A grandfather from Manchester has secured compensation with the backing of Unite Legal Services after he was seriously injured 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 when stood still on a central reservation.
The damage to his leg was so severe that he has had multiple operations and plastic surgery. As a result of his injury, Kenneth developed an infection and inflammation, which meant there was a real risk that he would need an amputation.
Fortunately amputation was avoided, however, Kenneth required further surgery that involved removing two and a half inches of 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, flashbacks and psychological trauma. The severity of his 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 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 to investigate a claim for compensation for its member.
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 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.”
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. Unite Legal Services ensured his interests were fully protected and strongly advised against settlement of the claim until the risk of amputation had fully passed.”