A grandfather from Manchester has secured compensation with the backing of Thompsons Solicitors and Unite Legal Services after he seriously injured his leg in a road traffic accident.

67-year-old Kenneth Welham suffered serious fractures to his lower right leg when he was struck down by a motorcycle whilst stood still on a central reservation.

The damage to his leg was so significant that he has had multiple operations and plastic surgery. As a result of his injury, Kenneth developed the infection, osteomyelitis, an inflammation of the bone or bone marrow, which meant there was a real risk that he would need an amputation of his limb.

Fortunately amputation was avoided, however, Kenneth needed further surgery that involved removing two and a half inches of the damaged bone. His leg was fitted with steel rods, pins and wires, with an external fixator to prevent movement.

After his accident, Kenneth was immobilised for months and suffered from nightmares and flashbacks that led to the diagnosis of psychological trauma. The seriousness of the injuries forced him to take early retirement from his job as a production fitter – a job he had loved for more than 35 years.

Kenneth said: “The thought of losing my leg was terrifying and devastating. I was so relieved when I was told that further surgery could be performed instead of an amputation.

“The accident has been life-changing for me and my wife and my daughters, Michelle and Linzi, who I had to rely upon wholly to care for me. I have had to give up my work and many hobbies; everyday things like DIY around the house and even playing with my grandchildren continues to be difficult.

“I would like to thank all the NHS clinicians and doctors, particularly Professor McGrouther at Wythenshawe Hospital and Mr Shoaib at Stepping Hill Hospital – who I am forever indebted to for saving my life. And of course the nurses who looked after me so well.”

After his accident Kenneth got in touch with Unite Legal Services who instructed serious injury specialists, Thompsons Solicitors, to investigate a claim for compensation for its member. Thompsons went on to secure a settlement for Kenneth.

The biker who failed to stop at the red light was later convicted of driving without due care and attention.

Kenneth added: “I have experienced first-hand the benefits of union membership and have been blown away by the legal advice and support from Thompsons and Unite Legal Services. The team remained in regular contact throughout the process and explained every step to me and my family so that we were always absolutely clear where we were with the claim.

“No amount of compensation can make up for how this accident has changed my life, but I am so thankful for the network of expertise I have had access to through Unite legal Services.”

Mick Whitley, North West regional secretary at Unite the Union, said: “We worked to ensure that Kenneth and his family received specialist advice and practical, medical and emotional support, including a co-ordinated rehabilitation package of psychological therapies and interim payments. And we strongly advised against settlement of the claim until the risk of amputation had fully passed.

“Unfortunately, Kenneth is an example of just how dangerous Britain’s roads are. He is lucky to have made the positive recovery he has done, and avoid amputation, but the cost to him is physical and psychological injuries that will impact Kenneth for the rest of his life.”