A cyclist who was forced to quit his job thanks to injuries sustained in a collision with a motorbike has been awarded £100,000 in compensation - and says that he can now make plans to get married.
Heath Marshall, 48, was a mechanic before he was hit by a motorbike in Sutton Coldfield in January last year.
With a smashed skull and serious leg injuries he was no longer able to work - or to ride his bike, on which he used to rack up 30 miles a day.
The father of four said he, his fiancée and two of their children had been living in a caravan for the past three years, hoping to save up for a house - but their dreams had been shattered with the collision.
But the out of court settlement will go some way to ensuring they have their wedding - which was cancelled - and a new home.
Heath told the Birmingham Mail: “I want to be able to stand up and say my vows and not be sitting there in a wheelchair.”
He added: “We moved into the caravan before my accident so we could save for a deposit for our own home.
“But that all went horribly wrong because I had to quit my job.
“We are staying with friends at the moment because it is far too cold to be living in a caravan at the moment.”
He added that the collision had taken a toll psychologically.
“I find it very hard to concentrate for long periods and I find I repeat myself a lot,” he said.
“It’s down to the head injury and I know in time I will get to a point where I can begin to accept things.
“But it is very hard at the moment and I have some very bad days.”
Law firm Slater and Gordon helped Heath obtain the £100,000 compensation for his injuries.
Christopher Baxendale, a personal injury specialist at the law firm, said: “This case shows just how easily accidents can happen on the roads and the importance of being aware of cyclists.
“That split second has forever changed Mr Marshall’s life and forced him to give up a job and a hobby that he loved.
“Although nothing can change that, this money will help him get back on track and start to build a new life for himself and his family.”
The level of payout is similar to one won last month by a cyclist who was hit by a car, leaving him in a wheelchair for four months, leading to him being awarded £105,000 in compensation.
Metalwork inserted into the cyclist’s legs after injuries sustained after being knocked off his bike by a car on a roundabout near Corfe Mullen in May 2010 was not removed for three years, during which time he missed many days of work and two holidays.
Following an MRI scan, he was diagnosed with a full thickness tear of the posterior cruciate ligament with joint swelling.
Although the driver’s insurer admitted liability and offered compensation of £50,000, the cyclist’s lawyer, Brian Parsons of Coles Miller in Poole, claimed for further damages and won, despite the three-year limit on the claim having expired.
Also last month we reported how a cyclist who was left severely brain damaged and needing care for life after being hit by a car in Brighton was awarded more than £5 million in damages to help with the ‘difficulties ahead’.
The father, who is aged in his forties, was said to have suffered consequences from the collision that were “absolutely devastating for his health, life expectancy, his marriage and for his family,” according to Mrs Justice Cheema-Grubb, who gave the ruling at London’s High Court.
Following the 2009 collision, the judge also praised his family’s ‘incredible devotion' and said that she hoped the payout would 'go some way to helping him with the difficulties ahead’.