Motorcycle crash victim’s compensation battle for new South Yorkshire home

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A woman left paralysed after a motorbike crash has had her dream of moving into a home of her own jeopardised by a High Court ruling.

Tragic Kirsty Grainger broke her back when she was thrown from a bike on which she was riding pillion on April 24, 2012.

The accident happened on the day after her 22nd birthday and Kirsty, from Thurnscoe, near Rotherham, was left paraplegic and has to use a wheelchair for life.

She is now battling for multi-million pound damages from motor insurers who admitted full liability to compensate her the year after the accident.

Her damages are set to be assessed in full by a judge at a hearing next year.

Judge Graham Robinson told London’s High Court that Kirsty has already received more than £900,000 on account of her final damages award.

The money had been used to fund her care and specialist adaptations to her parents’ home on Lawnswood Drive, Goldthorpe, so that she could live with them.

But the court heard Kirsty, the youngest of five sisters, is determined to live independently and has now set her heart on a house on High Street, Thurnscoe.

And her barrister Matthew Phillips asked the judge to award her another £500,000 down-payment on her damages to fund the purchase.

Judge Robinson said Kirsty understandably wished to make a life for herself independent of her parents.

He said she was clearly ‘extremely emotionally attached’ to the Thurnscoe property and her father’s offer to buy it for £252,000 had been accepted.

The judge added: “This grievously injured claimant deserves to be allowed to get on with her much altered life as soon as possible”.

However, the judge said there was no ‘reasonable necessity’ for her to move into a home of her own straight away.

Her parents’ house had been converted to meet her needs, at a total cost of more than £279,000, as recently as March 2013, the court was told.

And the full hearing of her ‘very substantial’ damages claim was only about nine months away.

Judge Robinson awarded her a further interim payment of £133,000 – making a total of well over £1 million Kirsty has received to date.

But he acknowledged that that was unlikely to be enough to enable her to buy the Thurnscoe house.

Even if she could raise a mortgage to fill the funding gap, she would not be in a position to carry out necessary adaptations before her case was heard.

The judge said he had to limit Kirsty’s interim payout to ensure ‘a level playing field’ when the case reaches court next year.

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