Catching up with our clients: Graham Butcher, six years on
Our solicitors and claims handlers work really closely with our serious injury clients, often forming strong relationships which in some instances, continue even after a claim is settled.
Six years ago, Graham Butcher was involved in a motorcycle accident when a large agricultural vehicle turned into his path. Graham suffered a number of serious injuries as a result of the collision, including complex fractures to his foot and ankle, knee damage that required surgery, a fractured left shoulder, bruising to his lungs and numerous cuts and bruises that have left scarring. Graham’s injuries impacted his life significantly, and forced him to retire from his career in the Police Service.
We caught up with Graham recently, to find out how his life has changed since his personal injury claim was concluded.
Q. How has your accident affected your life?
A. The biggest impact for me following the accident was the loss of my career as a Police Officer. I joined the service at 19 years old and expected it to be a job for life, so I never obtained skills or qualifications outside of this. I struggled with work for a couple of years, feeling like I didn’t belong and had a lack of direction or purpose, until I started my current career as a train driver with Greater Anglia.
When I had the accident, I had one child and now I have three. So along with always having been the main money earner this put a lot more pressure on my wife, Paula, meaning she ended up working more hours than she wanted and I took over main childcare duties.
The accident had a huge impact on my wife and children. My eldest son was around 18 months old at the time and had to see me go through two years of operations, physio and recovery, including times in a wheel chair and in various casts using crutches. This clearly impacted him during an important time in his development and limited how I could interact with him. The accident also affected Paula who had to wear many hats, from wife and mother to carer and main money earner.
Paula has done so much throughout all of this – not just helping with my physical recovery from the injuries, but the support she has given and her own personal sacrifices to enable me to get back on my feet, find the right career and move on. I just now have the small task of trying to pay her back for what she has given me…
Q. Has the accident affected your confidence on the road?
A. Although I still count myself as a competent and confident driver, I have changed various aspects of my driving; such as paying much more attention to the safety levels of the vehicle I buy and drive, driving for others when on the road and trying to anticipate the actions of others to avoid any potential incidents.
I first started riding motorcycles in my early teens and have always been a part of my life until my accident. Since my accident, the only motorcycle I have sat on was as part of a photo shoot for a road safety campaign that I was fortunate enough to help Minster Law with. Although I do still have an interest in motorcycles, I am also acutely aware of my physical restrictions of being able to ride one. But more importantly, what it would do to Paula or my children should I ever climb back on one, knowing what could happen if I was involved in another accident and the impact that follows for years to come.
Q. Do any of your injuries continue to affect you?
A. I am fully aware of my injuries every single day. Most days I am in some level of pain or discomfort at some point or still have to consciously modify how I do things to overcome the limitations I have in my physical abilities. Although I have come a long way from where I started after the accident (I’ve had some amazing medical professionals helping me through my recovery), I am left with permanent physical restrictions and other medical issues that will stay with me for life. Due to the injuries I have arthritis and have to actively manage various joints with diet and exercise to minimise the impact into my later years.
Q. What was the most valuable piece of support you received?
A. Minster Law have done a lot for me, from advice and support to arranging a variety of appointments throughout the whole claims process. I think the one aspect that was the most valuable to me was the expert knowledge and understanding of my injuries and what specialist support was available to assist in my recovery. Minster Law not only advised of what services were available, but found the correct professional and made all the arrangements for the appointments, transport to the appointments and any subsequent follow-up work that was suggested or required by the specialist.
Q. What kind of support did you receive from Minster Law?
A. Minter Law provided much more support and advice than I would ever have expected. I genuinely thought throughout that they were interested in me as a person and my personal recovery rather than just quick settlement of an insurance claim.
They provided the obvious provisional advice around the claim, but also arranged specialist work around the accident and medical reports, as well as going further and arranging support for my injuries and recovery. For example they arranged for me to receive advice following my recovery on how to move on, coping with my restrictions and future work and careers. Throughout all of this Minster Law were always available at the end of the phone or email to answer any questions I had, or explain anything I didn’t understand. They were in constant contact providing me with updates so I was never left wondering what was happening and the service they provided always felt personal to me as well as being ultimately professional.
“Even six years after my accident, I am still in regular contact with a couple of the team members at Minster Law who were involved in my case; all of who went above and beyond what was expected or required of them.” Graham Butcher
Read Graham’s original case study here.