Personal Injury News

Cyclist awarded £5m compensation

A cyclist has been awarded £5 million compensation after being left brain damaged when he was knocked off his bike on a country road.

Richard Harrison was awarded the money in an out-of-court settlement from the insurers of the driver who knocked him from his cycle more than four years ago.

Mr Harrison was previously awarded an interim compensation payment of £450,000, enabling him to buy his own house and today's award includes a one-off payment of £1.3 million and annual payments of £180,000 for the rest of his life.

The compensation is calculated to meet the cost of his ongoing medical and therapeutic care. The total amount awarded could reach up to £5 million or more.

Mr Harrison, now aged 35 and divorced, was hit by a Subaru Impreza driven by Jill Mills from Riding Mill, County Durham while he was cycling along Corbridge Road in Hexham on May 3, 1999. The accident left him with severe brain injury, all four limbs paralysed, and unable to speak coherently.

He has since made progress, thanks to constant care and assistance from his family and friends and Mr Harrison can now swim, eat and drink unaided and has started to rebuild his social life. The award will be used to build a specially-converted home in Hexham, Northumberland, near where his parents live.

Mr Harrison worked for the Analytical Environmental Services, testing for toxic gases in air for the Environmental Agency, and was considered to have a very bright future.

His father, John, said today: "Pursuing this award, which means so much to Richard, has been a long, exhausting process. Richard was simply out of it for a long time and this was terrible to see, but we always knew that with help he would get back."

John Davis of national law firm Irwin Mitchell's Newcastle office said of the award: "This compensation award brings great relief to Richard's family. Richard can now receive the very high level of care that he needs.

"His new house can be fully equipped and the funds are there to pay for the nursing staff needed to assist him with many of his daily tasks. He is making good but slow progress, largely due to Richard's friends and family who have remained extremely supportive."

Ananova: Thursday 2nd October 2003




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*Where replacement vehicle costs can be recovered from the insurance company of the person who caused the accident. Where this person is untraceable or uninsured, or where there is a dispute over liability, a replacement vehicle cannot be provided.