The High Court has approved a settlement of cyclist brain injury compensation in favour of a former journalist who was injured by a negligent lorry driver.
Thirty-one year old Mary Bowers was cycling to her job as a journalist with The Times newspaper, when – on 4th November 2011 – she stopped at a red light on Dock Street, just ninety metres from her workplace.
As she waited for the lights to change, a 33 tonne lorry pulled up behind her. The driver of the lorry was engaged in a hands-free telephone conversation at the time, and he neglected to ensure the handbrake of the lorry was fully on.
Tragically, the lorry rolled forward and crushed Mary beneath its wheels. Mary was taken to hospital in a coma, suffering from a severe brain injury, two broken legs, a severed artery, a punctured lung, a broken arm and a broken pelvis.
The driver of the lorry – Petre Beiu – was found guilty of careless driving, fined £2,700 and disqualified from driving for eight months in December 2012. Following Beiu´s conviction, Mary´s father – Peter – claimed cyclist brain injury compensation from the negligent driver´s insurers.
An undisclosed settlement of compensation was agreed. However, as the claim for compensation had been made on behalf of a plaintiff unable to represent themselves, the settlement had to be approved by a judge to ensure that it was in Mary´s best interests.
Consequently, at the High Court in London, Mr Justice Supperstone heard how Mary was a bright and intelligent woman with a promising career at The Times ahead of her. The judge also heard that she now resides in a specialist rehabilitation centre in Brentwood, Essex.
The judge was told that the undisclosed settlement of cyclist brain injury compensation would be used to provide Mary with a private bungalow at the rehabilitation centre and to provide care and therapy. Judge Supperstone had no hesitation in approving the settlement.
Speaking after the approval hearing, Mary´s father told reporters: “The impact of Mary’s injuries has been devastating to her – her career was flourishing and she had her whole life ahead of her. We are relieved that now she will have access to vital funds which will help go toward specialist treatment to help and support her through her ongoing rehabilitation.”