Serious Injury

‘Losing my leg in a motorbike accident at 19 hasn’t held me back’

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Jane Woodcock

Consultant Lawyer

6 min read time

A motorbike rider who had to have his lower right leg amputated at the age of 19 following a serious motorcycle accident says he has been overwhelmed with support which is helping him rebuild his life.

Ricky Thompson has returned to his job as a warehouse operative and is also back on the roads again, having learned to drive a specially adapted car.

I can’t believe how much support I have had to get where I am today,” said Ricky, now 21, of Hull, East Yorkshire.

“It has been amazing really. Hopefully I am an example of how suffering a serious injury doesn’t have to hold you back and how you can rebuild your life.  I’ve been amazed by the support I’ve had and I really feel positive.

Ricky was knocked off his motorbike in March 2018 when a car turned directly into his path. He suffered a compound fracture of his right thigh bone and spinal, ligament and soft issue injuries in the motorbike accident. Such were the extent of injuries to his lower right leg, it could not be saved.

He can recall the motorcycle accident clearly, and how he didn’t have enough time to avoid impact.

I can remember the car headlights coming towards me and I had time no time to get out of the way. I remember being hit and flying through the air, landing on the road and looking up and seeing my bike a good distance away,” he said.

“I took the all the impact on my right leg. The only way I can describe it is that my leg was throbbing from the waist down. I couldn’t see it but I was told that it was facing the wrong way and had twisted 180 degrees. I knew straight away it was bad.

Surgeons told Ricky that his lower leg could not be saved and needed to be amputated. Life was forever changed from that moment, and he says it was difficult not only for him, but also all those who love him, to adjust.

Ricky says that the support of his girlfriend Holly Dickson, 19, his employers MKM Building Supplies and Hudgell Solicitors cannot be underestimated.

I’ve had very difficult days, in the early weeks and months especially,” he said.

It is then you need people to be there for you and everybody was. I’d spend a lot of time asleep and tired, and my medication made me quite impatient and grumpy.

Everyone close to you is affected – my girlfriend, my parents and my family – but their help and understanding in the months after the accident kept me going

Motorcycle accident claim has provided package of ongoing support

Hudgell Solicitors has provided constant support to Ricky as part of his personal injury claim, who in conjunction with the car driver’s insurers, have been able to provide a full package of physical and psychological support.

That has included therapy to help him overcome psychological issues, driving lessons and assessments which have enabled him to drive a specially adapted automatic car, and provision of interim payments to assist during his prolonged absence from work.

Ricky’s psychological state has been continually assessed, and will continue to be, as he sets new milestones in his recovery and faces new challenges as his progress continues.

Jane Woodcock, head of personal injury of Hudgell Solicitors, says she admires how he has coped so far, and that it is essential he has full support at each stage of his recovery.

“Ricky is an inspirational young man who has adapted to life after amputation very well,” she said.

It has been a pleasure to help him with his rehabilitation and privilege to work with him. In cases like Ricky’s the psychological impact can be almost as difficult to overcome as the physical impact and that is something we have been very aware of at all stages.”

As part of the case, Hudgell Solicitors arranged for life at home to be made comfortable with some simple adaptations, whilst he was given support to overcome what happened psychologically, with particular regard to his driving.

That ensured he was able to regain a good level of independence quickly.

New hi-tech prosthetic aimed at providing greater movement, having already overcome a number of challenges, the next milestone for Ricky will be the provision of the latest high-specification mechanical prosthetic, which should give him greater movement and agility.

It means he is already setting his sights on returning to the outdoors life he enjoyed before he had his accident.

“The new prosthetic will hopefully give me much more movement in my leg and ankle to enable me to move more freely. It is difficult to go up any incline at present as there’s little give or flexibility in my ankle area,” he said.

“It’s exciting because I love being outdoors and exploring new places. The prosthetics I’ve had so far serve a purpose but are very limited, especially if I am looking to do any kind of physical activity such as walking or climbing.”

Both Ricky and his lawyers have been full of praise for his employers MKM Building Supplies, who have given him time to recover and return to his work.

“I can’t fault MKM at all they have been brilliantly supportive of me,” he said.

“They told me they would keep my job open for me until I was well enough to return which was really positive and reassuring to know. They paid me for a period after my accident, organised for me to have a phased return and for the first four weeks I was able to work half of my hours.

“I’ve also been assessed to see how I can be supported in doing my job, as it can be quite physically demanding. I will forever be grateful to them.”

Ricky’s journey continues and we wish him well.

Specialist amputation solicitors

Amputation can impact on all areas of your life, sometimes under quite sudden circumstances. Specialist equipment and adaptations are often required at home, with changes in working situations also impacting on family finances.

If you’ve needed an amputation as a result of an accident, or as a result of medical professionals making mistakes or failing in their duty of care to you, you could be able to make a claim for compensation.

Find out more: Amputation compensation claims

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Hudgell’s approach to serious injury. More than just legal support.

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