A CYCLIST left disabled after being knocked down by a hit-and-run driver has won a six figure payout.

Wheelchair-bound Graham Andrews intends to use the money to buy specialist equipment to help with his rehabilitation.

It also means he can continue with an inpatient treatment programme that may improve his condition further.

The 45-year-old was left fighting for his life following the accident in Rustington in 2008.

The force of the impact knocked him eight feet into the air and he was left for dead on a grass verge.

Mr Andrews, a father-of-three from East Preston, was forced to give up his engineering job as he came to terms with his disability.

He tried to get compensation from the Motor Insurer’s Bureau, which pays out to victims of uninsured or untraced drivers.

This was rejected so Mr Andrews took the case to injury lawyers Irwin Mitchell in 2009.

The firm successfully appealed against the decision and the undisclosed payout was secured.

Mr Andrews said the settlement was a lifeline for him.

He said: “I have spent years trying to come to terms with my injuries and also getting my head around the fact I may never walk again.

“I am hoping with further treatment and rehabilitation that I may be able to progress further but I have been able to adapt to living life in a wheelchair.”

“Before the accident I did a lot of cycling. I used to cycle everywhere. This is one of the simple things that I really miss.

“Now I have received a settlement I am hoping to get a hand cycle for exercising, which I am really looking forward to.”

He added: “Despite being in a wheelchair I have learned not every day need be a challenge.

“You do learn to adapt over time and with the help and support of family and friends you can continue to enjoy life to the max.”

Asha Vekaria from Irwin Mitchell said: “The injuries which Graham suffered in the collision have been completely life changing for him and he has had to rebuild his life to adapt to his disability.

“We hope Graham’s case acts as a reminder about how important it is for motorists and cyclists to share the roads safely to prevent serious injury.”