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5 mins with Emma Neild

18th Mar 2024

5 mins with Emma Neild of HCC Solicitors

We caught up with Emma Neild who works in our Manchester office to find out more about the importance of choosing a good lawyer if you or your family have been affected by a life-changing injury. 

Good morning Emma! Tell us all who you are and what you do at HCC. 

I’m Emma Neild and I am a Paralegal in the Major Trauma Serious Injury team here at HCC. I work alongside partner Victoria Higgins, Nicole McCrann and Fiona Pang,

 Our team mainly specialises in road traffic collisions in which our clients have sustained serious injuries. 

How did your journey into the law begin? 

When I was at college, I was studying law, accounts and business. Everyone was going to university and they knew what they wanted to do but I was different I had no idea. If it wasn’t for my injury my path would have been very different but I couldn’t think like that.

During my time at college I was going through the legal process myself. One day I attended a legal meeting with my legal team and realised how life changing and inspiring being a personal injury solicitor can be. To be able to fight for compensation to allow clients to get the rehab / equipment they deserve is rewarding as I know from my own personal experience how invaluable that is and how important it can be to help the recovery. I thought “this is what I want to do, I want to help others as I can empathise with that they are going through.”

Tell us about the nature of your injury and the rehabilitation journey you are on. 

When I was 13 years old, I was involved in a rollercoaster accident where I sustained an incomplete spinal cord injury resulting in oedema at C3-C7 and T2 signal hyperintensity. That resulted in me being left paralysed from the neck down with a loss of sensation.  I spent six months in Alder Hey hospital and a further 6 weeks in Oswestry Spinal Centre.

My rehabilitation journey started as soon as I was discharged from hospital and continues to this day. I am still on my rehab journey. I attend physiotherapy 3 times a week (7am to 9am before work). The reason I am still attending the physio is because of the progress I am continuing to make and the motivation and determination in me is not to give up.

At the beginning I was only able to move my head but now, after a lot of hard work and determination I now have full sensation, I can stand and take a few steps and continue to build strength and mobility. 

At the beginning I never thought it would be possible to do all things I do now. I drive, have a full-time job, go on holidays, horse ride and do all the things a 25-year-old should do. Without the determination, positive outlook and physio none of that would have been possible.

The rehab is hard and intense but it makes it all worth it when I look back and see how far I have come and my journey will continue. 

How does the injury impact every day  and how do you overcome challenges? 

My injury impacts me on basic day to day activities that we all take for granted.

I have a positive attitude and that is a big factor as to how I overcome the challenges I face. There is always a solution and I can do what every ‘normal’ person so to speak can do but it might take me a little while longer or a different way but I will still achieve the same goal.

One example of how I overcome a challenge was figuring out how to put my chair into my car. When I passed my driving test, I was at university so my friends would always help me in and out of the car.

 It was only until I started working and it dawned on me that actually I need to do this on my own. I went to see a guy at a wheelchair place to help me figure it out and give me some tips and tricks but his advice was to change my car as it wasn’t suitable to get the chair in by myself. Of course, the determination in me kicked in and I thought ‘why should my injury and situation should determine what car I can have?’

There was no way I was swapping my car so with practice and practice I managed to find a way and now it takes me about 2 minutes to put the chair in the car – and I have the same car!

What next for Emma Neild? 

I have recently looked into the CILEX route to qualify as a solicitor. This is where you create and build up a portfolio of your work over time. My end goal is to qualify as a Solicitor specialising in Personal Injury.


What message would you give to other people who find themselves sustaining a life-changing injury/the importance of a good lawyer? 

Making sure you have a good lawyer representing you is crucial when you have a life-changing injury. Going through the claim process is difficult and emotional in itself so having a good lawyer / team is so important.

You must do your research as you want a lawyer who specialises in that area (for example who deal with SCI cases), as you deal with them for a long period of time and discuss personal sensitive details so you want to make sure you can trust them, have confidence in the firm and know they will be successful and act in your best interest and give you 100%. You should be made to feel like you are their only client so make sure you do your research.

HCC is proud to work in partnership alongside Spinal Injuries Association in its Trusted Partner programme.

Our expert team offers legal advice and helps you to access the best medical care, rehabilitation, and support if you have sustained a spinal cord injury. We will also investigate your case to find out if anyone was at fault, and work to get you and your family the answers and compensation you deserve.

We’ll also assess the impact of your injury to understand what support you and your family needs now and in the future.

To request a call back from a member of our team, please call us now on 0330 175 7770. 

Horwich Cohen Coghlan Limited t/a Horwich Cohen Coghlan (HCC) Solicitors a registered company in England and Wales registered number 08043633. Our registered office is Trafford House, Chester Road, Manchester, M32 0RS. We are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, SRA Number 608056. Our conduct is governed by the SRA Standards and Regulations which can be accessed here: