Victims of serious accidents often believe that they face a long wait before receiving just compensation – but the wheels of justice can move surprisingly quickly. In one case, it took little more than a year to achieve a seven-figure settlement for a teenage girl who suffered severe injuries in a road accident.
The girl, aged 14, suffered a severe brain injury when she stepped into the path of a car whilst on her way home after a night out at a fairground. Although she has made a better than expected recovery and is physically well, her memory and cognitive abilities are impaired, and she is at increased risk of epilepsy.
Proceedings were quickly launched on the girl's behalf against the motorist's insurers, who denied liability for the accident. The case raised difficult issues concerning the speed at which the car was travelling, the adequacy of street lighting and whether the collision was avoidable. Given the girl's youth, there were also doubts over whether her condition would deteriorate or improve over the coming years.
However, a £1.5 million settlement of the girl's claim was negotiated only about 15 months after the accident. In approving the settlement, a judge congratulated the girl on her good recovery and expressed the hope that she would complete her GCSEs and find employment in the future.