Bike crash victim awarded £3m damages

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A man who suffered terrible injuries in a road accident was awarded £3.15 million damages today in a case which a judge said represented "the triumph of human spirit over adversity".

Neil Alick Nicolson, 42, requires 24-hour nursing for every aspect of his life, and has severe cognitive problems affecting his short-term memory, although he has made significant progress in recent months.

But his counsel, Robert Glancy QC, told Mr Justice Butterfield at London's High Court that Neil Alick was "still an interesting and pleasant person to be with, with a wicked sense of humour which has survived all his travails".

He enjoyed talking to friends about youthful escapades and was supported by his mother, Betty, and other family, who live near his newly converted bungalow in Corpach, Fort William, Inverness-Shire.

"I have never known a family devote more affection, attention and effort than they have to restoring Neil Alick to the best possible health."

Mr Nicolson was working as a scaffolder when he was thrown from his motorbike after it was in collision with a car in Carshalton, Surrey, in August 2002.

The agreed settlement was against the insurers of motorist Brenda Willis, of Riverside Drive, Mitcham, Surrey, on the basis that she was two-thirds to blame for the accident.

Approving the award, the judge said: "This is yet another case representing the triumph of human spirit over adversity.

"It is quite clear that the family have done everything possible, and more, to help him in these wretched times. I wish them all good fortune in the future."