What is believed to be the highest recorded personal injury award was approved by the High Court in London this week in the sum of £23m. Agnes Collier, 17, lost the use of both legs and most of the function in her arms following the accident in March 2009 on the A436 in Gloucestershire. Tragically her mother was killed in the accident and Agnes' older brother suffered a serious head injury. The driver who caused the accident pleaded guilty to causing death by driving without due care and attention in November 2009 and was given a suspended 6 month prison sentence, banned from driving for 18 months and ordered to do 300 hours' unpaid community work.
The previous highest personal injury payout was around £12.2m. The payment, from Insurer's Allianz, consisted of a £7.25m lump sum plus annual payments of £270,000.00, made as a periodical payment order.
William Norris QC for Ms Collier described her as a "truly remarkable young lady", who had overcome great difficulties to return to her AS level studies at Cheltenham Ladies College. It is to her great credit that despite her injuries, Agnes has been offered a university place.
The director of claims for Allianz, Graham Gibson, went on record to express his sympathies to Agnes and her family, and stated that " ...insurers are here to provide help to the people who genuinely need our support. This case demonstrates exactly what insurance is really for - providing financial security and a level of comfort in times of need".
By personal injury executive, Pauline Smith