Many parents of children who are born disabled care for them without any support. However, parents may want to consider looking into the exact circumstances around the birth, as there may be grounds for pursuing a personal injury claim. A recent High Court case proved this to be a sensible course of action.
The case concerned a 25-year-old man who had been stricken by cerebral palsy, developmental delay and autism since his birth. For years, his parents soldiered on, caring for him without support. It was only after his mother died that his father realised that he would not be able to cope indefinitely. So, with his son’s long-term welfare in mind, he contacted solicitors.
After proceedings were issued on his son’s behalf, the NHS trust that ran the hospital where the child was born swiftly admitted that there had been a negligent delay in his delivery, resulting in oxygen starvation and brain damage. Following negotiations, the trust agreed to a seven-figure settlement of the claim.
The settlement took the form of a £3.5 million lump sum, together with annual, index-linked and tax-free payments to cover the costs of his care for life, starting at £60,000 a year before doubling to £120,000 a year when he reaches the age of 35. The High Court did not hesitate to approve those figures.
Nothing can truly compensate for mistakes made by medical staff during a child’s birth that can cause permanent damage. However, a financial settlement enables the family to achieve the best possible quality of life for their child, without the stress of money worries.