Success Stories for Claims Involving Children

Catastrophic injuries for boy on his bicycle

Our client was aged 12 when he cycled from land owned by a local council onto a ‘cycle way’, straight into the path of a moped; he suffered very serious head injuries. Our client’s mother had originally instructed another firm but was dissatisfied with their lack of progress and 7 years later, transferred the case to Bolt Burdon Kemp. We argued that the local council knew that there was a risk of children cycling from their land on to the cycle way and they should have fenced off the land to prevent such accidents happening.

A barrister advised that the claim would not succeed because, with the passage of time, we could not trace witnesses to previous similar accidents. However, we persevered in investigating and ultimately succeeded in obtaining evidence in support of the claim, producing a settlement of liability approved by the court of 70/30 in the Defendant’s favour. Before the accident, our client had been a normal school boy who – when he left school – would have gone into a semi-skilled or skilled manual job and enjoyed normal social interaction and family life. The accident meant that instead he suffered a severe head injury, with fractures to the temporal and basal skull and a subarachnoid haemorrhage. He was unconscious for several weeks and had extensive post traumatic amnesia. Although he made a good physical recovery he developed dysexecutive syndrome with very little insight into his predicament. He was unable to plan ahead or to do more than one task at a time, and also suffered from complex partial seizures with loss of consciousness. We contended for a structured life package involving significant amounts of time devoted entirely to leisure pursuits with short periods of work.

The Defendant made a payment into Court of £165,000, which they later increased to £550,000. This was rejected and by negotiation the Defendant’s offer was increased to £600,000 (the equivalent of £1.8m on full liability), which was accepted and approved by the Court.

Young boy injured in road traffic accident 

Our client was almost 4 years old at the time of the accident. He was a front seat passenger on a booster seat in a car being driven by the defendant. They were travelling in the car around the corner of a country lane, when a couple of horses passed on the other side of the road. The defendant lost control of the car which hit a tree stump and rolled over. As a result our client suffered a very serious crush injury to his left hand and a chronic adjustment reaction with post-traumatic features. As a result of complications during surgery our client also developed a bald patch on the back of his head as a result. Liability was established in this case and following negotiations between the parties our client’s case settled for £375,000, subject to the court’s approval.

Ground breaking court decision for injured boy

Our client was a 10 year old boy who cycled across a junction, straight through a give way sign onto the main road. He was struck by a car which was not exceeding the speed limit but we sued the driver and the owner of a car parked on the junction which had blocked our client’s vision at the crucial moment. The court found our client 50% to blame, and established that driving within the speed limit does not exclude negligence against a driver and that parking cars on the corners of junction and impeding visibility is negligent.

Teenager falls in derelict building

Miss F, 13, suffered a very severe head injury when playing with friends in a derelict building. She fell through a hole in the top floor and fell 15 feet, landing on concrete. Although she was a trespasser, we succeeded in establishing that the occupier was 75% responsible and went on to recover £275,000.00 compensation for her.

Shaken baby

Miss E sustained catastrophic brain injury when she was two months old, as a result of a violent shaking by her father who subsequently pleaded guilty to the offence of assault causing grievous bodily harm. As a result of her injuries Miss E suffered cerebral palsy affecting all four of her limbs, with fits and seizures controlled by medication. She would have significant developmental delays and extensive health and care needs, unable to sit up or roll over and with poor vision. We achieved the maximum award of £250,000.00 for the injuries themselves within 2 years of applying to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority for compensation. In addition we successfully persuaded the CICA to pay the costs of setting up and administering the trust fund, when normally those costs would be deducted from the award.

Last minute settlement for motor cycle courier

Mr B was 16 years old and working as a motorcycle courier. As he was driving his scooter, the door of a parked van opened and to avoid a collision, he was forced onto the opposite carriageway where he was struck by a motorcycle coming in the opposite direction. Mr B sustained catastrophic head and spinal injuries. We sued both the van driver and Mr B’s employer, the latter having provided a vehicle which Mr B was too young and untrained to ride, and effectively the means for him to have a serious accident. Days before the liability trial, both Defendants jointly accepted 90% liability for our client’s accident.