Woman Injured in Her Mother's Womb Receives Millions in Damages
Unborn children can sadly pay a terrible price if accidents befall their mothers during pregnancy. In one case, however, seven-figure compensation was obtained for a woman who had yet to draw her first breath when a road crash condemned her to a lifetime of disability.
The woman, now in her 20s, was still in utero when her mother's car was struck by a pickup truck that emerged into her path. Following her birth four months later it became clear that she had sustained brain damage. She suffers from some physical and intellectual deficits, but her emotional, social and behavioural difficulties are the predominant aspect of her disabilities.
She has difficulty forming relationships and her sense of frustration causes outbursts of physical and verbal aggression and rage which can be triggered by such trivial matters as losing a sock. Her high-achieving and mild-mannered parents, however, work hard to carefully plan her days to avoid such triggers.
After the truck driver's motor insurers admitted liability for the accident, a final settlement was negotiated on the woman's behalf. Together with a lump sum of £3,292,000, she will receive index-linked payments of £100,000 a year to cover the costs of her care for life.
In approving the settlement, the High Court noted that it was a very difficult case on which to place a financial value. There was broad disagreement between medical experts concerning her long-term prognosis and the level of care and supervision she will require in the future. The Court, however, commended both sides for reaching a proper and sensible compromise.