The multi-million pound settlement of a car accident brain injury claim has been approved at the High Court in favour of a twenty-one year old man.
On 7th August 2010, Josh Humphrey (16) left his home in Bognor Regis in West Sussex to meet up with three friends for a day trip. The party travelled in a car driven by one of Josh´s friends – Laura Stocker (18) – who was an inexperienced driver; and, as Stocker drove down the A272 Billingshurst Road, she allowed her concentration to lapse and crashed into a 7.5 tonne lorry travelling in the opposite direction.
One of the passengers – Kirsty Hicks (16) from Slinford in West Sussex – died six days later as a result of the injuries she sustained in the accident, while Josh was airlifted to hospital having sustained a traumatic brain injury. Stocker was subsequently convicted with causing death by careless driving and given a suspended custodial sentence by Chichester Crown Court the following February.
Josh was treated for his traumatic brain injury at several different hospitals and rehabilitation units over the next few months, before being discharged to live in a specially adapted bungalow with his parents. After seeking legal advice, Josh´s mother – Steph Humphrey – made a car accident brain injury claim against Stocker.
As Stocker had already been convicted on causing death by careless driving, her insurance company admitted liability for Josh´s injuries quickly. Nonetheless, it took several years before an acceptable settlement could be agreed upon – which, although undisclosed, is believed to consist of a seven-figure lump sum payment and index-linked payments every year for the remainder of Josh´s life.
At the time that the car accident brain injury claim had been made, Josh was a legal minor. So, before any compensation could be paid to the family, the settlement package had to be approved by a judge to ensure it was in Josh´s best interests. On Monday this week, details of the car accident, the brain injury sustained by Josh and the settlement of the claim were heard at the High Court.
The settlement of the car accident brain injury claim was subsequently approved; after which Steph Humphrey told her local press: “We are grateful this aspect is now over. Nothing will take away Josh’s terrible difficulties but at least we no longer have the huge financial worries that arise as a result of brain injury.”