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Kerry's story


Kerry's story

Kerry was just 12 years old when she sustained devastating brain injuries in a road traffic accident on the 4 December 2002. Just over four years later on the 9 February 2007, the court approved a lump sum settlement.

What that means in real terms is a substantial six figure payment award which will enable Kerry's parents, Sheila and John, to make sure that she is cared for. When compensation is agreed, the relief for parents of children like Kerry, injured in accidents or through medical negligence, is immense, but it is only as a result of the hard work and dedication of a FOCIS member law firm that settlements are reached.

Contentious areas

The FOCIS member law firm took on Kerry's case soon after the accident and immediately began to assemble the evidence necessary to mount a claim against the negligent driver. There were arguments with regard to the circumstances of the accident and liability was agreed and approved by the court 90:10 in Kerry's favour.

Other issues arose with regard to the value of the case, said the FOCIS member law firm, "As is commonly the case in serious injuries, the issue of life expectancy was contentious".  Professor B's final estimate of life expectancy for Kerry was that she would live to age 62.

The defendants relied on Dr G, a consultant paediatric neurologist who calculated life expectancy to just over 30 years. There was clearly some considerable divergence of opinion on this issue.

The level of settlement was in-line with Professor B's estimate of life expectancy, which resulted in a much higher amount of compensation for Kerry.

The other major area of contention was future care. The FOCIS member law firm was able to prove that there was evidence from the care diaries kept that there was need for two waking carers as opposed to a night sleeper/sitter.

Tough negotiations

Kerry's parents and the FOCIS member law firm were in favour of resolving the case by periodical payments for some areas of the claim. The defendants preferred a lump sum award which was refused but after some tough negotiation the defendants eventually offered a revised sum. "It was an amount which more than allowed for future inflation and on the evidence the offer was a very good one." said lawyers at the FOCIS member law firm.  

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