Express & Star

Cyclist injured in Bridgnorth crash given payout

A retired tool maker whose life was changed when he was run over by a car has received a payout of almost £500,000.


Derek Harriman, 72, was cycling with his helmet on in Bridgnorth, when he was hit by Peugeot on September 20, 2009.

He was thrown from his bike and suffered brain injuries when he was hit by the car.

The driver's insurers admitted liability and have paid Mr Harriman £482,500 in compensation.

Former trade union shop steward Mr Harriman, who now lives in Auxerre, France, had his life changed by the accident with his brain injuries impacting on every aspect of his day-to-day life.

Although liability was not disputed, the parties were due for a High Court fight over the level of the damages Mr Harriman should get.

However, out-of-court negotiations resulted in the settlement, which were approved by Mr Justice Nicol yesterday.

The High Court heard that Mr Harriman, who was formerly of Redditch, was injured on a visit back to the UK.

His second wife has taken up much of the strain of looking after him, but given that she herself is 77, she has found it difficult and has had to hire domestic help, said his barrister, Katharine Deal.

"He continues to experience significant daily symptoms, consistent with the severity of the head injury, cannot live independently and is limited in almost every area of his everyday life," she said.

"The sum proposed by the defendant provides enough for them to commence a regime to attempt to expand his horizons a little and see what improvements can be reached."

The settlement reached court because it is not yet known whether Mr Harriman has the capacity to make complicated financial decisions and so required a judge's approval just in case.

Mr Justice Nicol said: "Looking at the matter overall, I am perfectly content to approve this settlement on behalf of Mr Harriman, should that be necessary," said

"When somebody has been injured in the way that Derek Harriman was injured, it does have a profound impact not only on his own life, but also on the lives of his family.

"They have assumed the obligation and requirements that come with a relative who has become significantly incapacitated.

"They have done so willingly and with love and affection. They have the court's appreciation and gratitude."

Given Mr Harriman's age, it was accepted that a lump sum, rather than annual payments, would best meet his needs.

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