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Caring for a Disabled Child? Financial Support Could Be Accessible

Disabled children bring great joy to their families' lives but, with an eye to their future care needs, it is always wise to explore the possibility of seeking compensation. In a case on point, a settlement secured for a profoundly disabled teenager successfully ensured that she would always be properly looked after.

On her second day of life, the girl developed a Group B streptococcal infection that caused catastrophic brain damage. Her mental abilities are akin to those of a one-year-old baby. Her communication skills and mobility are gravely impaired and she is wholly reliant on two carers. Despite all that, however, she is described as a sunny, inquisitive and delightful child. She attends a special school and her progress is a huge tribute to her mother and wider family.

After proceedings were launched on her behalf, an NHS trust admitted that there was a negligent delay in diagnosing and treating the infection. It argued that she would have suffered significant injury even had there been no such delay but, following negotiations, it agreed to pay 85 per cent of the full value of her clinical negligence claim.

Under the terms of an agreed settlement, she would receive a £5,655,000 lump sum together with index-linked annual payments to cover the costs of her care and case management for life. They would start at £175,000 before rising to £223,775 when she reached the age of 19.

The High Court had no hesitation in approving the settlement as being in her best interests. Thanks to the extraordinary devotion of her mother, she has developed into a remarkable young woman at the heart of her vivid family life.