A WOMAN who suffered serious life-threatening injuries after a car accident has been awarded £1.35m in compensation.
Sophie Wilkinson, now 20, suffered the injuries when she was the passenger in an horrific car crash in which the car she was travelling in was hit by an 18-ton lorry.
Now Sophie, from Eddington Close in Bishop’s Waltham, has been awarded £1.35 million in damages as an interim payment after a ruling by the High Court in London.
The payout is likely to be only a fraction of the full compensation which she will get.
A further High Court hearing to decide the full amount the family will be awarded will not take place until the end of next year.
The money will be used to purchase and adapt a new home which will suit Sophie’s needs.
Since the accident, Sophie has needed 24 hour care and has been staying at a rehabilitation centre in Dorset.
It now means that she will be able to move back to the area and live with her family again.
The family are hoping they will be able to have Sophie home in time for Christmas.
Sophie’s dad Andrew, said they are thrilled: ‘We have got a long way to go yet. We have got a big trial at the end of next year. But we are delighted.’
Sophie had been looking forward to a gap year in Africa teaching children orphaned by Aids and helping rehome orphaned lion cubs.
She planned to go to Cardiff university and then fulfil her dream of becoming a teacher for children with special needs.
But on October 9, 2007, at the age of 17, Sophie got into a car with friend David Brookman and her life changed forever after his Peugeot 106 collided with a lorry near Bishop’s Chase.
Despite not suffering any broken bones, Sophie’s internal injuries were the worst doctors said they had ever seen.
She suffered major head injuries, a serious fracture to her skull, major abdominal injuries and a ruptured pancreas which developed into pancreatitis.
Her family spent months at her bedside whilst she was in a coma in hospitals in Southampton and later in Bath.
They were told she might never wake up.
But Andrew added that Sophie was now progressing well.
‘She is doing as well as can be expected,’ he said.
‘The overall objective of the family was always to bring her home. That’s what we always wanted – to get her safely home.
‘The travelling to and from Bath for two years and to and from Dorset has taken its toll.’
As well as funding a new house, the money will also go towards funding for two carers, special equipment and a van to transport her around.