20 November 2012
Teenager granted £23m compensation after road traffic accident
Record compensation of £23 million has been awarded to a teenager who sustained life-changing injuries during a road traffic accident.
Agnes Collier, who is now 17 years old, was left paralysed after a crash that killed her mother Karen Hood and resulted in her brother Rufus suffering a head injury - from which he has now recovered - on the A436 in Gloucestershire in March 2009.
Due to the severity of her injuries, Agnes cannot use her legs and also has little function in her arms and her father Dominic Collier subsequently took legal action against Anthony Norton, the driver of the car responsible for the collision.
During this accident, Mr Norton pulled out of a side road, which caused Ms Hood to swerve and hit an oncoming truck.
Mr Norton was sentenced to six months in prison in November 2009 after he admitted causing death by dangerous driving by not controlling his vehicle with due care and attention.
The man was also banned from driving for 18 months and ordered to complete 300 hours worth of unpaid community service.
William Norris QC, representing the claimant during the case at the High Court in London, told Mr Justice MacDuff that Agnes is a "truly remarkable young lady", as she has returned to school and performed well in her AS-level exams.
"Her determination is extraordinary, but she has been blessed with a family who are thoroughly supportive and her stepmother has been a tower of strength," the counsel stated.
Meanwhile, Ben Browne QC, who represented the insurers in the legal process, said Agnes and her family deserve great credit for the way in which they have dealt with both her injuries - which were of the "very highest level of severity" - and the death of her mother.
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Posted by Francesca Witney