‘My life was turned upside down…Sintons has helped me rebuild it’
A man who lost his lower right leg when he was hit by a car is rebuilding his life with the support of a seven-figure payout and rehabilitation secured by law firm Sintons.
The man, now 59, was critically injured in December 2016, when he was walking one early evening and was hit when a car lost control and careered off the road.
He sustained severe and multiple injuries to both lower legs, with extensive surgery to his right leg over the course of the next four years in an attempt to restore function and mobility.
Forced to give up his job due to his injuries and relocate from the home he had lived in with his wife for more than 30 years, he confesses the outlook seemed bleak for him being able to rebuild his life.
But in December 2020, the man underwent a below-knee amputation on his right leg – something he has described as “the best thing that has happened to me” since the crash. He now has a prosthetic leg and is making strong progress in his mobility and regaining independence.
“What happened absolutely turned my life upside down, the life you knew disappears in an instant. But after having the amputation, it has been a massive turning point. It’s as if I’ve got my life back,” he says.
“After I came out of hospital, I didn’t want to go out anywhere. I didn’t want to get ready, I’d be in a wheelchair and it was almost more trouble than it was worth. I didn’t really want to see people anymore and my wife started to have health problems of her own through it all. It was a situation I couldn’t see how we could get out of.
“But now, we have just come back from holiday and we’ve had a fantastic time. I could walk on my own and feel like a world away from where I was before the amputation. I sometimes do have a few tears because I’m so happy – and I’m so grateful to Sintons for their support in getting here.”
The man’s long road to this point began late in 2016, when he was walking on the footpath beside a busy road during the early evening, when a driver lost control of his car and left the road, hitting him with such force he was thrown into a nearby house’s front garden.
Initially spending almost two months in hospital, including over Christmas, he began the long process of recovery. He appointed serious injury specialists at Sintons to support him in his case.
While he made significant progress in his therapies, his right leg continued to cause problems and hampered his recovery. Several rounds of surgery followed over the years, but after attempts to restore mobility to his lower leg were unsuccessful, he took the decision to have an amputation.
Following the procedure, he spent 13 weeks in STEPS Rehabilitation in Sheffield, a nationally-renowned residential rehab centre which proved fundamental to his recovery.
“After the amputation and I pulled back the covers on my bed, many people expect me to say I was horrified – but it honestly felt like a weight had been lifted. That had held me back for so long. I rang my wife and she said she could hear the relief and change of mood in my voice,” he recalls.
“I wasn’t sure about going to STEPS and being away from home, but it was absolutely fantastic. They didn’t mollycoddle me, there were no kid gloves – it was intensive and hard work but totally worth it. I got so involved in the therapies I didn’t want to leave.
“I learned how to walk with my prosthetic and it felt like I had my freedom back, I could do things for myself, without having to use the wheelchair or crutches, or rely on my wife. It was just fantastic – and I’d say my time in STEPS was the real turning point, and since my amputation and then, things have just been so much better.”
Although he and his wife had to relocate from their long-time family home, they have been able to buy a bungalow near to the area they have always lived which accommodates his mobility needs.
“It’s absolutely lovely here. I really enjoy just sitting either in the house or in the lovely garden, being able to relax. It feels like at last, after a long and really quite awful time, me and my wife can enjoy our lives again,” he says.
While he continues to experience some problems with his left leg, which had extensive fractures, and experiences lower back and upper body pain from the use of crutches pre-amputation – which may need future medical intervention – for now, he is able to move on with his life since that life-changing night almost six years ago.
Kate Oliver, partner in Sintons’ personal injury team – which was recently top-rated by Legal 500 in recognition of its legal and client service excellence – acted for the man and secured the seven-figure compensation package and bespoke support.
The claimant said: “Kate was brilliant. She gets to the point, there’s no false hope or feeling like she isn’t telling you the whole story – Kate is very honest and direct and we trusted her completely.
“We knew she had my best interests at heart and had great judgment. With things like going to STEPS, she encouraged me to change my mind when I didn’t want to do it – and it turned out to be one of the best things I ever did.
“We are so grateful for her support over the years and for the settlement she has secured for us. At last, it feels like we can move forward, thanks to Kate.”
Kate adds: “This was a long-running case following an incident which caused years of distress for our client and his wife. They went through a very traumatic time, during which every effort was made to save his right leg, but ultimately the amputation and prosthetic have had a positive and life-changing impact. His new accommodation has also given a much better quality of life and the settlement we secured will enable him to access any therapies, private prosthetic provision and further bespoke support he needs in years to come.
“We are very pleased we could assist in this case, where the access to rehabilitation has proved absolutely critical to recovery, and has enabled him to look to the future with renewed hope. This is a great outcome to this case and we wish him and his wife the very best as they move forward in their lives.”