AFTER suffering a serious brain injury in a head-on collision, Paul Vallance has received a £4 million High Court settlement following an eight-year legal battle for justice.

Paul, who was 18 at the time of the accident, was driving friends home after a night out on April 13, 2006, travelling on the B4192 towards Aldbourne, between Chilton Foliat and the turning for Ramsbury, when a driver going in the opposite direction lost control and ploughed into his car at speed.

Paul, who lived in Baydon, near Malborough, at the time of the accident, was rushed unconscious to the Great Western Hospital.

He sustained a fracture to his leg, injuries to his shoulder and feet, a broken nose and cuts and bruises. But by far the worst damage was a severe traumatic injury to the frontal lobe of his brain. It consisted of a cerebral oedema, intra-cranial hematoma and subdural haemorrhage – all of which affects emotional control and executive functioning, leaving him with serious communication problems, behavioural difficulties and anger management issues.

However, the medical team provided by Paul’s insurer dismissed the serious, debilitating damage to his brain as a ‘mild head injury’ despite the fact that he was having trouble with his speech and presenting severe behavioural problems including aggression.

After the accident Paul was unable to return to his previous position as a trainee manager at Welcome Break, Membury Services and has not been able to stay in paid employment for any length of time due to the severity of his condition and his inability to exercise self-control and use appropriate language.

Paul’s mum, Tina Collins, later enlisted the help of Novum Law, who in 2012 succeeded in persuading the court to compel the defendant’s insurers to fund a long-term residential rehabilitation programme in the North West.

And on Tuesday the long, hard fight for justice was taken to the High Court, ending with Paul securing the payout from his insurance company, which has not been named.

The Honourable Mrs Justice Swift in her summing up said Paul’s was a “difficult and unusual case” and paid tribute to his mother.

“I appreciate the effects of the accident on the claimant and the members of his family,” she said. “I have great admiration for Paul’s mother and the support she has given to the claimant.”

Huw Ponting, specialist brain injury lawyer, said: “The collision has had a significant impact on Paul’s life and family. A whole eight years on from the accident he continues to suffer from the effects of the severe traumatic brain injury he sustained, affecting all aspects of his life. For a young man to be faced with the prospect of never being able to work again or live independently without support is unimaginable.”