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Jason shares the story of his daughter Erin who suffered an SCI

Erin's Story - Video Transcript

Jason: Being a dad is, for me, the best thing I've ever done parenthood gives you a purpose, really.

Erin was born in 2019. She's always been her character. She's very witty, she quite like bossing people around, whether they're adults or siblings, you know, she's I think she rules the roost.

So the accident happened October 2020, middle of the COVID pandemic, and it was just a normal morning, really. I'd taken our eldest to school, came back.

There was a lady outside, said she was a police officer, and could she come inside? And yes, she just sat me down on the sofa and said, you know, your daughter and your wife been involved in a car accident.

Lisa was airlifted to Preston and Aaron was airlifted to Alder Hey.

There was a very significant trauma for half of the family and I needed to be able to deal with that. One of the key reasons that it was so important to get JMW involved so early was that it allowed everyone to learn as Erin began to recover and as her rehab, if you like, was starting. The case management team are almost already thinking about what do we need post that acute treatment, thinking about care packages for when we were discharged from home. If we hadn't had that early involvement from Gordon, we would have been in hospital two, three months longer than we were.

The amount of support that we've needed: being able to have private physio, pieces of equipment, expert reports, services, and the kind of options, I guess, going forward, that you can consider. And being able to do that when it's not an emergency is really important. If we had to rely solely on local services, Erin wouldn't be in the position that she's in today because we've had that support from JmW.

You kind of forget almost that your life is very different than everyone else's, it is just life as you know it. And would I change it? Clearly, if I could avoid them having to go through this, I would.

But if you think that everything that's happened to them has led them to be in the people that they are today, you wouldn't change Erin for anything, you know, the fact that she can't walk is so completely irrelevant to her as an individual.

And a lot of that personality and the way that she is is because of the support that she's had from people.

It's remarkable really what a child can do when they're dealt a unkind hand to make it just normal, just a nice thing.

Colin's Story

Colin's Story - Video Transcript

Colin: I think I like more than anything is just problem solving, fixing stuff. I've always enjoyed it when I was at work, which I miss. And, I enjoy it now. Well, I'm married. Got two boys, from Jane. Got a wonderful daughter as well. She's eleven now. You know, I'm happy to go out, have a drink, play golf. That sort of thing. Well, to be fair, I mean, I wasn't on a bike for that long, few years, really. I thought to myself I really like this is nice freedom. Do you know what I mean?

Jane: Think it was the twentieth of September, then I got a phone call, telling me that my husband's been in an accident.

Colin: This normal ride, normal coming home worked about to go down a slip road, and another car went around where he should have been on the inside going round a roundabout. So he sideswiped me. Straight into the corner. Yeah, that was that really. I broke that twelve or thirteen bones, you know what I mean?

Jane: His surgeon spoke to me and told me, like, the extent of his injuries, he said that your husband is never gonna walk again.

Colin: I'm sure it was really hard on them. One from your daughter mainly to find out that, like, you know, I can't do the things that I was supposed to do with her anymore. It rips inside you, it rips you apart inside. You know what I mean? It's just something, you know, I mean, just got to come to terms with and it's just, you know, it's so bad. It really does every time. It really does.

Jane: I think within less than twenty four hours, Gordon had called me from JMW, gave me a call. The whole lot of them were absolutely brilliant on the phone to me I get every day.

Colin: I had a camera fitted Motorola camera, and it was really good. The camera went missing as far as building the case goes, they've done an epic job of putting together a reconstruction of the accident.

Jane: So, yeah, he went into quite a lot of depth to prove that Colin wasn't speeding and to prove his innocence.

Colin: I owe them basically for giving me the standard life that I've now got and getting this place and stuff.

Jane: Now that we've settled in into our home, which is going to be our forever home, Collin's always a bit more mobile for himself. You know, it gives him more independence and makes him feel better in himself. I'm actually quite looking forward to the future. Definitely. We're in a better place, and we're a lot happier now.

Duncan's Story

Duncan's Story - Video Transcript

Duncan: Hi, I'm Duncan. I used to work in construction. I was a very active outdoor person. Fishing, shooting, ferreting, taking my dog out, I just think of something and go and do it. It happened ten o'clock at night, these two steel beams come together and crushed my ankle.

Jo: I think Duncan rang me about half past ten to say "I'm in Aintree Hospital, I think I brought my ankle," and it wasn't till the Sunday lunchtime when I went to the hospital with Duncan's brother that we found out it was a lot worse than we thought.

Duncan: I had a leg brace on. For about two and a half month, three months. It it just deteriorated, my ankle and they decided it was better for me to amputate my leg below the knee. You have all different thoughts, what's gonna happen, how are you gonna support your family?

Jo: So I had to take, like, a long term sick to look after Duncan. I think I was off for four months, get his prescriptions, his meals, help him up the stairs, basically everything.

Duncan: It's hard to say... You think of things to do and how you could make yourself better, but you can't do them at the time. If I needed something, that girl was there. All the time.

Jo: Duncan's niece is a solicitor. She took it on board at first. When the amputation happened, it was just far too big for her. So she put us on to Gordon at JMW.

Duncan: They helped in getting me everything. They sent me to a firm called Pace, which made my leg. What they did behind the scenes what I don't know about, it must be unbelievable.

Jo: Obviously, any adaptations that we needed they were there to fulfil that for us. Duncan had come out of work. He wasn't entitled to any benefits or anything.

Duncan: If I needed money, it was there. He just picked the phone up and sorted stuff out from me.

Jo: I don't think we'd have got the service we've from there from anywhere else. Definitely don't.

Duncan: It was hurtful at the time. But now, I'm coming to terms with it. I have a bit of an allotment. Have a few chickens and pigeons. I'm getting here, slowly, but I am getting back to, basically, near enough.

Jay Chisnall's Story

Jay suffered extensive injuries when he was in a cycling accident. JMW helped him pursue a claim for compensation; watch him tell his story here:-

Jay Chisnall's Story - Video Transcript

Jay: My name is Jay, I live in Brighton. I'm a cyclist. I've been riding a bike since I was 14. I do road racing, mainly time trials now but also I do mountain biking.

I used to race in France, as an amateur back in the early 80's. I still race, I've got a race coming up in Germany again next year, which is for my 60th. I like being on my own, I think you find that a lot of cyclists and marathon runners are exactly the same. They like their own solitude.

It's good for the soul, good for the brain. A lot of my training will be based around Sussex. Brighton's really nice, fantastic cosmopolitan city, you've got everything you want. You've got pubs, you've got seaside, you can go into the city. You've got the South Downs, which is just beautiful.

The accident happened on the 29th January 2016, it was a Friday. I had just finished work early, I was riding on the normal route where I go. And I rode into this puddle. As I rode in, it was a long pothole, it was about 1.7 metres long. It started off shallow as I rode into and then as I went to the end of it, it was like a cliff face. It was about 6 inches deep at this point.

The wheel had nowhere to go, it literally hit the pothole at the end. One minute I'm on my bike, the next I'm not on my bike and my heads hit the ground. And I lift my head up and there's this searing pain my back. It's that adrenaline rush, so you go stark and you get up.

I got up and picked my bike up which just fell in two halves. The front forks and the front wheel just been split from my bike. Knowing the area, I knew that if I could walk back a little way, there were some houses and there was a pub, I could get some help. So straight away I thought, that's what I'm going to do. I turned around and just collapsed.

I had a massive trauma in my head, didn't break my skull or anything, but just this big flap of skin just disappeared. I broke my nose, cuts under my eyes, the bottom of my nose was ripped off and I had broken vertebraes. I was only in hospital for about three days, four days.

And then to be quite honest it was a case of I had a week off because I don't get paid for work if I'm off sick. So I had seven days, eight days off. But you know, money talks, bills talk and I had to go back to work. I don't blame anyone because it was an accident It's cost me a lot of money.

I mean, I lost the bike out of it, I lost all my clothing because they had to cut it all off in the ambulance. I lost money out of earnings. It was costing me money for therapy work. So no, why should I be the one who loses out of something which wasn't my fault?

It's just nice knowing that there are professional people out there who actually care.

Interviewer: Has the accident changed your attitude towards cycling?

Jay: No not at all - it never will do. I mean it's a passion. There's a famous quotation from a real old cyclist called Eddy Merckx. And his famous quote is "a life without passion is a life not worth living." I'll keep on riding until I can't ride, even if it means having to buy an electric bike, I'll keep on riding. It's freedom, it's just freedom.

Mark Challenger's Story

Mark was diagnosed with a severe spinal cord injury following a motorbike accident. JMW helped him pursue a claim for compensation, including interim funds for 12 weeks of private intensive rehabilitation. Watch his story here:-

Mark Challenger's Story - Video Transcript

Rachel: He'd only been riding for about three or four years. He used to go and like to bike meets and I think he'd quite like the idea of like making new friends and that kind of thing. I think I would call it a midlife crisis. He had some good times on it there. We enjoyed it. It was nice he had a hobby.

He went on a trip to Europe the year before the accident, and I was going on at him like...have you got life insurance? And he was like, I don't intend to like have an accident. And I was like, it doesn't happen like that. You know? It's just a split second of, and it's usually somebody else.

Mark: She was right. She always is, unfortunately.

Rachel: It was about half past five, quarter to six in the evening. And Georgia, my daughter found me, and she was like, mum, don't panic, but Mark's been involved in an accident.

Mark: Basically, I was just going to meet someone and we was going to a bike meet as we do every Thursday while the weather's nice and the sun's out. And, basically, I'm coming past, well, static traffic. And then somebody just pulled out on me. He just took took me out.

And then the bikes hit the triangular grass and I've gone straight over the handlebars and flat on the top of my head.

Rachel: He said he felt really weird. He felt like his legs were like lifting up. Like someone was lifting his feet off the ground, and he had straight away couldn't move his hands. He thought he'd broke his wrists from the fall. He couldn't move anything. And he was just in sheer panic and he kept saying, I just want to die. If this is if this is the way I'm going to stay, I just want to die.

Mark: I've had like smaller accidents going faster. I never done nothing, no damage whatsoever. So, yeah, crazy.

Rachel: I used to say to him. It's just gonna be like just a few days weeks and it's not like years. It's it's gonna be fine. He's very much, a live for today kind of person. I think that's probably helped him get through this.

Mark: This has given me so much more at least I can walk with a crutch, which I've never been able to do that, I can stand up for myself. I can get up and standing transferring to anything. I don't need to use a slide board or anything.

Just little things like that, but they are little things, but the big things at the same time. I know it's not easy, but you have gotta just try and be positive, and you will meet people along the way and think, god, look at he's done even though he's in a wheelchair and that.

You've just gotta be positive. You've got no choice whatsoever.

Rachel: I wouldn't have known where to start recovering, costs and loss of earnings for Mark because he was self employed, so he's not been working since the accident happened.

You just wouldn't. It's a whole new world that you're not aware of exist out there and you just I just don't know what I would have done without them to be honest.

A lot of people didn't think he would walk again and he's walking. But even where he's at now, he's more than we ever dreamed of really. And we just don't know what the future will hold, but we just take one day at a time.

Lesley Spain Testimonial

Lesley suffered from a whiplash injury when a van drove into the back of her stationary car.  She made a claim with JMW.  This is her story.

Lesley Spain Testimonial - Video Transcript

Lesley: We were driving from Manchester to a funeral and we had stopped the car because there was a fire engine and all the cars had stopped and the van behind hadn’t stopped and went straight into the back of us

So I went onto their website and straight away they were really friendly, lots of information you know, lots of diagrams to show what happens if and when, they weren’t sort of, “so so so”, and it just really stood out.

I got this lady Michelle and I explained everything to her and she was just amazing, she took all the information she needed, she was very professional but really friendly and very sympathetic.

Well straight away on my left side there was a pain from the top of my shoulders right down to the centre of my back, so I didn’t get out of the car, that’s why in the end the ambulance was called. The pain was really quite strong so I, I walk my dog, and I couldn’t walk the length of time I needed to walk and I was advised by the physio not to walk at that length, so that went on for some weeks.

What I did like about Michelle is she told me at every stage what was going on, and sometimes I would be surprised how fast it went on because sometimes she would say one thing and the next minute I got a phone call from someone else saying “All right, I got a phone call from Michelle and this is what’s going to happen.” I like the fact that I had a son in Scotland, my partner was working in the Isle of Man and I had one in Manchester and she was dealing with everybody, getting doctor’s reports, nearest you could go so you didn’t have to travel miles, convenient days and hours and telling me how it is, and how I had to, you know, the appointments that were important and that I had to make and that was really interesting always, it was really good really, yes.

If you rang her she did answer you within 24 hours and any information she got she would ring me and leave a message to say “Right Lesley we’ve got this, this is what’s going to happen now, this is what’s going to happen, leave it with me, I will get back” and she did, there was never any delays, there was never any weeks going by, I wanted to recommend this lady to anybody. If you want to go with Michelle then please do, she’s very good at what she does. I had a look at all the other websites and I did feel that JMW were very professional in the way it portrays its website, and I don’t think it could do anymore by its friendly ways and the fact it was so efficient, I wouldn’t recommend another company than JMW. 

Neil Head Testimonial

In this video, Neil Head talks about his experience when making a successful claim for £146,000 compensation following an injury he received when working on a railway site.

Neil Head Testimonial - Video Transcript

Neil: Up until the date of the accident there was a five man team working and doing this job. Because of cut backs I was told by my employer I had to do it on my own. Because I wasn’t trained a mistake was made, resulting in the post falling and trapping my arm. I received a crush injury where my wrist was fractured in two places, I had irreparable shredded tendons and basically it left me hospitalised.

Neil: I had obviously had the broken arm which then needed physio. I’ve had such severe injuries in my wrist that I’ve had three other operations since then and I still am looking within the next five years of having another operation to fuse the wrist, so that I won’t be able to bend it or move it in any way. I’ve already got the onsets of arthritis in there, it’s completely painful in the cold weather but most of the time when I’m using my arm it gives me so much trouble that it is always in pain and I’m always taking painkillers.

Neil: Gordon every step along the way helped me out, he even secured two interim payments to help with things. I had to have, as I mentioned earlier, some time off work several times to have operations done. I’ve got an obvious nasty scar on my wrist but the time off work where I was obviously unpaid, the interim payments helped us carry on our lives as per normal. That’s not always going to be the case but he’s helped all the way through.

Neil: I used to do quite a lot of mountain biking; now, I still ride a bike but nothing to the level I used to be able to. I used to do clay pigeon shooting, I tried again recently and because of the damage to my wrist the pain for several days after just doesn’t seem worth it, so that’s definitely gone out of the window now. Everyday tasks such as decorating, cooking, cleaning, picking up heavy pans, it all has to be considered and hopefully with the help Gordon has given me, I have other options available now.

Neil: Gordon Cartwright all the way through has been the most professional person I have ever come across. He really does make you feel like he’s on your side, and every single step of the whole process he was there explaining and helping me and without him obviously this wouldn’t be happening now. I would most certainly offer Gordon Cartwright’s name and JMWs; they’ve helped me out on every single step of the way.

Graham White Testimonial

Graham was involved in a motorcycle accident in 2006 and sustained serious injuries to his leg and ankle after colliding with another motorcycle on a race track. 

Graham White Testimonial - Video Transcript

Graham: "Hi my name is Graham, I’m from Manchester, I was involved in a motorcycle accident in 2006 and I sustained serious injuries to my leg and ankle. I was hit by another motorcycle on a race track, I received a pylon fracture and I shattered my right ankle. The NHS didn’t know at first what they were going to do with it. They were looking at amputation but decided to put an external fixator on just to let nature take its course. I was in hospital for about three or four weeks and when I returned to home, I had to return to my job as a kitchen fitter with the external fixator on my leg. It was horrendously painful and very difficult."

Graham: "I struggled on for some time but it became apparent very fast that my business was going downhill and the pain was horrendous and I was going to need help. A friend of mine recommended JMW and asked them to call me. That was the best thing I could have done. When Andy gave me a ring he made me feel very at ease. He explained the kind of help he could give me and I knew it was the correct thing to do. I started an eight year journey of repeated surgery and rehabilitation and the only thing I had to worry about was getting better."

Graham: "On my long journey Andy was there for anything or everything, down to the best consultants, private hospitals, the best physios, care and rehabilitation was all dealt with, I didn’t have to worry about a thing and I was never wondering what was happening with the case."

Graham: "I wouldn’t like to imagine where I would be without Andy’s help, I certainly would’ve lost everything and I definitely would’ve lost my leg."

Graham: "Personally and financially I absolutely would’ve folded without the help I’ve got and for that I feel I owe Andy and JMW everything."

Rita Keep Testimonial

Rita suffered a hip injury when a taxi door was opened which knocked her into a metal advertising hoarding.  She made a claim with JMW.  This is her story.

Rita Keep Testimonial - Video Transcript

Rita: In this situation ‘no win no fee’ really does mean that, and JMW are a firm you can trust and I would recommend them to anybody who has an accident. I wouldn't have any hesitation.

Rita: I was walking to the local railway station, a taxi drew up at the side of me, my right hand side, someone got out, opened their door randomly, didn't look what they were doing, hit me on my right arm and the impact propelled me into a metal advertising hoarding. It had metal legs and I bounced off these legs and fractured the neck of my femur.

Rita: Over a number of days, I had conversations with my lawyer and the legal process was explained to me. This I felt was very important because as a lay-person I knew nothing. I could also have been ripped off, I could also, you know, this thing could have been dragged on for years and all the rest of it. I was told this is what will happen: we will have to wait for certain processes to happen, for my hip to heal and also, for me to be interviewed by independent orthopedic surgeons and neurosurgeons in fact. All this would take time, so I was prepared for it to take time.

Rita: We kept in touch by email and I was informed every step of the way what was happening. She would say “I have had a letter from such and such”, “I will need you to do this”, “Our next step will be this”, “I will make an appointment for you, so and so”. It was just continual and I knew what was happening and I felt very comfortable with that. I also felt I could speak to her whenever I wanted to, she wasn't just some disembodied voice on the end of a phone, she was someone I could speak to who appreciated what I had been through, who believed me, and you know, we kind of became a partnership if you like.

Rita: I was eventually awarded £36,000 and I do feel it was fair, you could also say I wish it was more but the point is I am no worse off from that accident than I was before. I haven’t been left deficient, I still have a leg, and I've actually got a very good leg because it now has an artificial hip in it. I don’t limp. My original accident had left me with a shortened leg but the hip replacement I had straightened that leg up so I am now back to where I was originally.

Rita: Well I would certainly recommend JMW, because they were honest and upfront from the very start. I was told; in fact I think I still have it in writing, that it was absolutely ‘no win no fee’. I was left in no doubt. JMW are a firm you can trust and I would recommend them to anybody who does have an accident. I wouldn't have any hesitation.

Collette Scott Testimonial

Collette suffered extensive injuries when she was run over by a car. JMW helped her pursue a claim for compensation; watch her tell her story.

Collette Scott Testimonial - Video Transcript

Collette: I had an accident on the 10th May 2008, I was out with a group of netball friends that I play at uni with, it was our leaving match because it was our end of year, I was in my final year of exams, it was essentially a goodbye. I was crossing a road I had crossed, the police say, three quarters of the way, more or less stepping on the pavement when I was ran over. My elbow went through the windscreen I flew over the car and landed on my head and was knocked unconscious and stopped breathing.

Collette: I had a brain haemorrhage, a slight brain haemorrhage and I fractured my skull in two places, lacerated my chin, I broke both my cheekbones and broke my jaw in three places, I lost two teeth, I had a laceration to my elbow, I perforated my liver, both my legs were broke and both cruciate ligaments were badly damaged, one was stretched and one wasn’t there when they got to see it.

Collette: My cousin who works in the CPS, he suggested JMW, he said it’s a really good firm and I know myself it’s a really good firm, I’ve done work experience here before and I follow JMW, being trained in law myself I know it’s a really good firm.

Collette: Jason first came to my house after having made an enquiry online. He came to visit me in my home because I was unable to move at that point, I was still pretty much couch bound. He was really nice, he came and explained everything to me and then the service that I got straight after that I was explained everything in the letters I received, everything was really easy to follow and just made me feel really comfortable.

Collette: I had to re-do my third year in university and Jason made a point of saying you know, that, all the time that I’d had off and the head injury that I had sustained I had a brain haemorrhage at the end of the day and it has affected me long term, so he made a really good point that I might never become a solicitor and dealt with that brilliantly, I also have got really bad knees and won’t ever play netball again, I don’t think, which was one of my passions before.

Collette: Yeah, I would definitely recommend JMW, they’ve been my strength for the last 5 years, I think anyone that’s been injured or are looking to make a claim, JMW were perfect, they help you every step of the way and you’re never in the dark, you never [don’t know] what’s going on. They keep you informed all the time, there was never a point when I wondered “what’s happening with my claim?” or “where are we up to?” because they keep you informed, and like I say Jason’s a friend now so it’s nice to know you’ve got that on your side. 

Charity Zipwire Slide

Members of JMW's Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence teams recently took part in a zipwire slide across the Manchester Ship Canal in aid of the Child Brain Injury Trust. Take a look at their efforts, and experience the zipslide yourself, in their video.  

Build Me a Perfect Cycling City

The Twisted Spokes team is incredibly passionate about cycling, particularly when it comes to improving the safety of cyclists across Manchester. At a recent event, we discussed what it would take to improve the cycling infrastructure in the city to ensure cyclists could travel in and around the city safely.

Take a look at the video below to hear from panelists Will Haynes, Infrastructure Director from Sustrans, Jonathan Fingland from the Greater Manchester Cycling Campaign and Helen Pidd, Northern Editor of The Guardian.

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