Student injured in horror crash wins big payout

A STUDENT who was left paralysed from the neck down when the car she was a passenger in crashed, trapping her in the wreckage, has been given a seven-figure compensation payout.

Rosie Mayes

Rosie Mayes, from Gleadless in Sheffield, was left tetraplegic, unable to use any of her four limbs, by the accident in December 2009 when the vehicle hit an embankment and overturned.

The 24-year-old has only a small amount of movement in her right bicep and spoke of her relief at the settlement which will pay for the 24-hour care and rehabilitation she will need for the rest of her life.

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It comes after a three-year legal battle with an insurance firm over liability for the collision.

Rosie Mayes was left paralysed in a car crash and has secured a seven-figure payout.

She said: “The moment the judge said we had won the case in February last year was a huge relief but getting the settlement agreement through has felt like the final milestone I’ve had to overcome.

“Now I can finally move on, make plans for the future and decide what I want to do with my life now I know the specialist care and support I need is taken care of.”

Miss Mayes was 20 when the car, driven by her then boyfriend, swerved onto the wrong side of the road in Dronfield, Derbyshire, and crashed, leaving her with a serious spinal injury.

It took firefighters more than half an hour to cut her from the wreckage on Stubley Hollow and she spent 12 days in intensive care over Christmas, followed by another 10 months in hospital.

Then studying history at York University, she now uses a wheelchair and needs round-the-clock care.

She lives with her parents, Wendy and Andy, and their home has been extended and adapted as the legal claim progressed through the High Court, funded by interim payments.

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

At the hearing in February 2012, Mr Justice Singh ruled in favour of Miss Mayes, granting her a further interim payment of damages to enable her care to continue, prior to the settlement to pay for her lifelong care being agreed.

Now her legal team at law firm Irwin Mitchell have secured the seven-figure compensation payout, plus annual payments for the rest of her life.

Rachael Aram, the spinal injury expert who represented Miss Mayes, said: “The settlement will ensure Rosie will have access to the professional care she needs for the rest of her life and we hope it gives her a sense of justice for what she’s been through as well as helping her to live as independent a life as possible.

“Rosie has been tremendously brave over the past three years and is very determined to not only be successful herself, but also to help others through fundraising and charity work.”

Miss Mayes, who gained five A grades at A level at school, is currently in her final year studying a BA history at Sheffield University.