Stewart Hickman’s story.
In my late 20’s I was working as a steel erector. I was young and strong, and had plans for my future: maybe moving to Australia. In October 2000, I was on a team in a factory unit in London, when a 5m steel door post dropped off a fork lift on to me.
I suffered a T1 fracture in my spine, broke my collar bone, fractured 2 ribs, a shoulder blade, and my femur. The doctors who treated me said I only survived because my gym work had built a strong muscle mass.
I had an operation on my spine within 10 days, was paralysed for 6 weeks, bedbound for 15 months, and then confined to a wheelchair. I met a number of law firms to claim compensation for my injury, and selected one. However, something wasn’t right with the way they were treating my case. I wasn’t kept informed, and it became clear they didn’t have my best interests at heart.
2½ years after the accident, friends in the trade introduced me to Helen Clifford. In the first hour of meeting her, I felt a weight lift off my shoulders. Helen just understood everything: the circumstances of the accident, how I was feeling, what needed to be done.
I was immediately reassured because Helen understands. You feel the support. It was unreal how safe, comfortable, and confident you feel. Helen took charge of my case, took the pressure off me, so I could concentrate on getting better. She’s unique.
Without her help, her battling for me, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Helen fights for you, she’s like a tiger, ready to pounce.
Helen got me an interim payment straight away. She got an admission of liability straight away. Almost the first thing Helen did was to get me a proper bed. She saw I needed a specialised bed, it cost £2500, and made an immediate improvement to my comfort. Helen put me on the road to recovery, by organising rehab, and getting me back into care.
When we reached difficult points in the case, Helen let me make the decisions, so I remained in charge.
Because Helen has so much knowledge and respect for the construction industry, she can represent construction workers better than any other lawyer.
I’ve finally been able to return to work, I’m studying for my manager’s ticket. It’s been tough, but I had good help. Helen and I are still in touch.
I’ve recommended Helen to my contacts, and she’s won big cases for them. All the people in the trade say the same thing: Helen puts herself in your shoes, and walks with you.