A cyclist who suffered a severe brain injury when she was hit from behind by a motorist in London has urged drivers to always pay attention after a five-year battle to secure a damages pay-out.
Agata Polakowska, 35, was riding home along Church Road in Northolt in July 2014 when she was hit from behind by a driver.
Left unconscious by the collision, she was treated at the scene by London Air Ambulance medics and taken to St Mary’s hospital, in Paddington.
As well as brain injuries, she suffered a broken leg and is likely to require a knee replacement.
Polakowska is still undergoing therapy for the injury to her knee and has been receiving specialist neuropsychology, occupational therapy and speech and language therapy support. She has also had the assistance of a support worker.
She has been carrying out voluntary work with charities in the Hillingdon area in preparation for a return to full-time work.
The legal battle to obtain damages from the driver’s insurers has taken almost five years.
“The whole incident remains a bit of a blur but in many ways I felt lucky to be alive,” she said. “I am hugely grateful to London Air Ambulance and the staff at St Mary’s Hospital for all of their help following the crash.
“There have been many ups and downs since the crash and I get frustrated that I can’t always do things that like going for a run or dancing with friends that I used to take for granted.
“However, I want to try and look to the future and put the last few years behind me and concentrate on my recovery.
“I just hope that by speaking motorists recognise the dangers those pose and the hurt they can cause by not paying attention.”
The London Evening Standard reports that the driver was not prosecuted, but Polakowska’s lawyers, Irwin Mitchell, obtained an admission of liability from his insurers, leading to a six-figure settlement to support her recovery.
Her lawyer, Peter Lorence, said: “Agata has faced an incredibly difficult few years as she tried to come to terms with the devastating injuries she suffered through no fault of her own.
“While she has shown great determination to overcome her injuries the best she can, Agata still faces challenges ahead.
“We are pleased that we have been able to secure the vital funds that Agata needs to help access the continued support and therapies she requires.
“However, this case is a clear example of the devastating impact that road collisions can have on cyclists. We join Agata in urging drivers to pay attention on the roads at all times.”