Motorcyclist wins compensation for crash which paralysed him despite his ‘appalling driving’

PUBLISHED: 18:24 13 June 2018 | UPDATED: 16:27 14 June 2018

The High Court in central London. Photo: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

The High Court in central London. Photo: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

A Norfolk man left paralysed by a horrific motorbike smash has won the right to massive compensation - despite his own “appalling driving”.

Gregory McPherson, 28, was riding at a “grossly excessive speed” in the seconds before he collided with an oncoming car in June 2014.

The accident in Norfolk Road, Wymondham, left him paralysed from the chest down, London’s High Court heard.

He appeared in court in a wheelchair and gave moving evidence about the accident that forever changed his life.

Mr McPherson, from Wymondham, acknowledged that he was going too fast before he hit the brakes.

“Now that I’ve grown up a bit, I realise the speed I was doing that day wasn’t acceptable”, he told the court.

However, he added that he was “there to be seen” and insisted that the motorist was also at fault.

Mr McPherson sued motor insurers for compensation, but they fought him every inch of the way in court.

And Judge Geoffrey Robinson ruled Mr McPherson two-thirds responsible for the accident.

He had overtaken a bus “at great speed” before the collision and an eye-witness had commented: “If he carries on like that, he is going to kill himself.”

The judge said: “In this case, Mr McPherson had been guilty of appalling driving for some time before he overtook the bus.”

However, the judge went on to rule that the motorist was one-third responsible for the tragedy.

Although he had indicated before executing a right turn, he should have spotted Mr McPherson before starting the manoeuvre.

“I conclude that Mr McPherson was there to be seen,” the judge added.

“He would have been seen if the motorist had taken a final look up the road before commencing his turn.

“He should have looked and therefore should have seen Mr McPherson.”

The ruling guarantees Mr McPherson substantial compensation for his injuries, although his payout will be reduced by two-thirds.

The amount of his award has yet to be assessed, but the extent of his disabilities means he may be due a seven-figure sum.

Mr McPherson was working as an oil salesman when disaster struck, but is now permanently confined to a wheelchair.

Lawyers on both sides paid tribute to the courage he had shown in coming to terms with his disabilities.

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