Friday, 23 January 2015

Stewarts Law: securing interim payments for clients with spinal cord injuries

In our fourth blog post, we discussed the importance of bringing viable claims in order to meet the short and long term needs of those affected by serious injury.

In this post, we address how interim payments are often crucial for victims of accidents to help them adjust to life with a spinal cord injury and return to Issy’s story.

We have discussed how we represented the young and ambitious Issy Sale who has complete tetraplegia, following a car crash when she was nine in July 2005. She sustained severe damage to her spinal cord, resulting in complete tetraplegia. Issy Sale will be dependent on a ventilator for the rest of her life and uses a chin-controlled electric wheelchair.

We recognise that early access to interim payments can make a real difference and are aggressive in pursuing interim payments for our clients so that they can, at an early stage, make arrangements in relation to treatment, rehabilitation, care, equipment, transport and accommodation.

In Issy’s case, interim payments were critical to enable Issy, her father Dr Andrew Sale, her mother and older brother Ted, to buy a more appropriate home in Ludham.

Paul Paxton of Stewarts Law represented Issy and her family. Her mother’s insurers quickly admitted liability and made substantial interim payments.

Despite her injuries, Issy - whose IQ puts her in the top 4% of her age group – has just completed her AS-levels and is aiming for a Russell Group University and a career in languages. Mrs Justice Nicola Davies, who approved the final compensation award at London's High Court, said one could not but feel "humbled and impressed" at Issy's extreme bravery and fortitude.

The judge, who later came down to sit by her side for a private chat, added: "It's utterly remarkable what you have achieved. GCSEs and A-levels are not easy for anyone and to have done what you have done is fantastic."

Issy’s successful claim reinforces the importance of assessing immediate and long-term needs to make an adequate and appropriate award of interim payments combined with damages.

Read more about our work with SIA here.

More information on Paul Paxton, Partner at Stewarts Law who specialises in complex personal injury claims, and led Issy’s case, can be found here.

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