A 72-year-old man who had to have his leg amputated following a motorbike accident is about to embark on a new chapter of his life after he got the keys to his new home.
Michael Jackson’s life changed forever when he was involved in a collision in the village of Langtoft, Lincolnshire.
Michael had been supporting his friends who had been taking part in a charity bike ride through the village when he approached a crossroads and a car failed to stop at the junction.
As a result of the accident, Michael lost his leg below the knee and has been using a wheelchair since.
It proved difficult for Michael to get around his house due to the narrow doorways and steps and it has always been a priority for him to move to a new home.
Fletchers Solicitors acted on Michael’s behalf and he was awarded a six-figure sum.
This money meant that Michael was able to start looking for a new home to help with his mobility and future requirements.
Recalling the accident, Michael said:
I was going through the village and I came to the crossroads and saw a car on my left-hand side. I thought to myself ‘What on earth is he doing?’ as he edged out and I just don’t think he saw me.
The front of his car hit the side of my bike and the next thing I knew, I was lying on the floor. I went to stand up and I couldn’t. I realised that I couldn’t move my left leg and I looked behind and it was literally just hanging on.
Michael was rushed to hospital where surgeons battled to save his leg.
I just felt so angry and I think the level of my anger took the pain away because I was fuming that it had happened. I didn’t feel any pain until two days later and I think it was because I was in shock but also so annoyed that the accident had happened.
After two days, Michael was taken into theater for an operation that they hoped would save his leg.
When I came out, I just knew that my leg wasn’t there. The surgeon felt so bad that he hadn’t been able to save it but he said it was just too damaged. I told him that I just hoped that he had petrol in his car, and he asked why. I told him that I needed to go and get a parrot. I find that using humour takes the fear away.
In the following weeks, Michael had to come to terms with the loss of his leg and the changes that would mean to his lifestyle.
I could still cry now just thinking about it. It wasn’t just that I lost my leg; more that I lost my freedom.
I was a bus driver for many years and ran my own business and we had plans that once we retired we were going to tour the whole of England.
I knew it was going to change my life as I was a very active person. I used to have a special harness on my bike for the dog. I just thank God that my dog wasn’t with me that day. My dog had died a month earlier otherwise he would have been with me. I lost another dog while I was in hospital and another when I came out. I lost a leg and three dogs in nine months. It was an awful, dark time.
The accident has aged me – it’s probably got me to the age I should be because beforehand I was so spritely and didn’t feel my age at all.
Michael now uses an electric wheelchair and has been struggling in his previous house.
I used to love my house, but I just can’t get around it anymore. I wanted to buy a bungalow so I can get around easier but also because I need more space. My house feels like it’s getting smaller and smaller because of all the stuff I need nowadays.
Michael hopes that as time goes on, he will gain more confidence to get back out on his motorbike with his friends who he says have been ‘incredible’.
I couldn’t have got through the dark times without them – they really look after me. Even now, the boys will phone me up and ask if I’m coming out on the bike, but I tend to say I can’t because I find it so hard because I really would like to be out with them.
I see them every Thursday but it’s hard because knowing they are getting back on their bikes. I have sold my trike because I knew I wouldn’t use it, but I have a classic motorcycle that I have just started going up and down the driveway of the new house. I just need to build up my confidence.
I’m hoping as time goes on that I will be able to get out a bit more and push myself more. I really hope that the bungalow is going to change things for me. I’m going to set up some space for my friends to come over and play pool and table tennis and just be around them.
I’m slowly fighting my way back because that’s the kind of person I am.
Michael was referred to Fletchers to help him pursue a claim against the driver of the car. Fletchers handled his case until settlement.
I think that Fletchers are absolutely brilliant. They got all the right people out to see me at the right time.
I was really pleased with everything they did. Gemma and Ged were absolutely brilliant -I would recommend them to anyone.
Gemma Roberts, solicitor from Fletchers Solicitors, said:
It is great to see Michael has been able to purchase a new home following settlement where he can live comfortably and enjoy his freedom. Despite it being an extremely difficult time, Mr Jackson remained a positive and upbeat personality, it was an absolute pleasure to represent him and we wish him all of the best in the future.
Gerard Horton, solicitor from Fletchers Solicitors who also worked on the case, added:
It was a privilege to have represented Michael and to have achieved such a fantastic outcome. His case demonstrates the difference a good compensation package can make to an individual and their quality of life.
For more information, visit https://www.fletcherssolicitors.co.uk/