I suffered massive injuries whilst carrying out a routine job at a paper mill. Due to safety equipment failing I was crushed by a hydraulic lift against the machine frame at which I was stationed. I suffered life threating damage to my heart, liver and kidneys, as well as a long list of major internal injuries. My lumber spine was fractured in multiple places as well as my pelvis being shattered. I subsequently lost my right leg, with other limbs permanently compromised. I spent 11 months in hospital, initially in a medically induced coma, fighting for my life and undergoing numerous operations.

Had I needed to wait until I was able to instruct solicitors myself I would have worried about how to find the right company and would have been starting legal proceedings far too late in the day to get the best result. Fortunately, Unite, my union and my family stepped in.

My hugely supportive family made an appointment to see a member of the Serious Injuries Team at Thompsons Solicitors at an early stage, whilst I was first in the medically induced coma and then undergoing subsequent treatment.

This early involvement proved critical in getting the very best help to me quickly.

My solicitor was able to arrange interim payments which made life much easier at a very difficult time for me and my family. This empowered me to get the right housing, the best equipment available and the right level of professional care and treatment when I most needed it. It was great to have someone else worrying about costs and offering advice on benefits, practicalities and specialist financial advisors whilst I was trying to come to terms with my disabilities and rebuild my life.

So great was the damage to my body that it was initially very difficult to predict my level of recovery. As well as the problems associated with my original injuries, my claim also had to recognise the need for considerable further surgery after my initial release from hospital. As my situation improved and stabilised, my solicitor and I were able to work closely together to build a detailed body of evidence as we went along – a much better situation than trying to recall and record information retrospectively.

I felt there was a real connection with my solicitor as we worked to set down the details of my situation, the impact of my injuries and my future needs. I really appreciated the fact that there always seemed to be time to talk through my situation and develop the evidence until I was happy that it really told my story and properly conveyed the impact of my injuries.

My solicitor established a structured, controlled and unhurried way of working. He involved some of the top medical experts in the country. This ensured that we had a full understanding of my needs based on my own accounts, medical notes and specialist reports before calculating the associated costs. When we needed meetings with third parties, my solicitor even checked that the premises used were both suitable and readily accessible.

It is fair to say that, along with the many doctors to whom I owe my life, my solicitor was a vital cog in my journey from traumatic injury through to recovery. It is also good to know that he is available in the future should any issues requiring further legal input arise.

Perhaps the most important thing about having Thompsons’ professional help was that my compensation ultimately provided the finance to enable me to achieve a high level of independence and take back control of my life. I now live in my own home and am able to have a personal assistant who has worked with me tirelessly to support my recovery and independence. This would simply not have been possible in the same way had financial constraints meant my future life was destined to be in a nursing home.

For me, recovery and the way I live my life now is all about being enabled rather than relying on others to do what they think is best for me. My life continues to be challenging but my solicitor at Thompsons enabled me to buy a house, the equipment needed to optimise my independence and take charge for myself.

I cannot recommend Thompsons highly enough – they really know what they are doing and were there for me whenever I needed them.