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Teen Paralysed In Car Crash Gets £23m Payout
A teenager who was paralysed in a car crash that killed her mother is to receive record compensation worth £23m.
Cheltenham Ladies College pupil Agnes Collier, now 17, was left with no use of her legs and little function in her arms after the March 2009 accident on the A436 in Gloucestershire.
Damages were awarded against the insurers of motorist Anthony Norton, who caused the accident when he pulled out of a side road. The manoeuvre led to the car Ms Collier was travelling in to be hit by an oncoming lorry.
Composed of a £7.25m lump sum plus annual payments of £270,000, the payout is believed to be the highest ever for personal injury, topping the previous record of £12.2m.
The youngster's 48-year-old mother Karen Hood, a teacher, died in the crash.
Norton, of Andoversford, Gloucestershire, was sentenced to six months jail suspended for a year for causing death by driving without due care and attention.
Agnes's father, investment banker Dominic Collier, and stepmother Jannene, were at London's High Court for Monday's hearing.
Agnes' counsel William Norris QC, told Mr Justice MacDuff that she was a "truly remarkable young lady" and a very bright girl who had done astonishingly well in returning to school and taking her AS-levels.
But he said the need to use a scribe and the overwhelming burden of tiredness had affected her exam results to some extent.
She is unlikely to achieve the university place she had hoped for, but the teenager already had one offer and was set on a career, he added.
"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," Mr Norris said.
After the hearing, the family's solicitor Paul Paxton, of Stewarts Law, said the award would be paid out over her lifetime.
He added: "While it is a lot of money, Agnes's needs are great and she needs those for the rest of her life.
"The family want to be able to move on with their lives now this chapter has closed."