the High Court noted that the amount of compensation is higher than in any previous reported case. It is, however, no more than is required to meet her complex care needs over the decades to come.