A cyclist, who now requires full-time care after a collision with a car in 2005, has been awarded £5.3 million in compensation for a cycling injury after an eight-year legal battle.
Toby Phethean-Hubble (24) from Knowle in Shropshire was just sixteen years of age when, in November 2005, he attempted to cycle across the road outside the Whitchurch Leisure Centre, and was hit by a car driven by seventeen year-old Sam Coles.
Coles had passed his driving test just eight days before the accident, and was driving his mother´s automatic for the first time. Even though he later admitted to seeing Toby cycling on the pavement, Coles said that there was nothing he could have done to prevent the accident – in which Toby was thrown over the top of the car before hitting the ground on the other side of the car.
Toby suffered catastrophic brain injuries and was at one point not expected to live. However, a groundbreaking operation in which Toby had a titanium plate inserted to his skull and years of physiotherapy later, Toby is now able to walk with the assistance of a frame, but still needs full-time care at a specialist centre in North Devon.
Through his mother, Toby made a claim for compensation for a cycling injury against Coles´ insurance company; but they denied liability and alleged that Toby himself was to blame for the accident due to his own lack of care and because he was not wearing a cycle helmet or using the lights on his bicycle at 8.00pm in the evening.
However, Coles had admitted to the police after the accident that he had been driving faster than the 30mph speed limit, and Toby´s mother took Toby´s cycling injury compensation claim to court; where in March 2011 Judge Wilcox ruled in Toby´s favour but assigned him one-third liability for his actions in causing the accident.
Coles´ insurers appealed the judgement and, after a hearing at the Appeal Court in 2012, Toby´s liability was increased to one-half, and the cycling injury compensation claim was adjourned for the assessment of damages.
Last week, Mr Justice Stewart at the High Court in London, approved a £5.3 million settlement of compensation for a cycling injury that help pay for Toby´s care and accommodation at the North Devon centre and enable him to afford the medical aids which will allow him to live as independently as possible.