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Girl wins £1.4 million

“I don’t know what we would have done without Harris Fowler’s support and help”

Pam Thompson speaking after Harris Fowler secured a full and final settlement of £1.4 million pounds for her granddaughter Sam Beese, following an accident in which Sam suffered an extremely severe traumatic brain injury.

Sam Beese was a normal happy ten year old child at the time of the accident in 1987. She was cycling in a suburb of Bristol when she was struck and seriously injured by a car leaving her with ongoing mental problems. Initially unable to cope in educational settings and finding it difficult to sustain friendships, as she grew older she required ongoing support and guidance.

It was clear from the outset that Sam and her family were going to need substantial help and support over a long period. Stephen Baker, a Partner at Harris Fowler, who handled Sam’s case said “the impact of a brain injury on a young child is notoriously difficult to assess and it is well known that the injured victim will have reached adulthood before a final assessment of their needs can be made.” Despite this the car driver’s insurer, although admitting liability, attempted to close the case down quickly by offering an initial settlement to Sam’s family of £30,000. Stephen advised the family to reject the offer and was able to secure interim payments from the insurer so that Harris Fowler could help the family set up a care and support regime for Sam.

Stephen and his team at Harris Fowler continued to support Sam and her family over ten years as Sam grew into adulthood and it became possible to fully understand what work Sam would be capable of undertaking and what continuing help and support she would need.

Harris Fowler recommended that a settlement of £1.4m million pounds would be needed to enable Sam to lead a life as near normal a life as possible. This was finally agreed by the driver’s insurer in an out of court settlement which was subsequently approved by the Court.

Commenting on the case Stephen said “Sam’s accident has had a devastating impact on her life and that of her family and money will not compensate for this, but it will help her. The completely inadequate offer made by the insurance company underlines the importance of legal representation. Regrettably tactics of this type from insurance companies are all too common in Personal Injury cases. Had she not been represented by specialist solicitors working on a no win no fee basis Sam’s family would have been unable to begin to afford the costs involved in fighting the insurer and their lawyers over such a lengthy period and would effectively have been denied the justice to which they were entitled”.