Personal injury news

Teenager wins car accident claim after horrifying road smash

A teenage girl who was left paralysed after a horrifying road smash has won a successful car accident claim and been awarded 2.2million.

Ashleigh Cowen, now 16, was hit by a British Telecom van as she got off a school bus in Chester-le-Street, County Durham, in 2002. Thrown into the air by the impact, she was left with a spinal cord injury that will prevent her from ever walking again.

The road accident also left the teenager with serious brain damage and she can now only communicate with others by blinking her eyes. She needed 18 months of medical treatment before she was allowed to return home, and now lives in a specially-adapted house.

Following the successful car accident claim at Newcastle High Court, Ashleigh's family told reporters they would use the money to employ a full-time nurse to supply 24-hour care. They also plan to buy an advanced computer that will track her eye movements and allow her to communicate in more detail.

A spokesman for British Telecom said, "Both parties had reached agreement on the matter of liability some time ago.

"BT is pleased for Ashleigh and for her family that today's court judgement has made an award in accordance with what has been agreed, and brings all legal proceedings to a conclusion."



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*Where replacement vehicle costs can be recovered from the insurance company of the person who caused the accident. Where this person is untraceable or uninsured, or where there is a dispute over liability, a replacement vehicle cannot be provided.