A claim for a cyclists injuries has been resolved eight years after he sustained life-threatening injuries in a road traffic accident and following three court hearings.
Toby Phethean-Hubble was a sixteen-year-old teenager when, in November 2005, he cycled into the street to cross the road outside the Whitchurch Leisure Centre in Shropshire, and was knocked over by a car being driven by seventeen-year-old teenager Sam Coles.
Coles – who had passed his driving test only eight days earlier and who was driving his parent´s automatic car for the first time – admitted to police that he had seen Toby cycling along the pavement, but was unable to prevent the collision when Toby cycled off the pavement and onto the road. He also confessed to driving faster than the 30 miles-per-hour speed limit.
Toby suffered catastrophic brain injuries in the accident and it was feared that he may not live. However, following an operation to place a titanium plate in his head and years of physiotherapy at a specialist centre in North Devon, Toby can now walk again with the assistance of a walking frame.
Because he was too badly injured to represent himself, Toby made a compensation claim for cyclists injuries against Coles through his mother; but Coles´ insurance company denied that their client was responsible for causing the accident, and the compensation claim for cyclists injuries proceeded to court.
At the High Court in London In March 2011, Judge Wilcox found in Toby´s favour – but said that he should assume one-third liability for the accident due to his contributory negligence. Coles´ insurers appealed the decision and, in April 2012, the Appeal Court increased the deduction of compensation for cyclists injuries to one-half in respect of Toby´s own lack of care.
The Appeal Court case was subsequently adjourned to allow for the assessment of damages, and last week – in a further hearing at the High Court – Mr Justice Stewart approved a £5.3 million settlement Toby´s claim for cyclists injuries which will enable him to continue receiving treatment for his injuries at the North Devon rehabilitation centre.