The High Court has approved a settlement of compensation for being paralysed in an accident for a 17 year old girl who lost the use of her legs after being involved in a car crash in which her mother died.
Agnes Collier from Naunton in Gloucestershire was just 13 years of age when the car driver by her mother was in a head-on collision with a lorry on the A436. Her mother had taken evasive action to avoid hitting a car emerging from a side road and was killed instantly in the accident.
Agnes lost the use of both her legs due to the severe spinal injuries she sustained in the accident and only has limited use of her arms. Her older brother, who was also a passenger in the car at the time of the accident, suffered a head injury from which he has now recovered.
The driver of the car Agnes´ mother was trying to avoid – Andrew Norton of Andoversford in Gloucestershire – was found responsible for causing the accident and received a suspended sentence for causing death by driving without due care and attention.
Following his conviction, Agnes´ made a claim for compensation for being paralysed in an accident against Norton´s insurance company through her father Dominic. With no need for negligence to be established, the only issue to be resolved was how much compensation for being paralysed in an accident Agnes should receive.
At the High Court in London, Mr Justice Macduff heard that a settlement had been agreed which sees Agnes receiving £7.25 million now as a lump sum and future annual payments of £270,000. Should Agnes reach her anticipated life expectancy, the total value of the claim for being paralysed in an accident would exceed £23 million – a new record for a compensation settlement in the UK.
After hearing the facts of the accident, and how Agnes had coped with her injuries and the death of her mother, Mr Justice Macduff approved the settlement, adding “It never ceases to amaze me how people can deal with this type of adversity. I can’t turn back the clock, but what I can do is to wish you all the very best for your future.”