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£6.3million pay out for car crash victim

PUBLISHED: 13:15 19 March 2009 | UPDATED: 16:21 25 August 2010

A teenager horrifically injured in a road crash 10 years ago has won a £6.3 million compensation pay-out at the High Court.

A teenager horrifically injured in a road crash 10 years ago has won a £6.3 million compensation pay-out at the High Court.

Danny Griffin, formerly of Lessness Park, Belvedere, was a 17-year-old apprentice carpenter when a speeding car of his peers crashed in Erith Road, in November 1998.

On Monday Mr Griffin was awarded a pay-out to cover all his future treatment from the liable insurance company.

The former Bexley College student, now 27, severely fractured his skull and damaged his brain when the car slammed on its side into a garden wall 50 metres from Erith Fire Station.

He was discharged from hospital later that month and returned to work soon after, but then endured a "spiral of deterioration", his QC, Simeon Maskrey, told the court.

Speaking to the Times, Danny's father Graham Griffin, a 52-year-old counsellor in Ashford, recalled the family's 'devastating' struggle to understand Danny's brain injury.

The former BT engineer said: "Danny was supposed to be getting a lift home from a friend's, but unfortunately they decided to 'cruise' around and the worst thing happened.

"Afterwards he would have nightmares, often about the accident, and felt very anxious and depressed."

Mr Griffin attempted to return to his job and college a few months after his accident but was unable to concentrate on his work.

It took seven years of psychiatric episodes and treatment before Mr Griffin was finally sectioned.

His father said: "I had to agree to the section, and that was one of our darkest days in both of our lives.

"What we didn't know then was that he required special brain injury rehabilitation treatment, not drugs.

"I have learnt painfully that a lot of people will have accidents and no one will understand the full extent of their injuries for years."

Two years ago Mr Griffin was taken to a specialist unit in St Helens where he underwent a sudden "renaissance".

He has since learnt to play the guitar, to drive, has finished his apprenticeship, and hopes to move back to Kent and work in a sheltered environment.

His father added: "Danny's courage and tenacity over these 10 years have impressed me so much. He is a remarkable character."

jules.cooper@archant.co.uk

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