Family’s care cost victory offers new hope for paralysed student

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THE FAMILY of a student who was left paralysed in all four limbs after a car crash have won a legal battle for her lifelong care and rehabilitation.

Rosie Mayes, from Sheffield, was just 20 when, in December 2009, the car driven by her then-boyfriend went onto the wrong side of the road in Dronfield, Derbyshire, and collided with an embankment before overturning.

It took firefighters more than half an hour to cut her from the wreckage and she spent 12 days in intensive care over Christmas with a serious spinal injury.

Miss Mayes, who was then studying history at York University, spent a total of 10 months in hospital.

As a result of the crash she was left tetraplegic, with only a small amount of movement in her right arm, and is now confined to a wheelchair and in need of round-the-clock care.

The driver’s insurance company denied liability for Miss Mayes’ injuries, forcing her and her family to go through a three-day liability trial at the High Court in Leeds.

At the hearing last week, Mr Justice Singh ruled in favour of Miss Mayes, granting her a further interim payment of damages to enable her care to continue and allowing her legal team to begin work on agreeing a settlement that will fund her lifelong care.

Ms Mayes’ father Andy Wynne said yesterday: “We’re relieved that the uncertainty and stress is over, but feel the liability trial was totally unnecessary as the outcome – in my mind – was never in doubt.

“This means Rosie can move on, as the big financial threat that’s been held over her has gone away.

“She can get on with her life now, focus on university and moving forward.”

Miss Mayes, who gained five A grades at A level at school in Dronfield, has now restarted a BA course in history at Sheffield University.

Spinal injury expert Rachael Aram from Irwin Mitchell, who represented Rosie, said: “The conduct of the defendants in this case has been hugely disappointing and has shown no consideration for what Rosie and her family have been through.

“We will now begin the process of investigating thoroughly all of her needs and requirements and ensuring that we obtain a final settlement to secure her future.”

The driver of the vehicle was never prosecuted for his role in the crash.