A motorist has been awarded more than a quarter-of-a-million pounds after a road accident which almost cost her her life.

Part-time counsellor Jean Rose, 56, suffered "catastrophic" injuries when her Fiat Tipo was hit by a vehicle transporter on the A19 near Stockton, Teesside, on May 7, 1998.

The mother-of-five, who lived in Norton but has since moved to Whitby, North Yorkshire, had bruising to her brain, a laceration to her liver, fractures to her eye orbit and ribs, and multiple lacerations to her body.

She spent months in hospital.

But even after plastic surgery, skin grafts and numerous operations, Mrs Rose cannot lift her right arm, suffers neck and shoulder pain, has scarring to her body and face, is unable to close one eye and is unsteady on her feet.

The physical and cosmetic damage left the "extremely energetic and positive" woman with post-traumatic stress and she has been unable to return to work.

Due to scarring Mrs Rose, who has since been widowed, is also unable to wear swimsuits or short-sleeved clothing.

Her claim for compensation against the owner of the vehicle transporter, Richard Lawson Auto Logistics Limited, was settled out of court yesterday.

But Mr Justice Field, sitting in Newcastle, approved the £285,000 settlement during a brief hearing in court.

Mr Justice Field said: "I hope that this settlement will mean Mrs Rose can, to some considerable extent, put this ghastly accident and its consequences behind her, and start making more of her life than she has been able to date."