If Your Child Is Born Disabled You Don’t Have to Cope Alone

HospitalWhen children are born disabled, stoic parents often believe that no one is to blame and that they must cope alone. However, a case in which a young man won millions in compensation from the NHS showed how wrong such assumptions can be and that it is always wise to seek legal advice at an early stage.

The man, aged in his early 20s, was stricken by streptococcal meningitis soon after his birth and was not treated with antibiotics as he should have been. He sustained brain damage as a result and suffered impaired vision, autism and cognitive difficulties. For the first 17 years of his life, his parents were unaware that his injuries had been caused by clinical negligence. However, after they finally consulted solicitors, the NHS swiftly apologised and admitted full liability.

In those circumstances, the family’s lawyers succeeded in negotiating a settlement of his case. The NHS agreed to pay a lump sum of £5.2 million, together with index-linked and tax-free payments of £150,000 a year to cover the costs of the man’s care for life. The Court observed that the settlement would achieve his parents’ ambition of ensuring that he receives the best of care into old age.