This statement has been prepared by Trethowans Solicitors on behalf of Sophie Wilkinson and her family.
On 4 March 2011, Sophie Wilkinson was awarded a significant interim payment at the Royal Courts of Justice.
Miss Wilkinson was seriously injured in a road traffic accident on 9 October 2007. The accident left her with life-threatening head injuries and she was in a coma for 6 months. She has remained an inpatient and has been receiving 24-hour care in specialist head injury wards and rehabilitation centres ever since.
Sophie has now made a remarkable recovery and it is hoped she will be ready to return home by the end of the year.
The interim award that has been made will enable Sophie’s family to find and adapt a suitable home for Sophie and the care regime that she needs, so that she can return to live with her family. In addition to needing specially adapted accommodation, Sophie also needs full time carers and specialist equipment. The interim payment ordered by the High Court will be looked after by the Court of Protection and used to provide for Sophie's needs.
Commenting on the Award, Sophie’s father Andrew said; "We are over the moon and looking forward to Sophie coming home so we can be a complete family again. The award will provide the means for us to ensure that Sophie has the facilities, support and specialist care that that she needs. We’re really hopeful that she will be home by Christmas.”
Commenting on the interim award, Sophie’s lawyer Gavin Lane, a Partner and Personal Injury Lawyer at Trethowans Solicitors said; "Sophie and her family have had a tough time over the last three and a half years. It is always very difficult in the aftermath of a serious accident where a member of the family has suffered severe injuries. This accident, in addition to leaving Sophie with life long injuries requiring 24-hour care and support, has also deprived a family of a loving daughter and sister from the family home and placed enormous stress on the whole family. This award will enable Sophie to be reunited with her family.”
"It is really important that it is understood that this is not windfall money but money that Sophie needs to provide her with a reasonable life. There are a number of people in Sophie’s position and, without exception, every single one of these people and their families would rather be in the position where the accident had not occurred.”
The award made on 4 March is an interim award. Further consideration will be given over the coming months to the full level of compensation that should be provided to Sophie. This is not likely to be concluded before a High Court trial in 2012.