Call me back

Head injury girl receives payout

Upturned car after crash
14th May 2014

A woman who became brain damaged following a severe head injury suffered in a car accident, has been awarded a million pound compensation settlement.

The South Wales Echo reports that a woman who was just six years-old when she became the victim of the tragic crash in 1996 has won £4.25 million in damages.

Rhiannon Millett was the victim of a drink driver on Blackwood Road, in Blackwood, Caerphilly on March 17th, 25 years ago.

On that fateful day Jeremy Hallett, of Cripps Avenue, in Cefn Golau, Tredegar, drove his Land Rover head-on into the vehicle in which Ms Millett was travelling.

She suffered serious head injuries and a broken leg because of the crash.

And in further tragic events, her mother's partner, who was driving the car was killed in the accident.

After initially appearing to have escaped serious injury, a pre-existing congenital weakness in the tissues of her brain, were torn and she sadly suffered near fatal intracranial bleeding.

This meant she had to be rushed back into intensive care.

Many people who suffer ruptures such as this to the brain have been known to die as a result.

Mr Hallett was said to be over the drink-drive limit and driving on the wrong side of the road in the act that caused disaster.

He received a conviction of causing death by driving without due care and attention while over the drink-drive limit in March of 1997, at Cardiff Crown Court.

Claims for compensation over the head injury were then taken on by Rhiannon's mother, Alison Kearney.

This was the beginning of the family's ambition to win recompense for the injuries that left Rhiannon disabled for life.

It was in July 1998 that Mr Hallett's insurers admitted liability for the accident.

And only last week Mrs Justice Sharp, sitting at London’s High Court, finalised a payout totalling somewhere in the region of £4.25m, to settle the claim for Ms Millett.

The net total was decided upon because tax-free payments of £52,500 a year were deduced as being adequate to cover the costs of her care, for the rest of her days.

These will be paid along normal-length life expectancy, on top of a £1 million lump sum.

Rhiannon tried working in a supermarket but gave up after a few days, as things were simply too difficult.

Mrs Justice Sharp says: "I would like to extend my best wishes to Rhiannon and her mother who has bourne the burden of caring for her for many years." 

Reported by Fiona Campbell