Disabled Ryan’s payout 16 years after accident

Debbie Hughes with her son Ryan Cooper who has finally received his compensation after his accident 16 years ago.

Debbie Hughes with her son Ryan Cooper who has finally received his compensation after his accident 16 years ago.

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A remarkable young man from Burnley has been awarded a significant amount of money 16 years after he was left severely disabled in a road accident.

Ryan Cooper will receive two lump sums and payments for the rest of his life to subsidise the 24-hour care he needs after being hit by an uninsured car as a child in 1999.

It is a huge weight off our shoulders to finally be able to move forward. It has taken a long time to reach this point.

Mum Debbie Hughes

Brave Ryan, who will celebrate his 22nd birthday next week, amazed doctors by learning to walk again after suffering severe brain damage in the accident in Stockbridge Road, Padiham, which left him in a coma for six months.

His mother, Debbie Hughes, said she was brought to tears when her family finally won a liability trial at the High Court in Preston in May, 2013.

This week, barristers representing the family and the Motor Insurers’ Bureau agreed the huge payout.

Debbie said: “It is a huge weight off our shoulders to finally be able to move forward. It has taken a long time to reach this point. Even after we won the case, medical professionals have been visiting Ryan to assess the level of care and subsequent amount of money we would need. It is a lot of money but it will give Ryan some independence.”

Ryan, who enjoys training at Lifestyle Fitness Gym in Burnley, has now bought himself a bungalow, powered wheelchair and car.

He said: “I am looking forward to having my own place, and I am relieved for my family who have gone through a lot.

“I enjoy sport and would like to coach other disabled young people. I really enjoy boccia and wheelchair basketball. I want to be an inspiration to others.”

Simon Clarke, of Blackburn law firm Joseph Frasier, who represented the family, said he was pleased with the outcome.

He said: “Throughout this long ordeal, Ryan has retained a great sense of humour. The figure is substantial but will help towards Ryan’s care for the rest of his life.”

The family are now planning a celebration meal at the Cellar in Padiham for everyone who has helped Ryan since the accident.