“My son James was seriously injured in a motorbike accident.

He was practising off-road for a moto cross event.

James was only 11 years old at the time and, of course, couldn’t ride on roads at that age and so was uninsured.

He was hit by another rider, aged 40 but also uninsured, who crashed into him.

Fortunately James was wearing the best protective clothing - including a spine protector and a crash helmet.

He wouldn’t be here today if he hadn’t been.

As it was, James was on life support for 5 days.

He had a serious brain injury, a broken pelvis and collar-bone and had to have an 8-inch plate in his leg.

He was in hospital for 3 months and came home in a wheelchair.

My husband, Kevin, and I became his carers.

It was far more tiring and time-consuming than some people might realise, exhausting at times.

As James improved he also became angry about the person who had crashed into him, saying he’d not even apologised.

So eventually my husband and I decided to try to put that right and went to a solicitors to see if we could make a personal injury claim on behalf of James.

But they said we had no case.

So we then tried another solicitor but they, too, said we had no case.

It was a depressing and unhelpful experience – it all felt like it was making an already awful situation even worse.

But we went to yet another solicitors, our third, and the person there told us we did have a case.

However, things didn’t go well for us and the person who caused James’ injuries had also got a solicitor and successfully applied to have our case set aside.

This was a big setback and, as a result, we were in a real quandary.

We didn’t know if we could appeal against this decision and go on with any further attempts to get compensation.

If there would be any fees or costs we certainly knew we couldn’t afford them.

Fortunately, help was on hand.

I had had contact with the Child Brain Injury Trust and one of their people suggested I go to a conference in Newcastle.

They had speakers there from Headway, the Child Brain Injury Trust and NABIF, the Northern Acquired Brain Injury forum.

I went and I met a person there from Thompsons Solicitors and told him our experiences with three different solicitors and that the defendant had managed to get his liability set aside.

The Thompsons person was like a breath of fresh air – he was confident something could be done.

He arranged to come and visit us at our home and meet James.

Before this visit my husband was sceptical but he was completely changed afterwards.

Thompsons did say there was more they could have done if they had had more time but they took up our case and were very positive from the outset.

They had to work quickly as, for legal reasons, they were bound to a pressing time table set down by the court.

But they were very thorough despite that.

They made sure James saw medical and motoring experts and several reports were produced.

We didn’t have to go to court. Everything was sorted in Thompsons’ office.

My husband and James and I were there along with the Thompsons person and Thompsons’ barrister and the representative of the MIB, the Motor Insurer’s Bureau who can be appealed to in cases where people are injured by uninsured or untraceable drivers and riders.

Thompsons turned down 3 offers before we got to the one we accepted.

It has all taken so long, nearly 8 years, because the person who crashed into James had no insurance.

But we felt Thompsons had helped us get some justice for him at last, that something had been done about his anger.

James is 18 now and has made incredible progress considering what happened to him. He’s passed his driving test, is going to college and has taken up golf – his handicap is 5 – 6 and he is determined to get it down to 4, pro level.

And he wants his story told to help others.

He wants to make two vitally important points.

First, had the other party had insurance it would not have taken anything like nearly 8 years to have reached a settlement.

And second, a good crash helmet and safety gear really do matter.

They saved his life.”

Fiona, mother of James