AWARDED about $6 million by the courts after suffering severe brain damage, Miss Z is a 'classic case' demonstrating the problems with the Judiciary's handling of funds for accident victims, according to her solicitor. Her life expectancy is only slightly shorter than normal, said John Budge of Wilkinson and Grist. Miss Z is in her mid-20s, and when her parents die she may need to pay for medical care for up to 40 years. Nursing costs are rising even faster than wage inflation, which is nearly double the rate of cost inflation. 'The general rule is that once a settlement is made you can't get more,' Mr Budge said. If the cash runs out, those needing care have to turn to public assistance. Data provided in expert testimony in the case last year of Chan Pui-ki, who sustained severe injuries after being hit by a bus at age 10, showed that over the past decade $6 million would have accrued $365,400 if held on three-month deposit in a typical year, as is current judiciary practice. But the average pension fund manager will return nearly three times as much - $954,000 - meaning the victim will have an extra $588,600 to pay expenses. Courts have refused to allow lump sum transfers of accident awards into trusts.