Expert legal advice and support can be helpful to people affected by road death and injury. There may be a number of legal matters that you need assistance with, from wills and probate issues to making a claim for damages. Solicitors specialising in civil law can help you with these issues.
This page focuses on finding specialist solicitors who can help you to claim damages following a road crash. Additional information about making a financial claim following road death or injury is available via Brake’s support literature webpages and should be read in conjunction with this page:
- For people affected by road death, see our guides on “Information and advice for bereaved families and friends following a death on the road” (available on our support literature webpages or in hard-copy by calling the Brake helpline on 0808 8000 401).
- For people affected by serious injury, see our online guide on serious injury following a road crash
Why is it important to choose a solicitor firm who specialises in personal injury law?
Like medicine, law is a very complex area and the people who get the best outcomes for their clients in particular areas of law are those who have specialist training and experience. Just as your GP doesn’t attempt to treat conditions that require the help of a consultant, a generalist solicitor firm cannot provide the level of expertise required to get you the best possible outcome from a civil claim.
How to choose the most suitable solicitor or legal firm to pursue a civil claim:
There are two organisations which represent specialist personal injury solicitors and they provide lists of their members on their websites. They are the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and the Motor Accident Solicitors Society (MASS). The European equivalent is the Pan European Organisation of Personal Injury Lawyers (PEOPIL).
Brake additionally receives funding (of £15,000 each) towards its road crash helpline from the five specialist solicitor firms listed below. These firms are all APIL and MASS members. In addition, these firms have agreed to our Solicitor Code of Conduct for supporting road crash victims.
If you would like to seek advice from one of Brake’s legal commercial helpline sponsors their details are listed below (in alphabetical order). These firms operate independently of Brake and if you choose to instruct one of these firms they should always act in your best interests, and according to our Code of Conduct. Our relationship with them does not affect the advice they would give you, which should always be impartial and confidential. Nor does it affect the support provided by Brake’s helpline, whether or not you decide to instruct a firm that financially assists our charitable work supporting road crash victims. Information about your case would never be shared without your express permission.
Birchall Blackburn Law
Main contact: Quentin Underhill
Telephone and email: 0161 2384373 and firstname.lastname@example.org
Information about Birchall Blackburn Law: Birchall Blackburn Law are serious and catastrophic injury specialist solicitors with more than 100 years of combined experience. They have helped thousands of people, and their families, to rebuild their lives after road crash bereavement or injury. Their specialist solicitor will visit you at home or in a familiar place to suit you, anywhere in England and Wales. Whenever possible they will secure an early interim payment for speedy financial support and to start rehabilitation promptly. Their solicitors work for you as part of a professional network of experts, including doctors, nurses and physiotherapists. They hold 9 accreditations from the Law Society, and are an Accredited Personal Injury Practice so you can have peace of mind.
Birchall Blackburn Law are a dedicated legal team of professional, understanding and compassionate people with a proven track record. They will support your whole family and provide you with regular updates at every stage.
Why Birchall Blackburn Law supports Brake: Birchall Blackburn Law are committed to help Brake's work to stop road deaths and injuries by campaigning for safer roads; supporting people bereaved or injured in road crashes, and raising public awareness for sustainable transport. We help families when they need it the most and often in the most difficult circumstances. We see first hand the life changing effects that a road crash can cause and supporting Brake with their excellent work and campaigns will save lives.
Main contact: Fraser Simpson
Telephone and email: 0141 566 9507 and email@example.com
Information about Digby Brown: Digby Brown Solicitors are Scotland’s largest personal injury law practice. With seven offices nationwide in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee, Inverness, Aberdeen, Kirkcaldy and Ayr, we help thousands of people who have been involved in road traffic crashes every year. Digby Brown were named Law Firm of the Year at the 2016 Law Awards of Scotland. The firm were also named Corporate Social Responsibility Firm of the Year, the third successive year the firm has received a national award for its work with charities and organisations across Scotland, including supporting a number of road safety awareness campaigns and events.
Why Digby Brown supports Brake: Digby Brown see the devastating effects of road traffic crashes on individuals, families and communities at first-hand every day. We know the reality that there is too much carnage on our roads. We also know the invaluable difference that Brake make to those affected by road traffic crashes and are proud to support and campaign alongside the charity to make our roads safer for everyone.
Main contact: Claire Newstead
Telephone and email: 0113 218 6460 and firstname.lastname@example.org
Information about Irwin Mitchell: Irwin Mitchell Solicitors are one of the UK’s most respected and successful law firms, with an independent recognised personal injury team. We help support our clients with their claims after a road traffic collision as well as their families to help them access the best possible medical care, rehabilitation and financial support reaching an outcome that can make a real difference to their lives. Each year our personal injury lawyers also help bereaved families, who rely on us to fight fearlessly to protect their best interests and to try and gain justice for them in the most difficult of situations.
Why Irwin Mitchell supports Brake: We are proud to have supported Brake for many years and regard them as the leading national charity in supporting road safety for all road users including pedestrians. Their commitment to making our roads a safer place and their independent campaigning direct to Government is outstanding and consistent. Without Brake, our roads would certainly be much less safe today.
Main contact: Rachel Green
Telephone and email: 0117 904 5729 and email@example.com
Information about Lyons Davidson: Lyons Davidson Ltd is an award winning national legal practice. We are mindful of the impact and effects of fatal and life-changing injury suffered on the UK’s roads. We have supported countless bereaved families and assisted in the rehabilitation and compensation of those who have suffered life changing injuries. Our holistic and proactive approach ensures we focus on immediate rehabilitative and financial needs - as well as making all appropriate provision and support for the longer term. We are committed to carrying out business in a socially responsible way.
Why Lyons Davidson supports Brake: Brake is the leading national charity in campaigning for safer roads, educating us all to behave more safely on the roads and providing invaluable help to those affected by road death and serious injury. We are therefore extremely proud to have supported Brake for many years and recognise the very real difference made by Brake, in all areas of the charity’s work, every day.
Slater and Gordon
Main contact: Patrick Maguire
Telephone and email: 0800 884 0106 and Patrick.Maguire@slatergordon.co.uk
Information about Slater and Gordon: Slater and Gordon is one of the UK’s largest law firms with offices across the country. Our mission is to provide people with easier access to world class legal services. We are one of the country’s leading firms in personal injury and offer and unmatched breadth and depth of legal services for victims of injury. We have experts in personal injury who are classed as leaders in their field by independent legal guides, and have specialist expertise in catastrophic injuries. Our reputation is built on the services offered by our highly experienced staff who specialise in all areas of law.
Why Slater and Gordon supports Brake: Having worked with Brake since 2001, it is incredible to see how the charity has developed over the years and the ever-increasing levels of support and resources it offers to families and professionals alike, who often have nowhere else to turn. The assistance and guidance the Brake team can offer are second to none and can make a big difference to people following life-changing incidents.
Next steps, and questions to ask your solicitor:
Once you've identified a couple of firms you are interested in approaching you should be able to request an initial conversation free of charge with no obligation for you to take the claim forward with that firm if you don’t want to.
Brake has worked with APIL and MASS and specialist personal injury solicitors to develop a list of questions that can help you to decide between firms. You can also find these questions in Brake’s bereavement literature. We recommend that you use this list of questions when talking to solicitors and deciding whether or not to instruct a particular solicitor or firm.
- Do you think I have a strong claim and are you willing to take on my case?
- What experience do you have in handling similar cases? Can you give me examples and their outcomes?
- How many similar cases have you handled in the past five years?
- What expertise do you have relevant to my case?
- What fees do you charge?
- What arrangements can you put in place for payment of these fees so that compensation I receive is not unduly spent on legal fees, and so that I do not have to pay much, or any, legal costs if I lose?
- Will you handle my case yourself entirely, or involve colleagues?
- If you plan to involve colleagues, how much will they be involved, and if a lot, can I meet them now?
- How will we communicate during the process? Will you be available to explain things to me and answer my questions regularly through meetings, emails or over the phone?
- Are you a member of APIL and/or MASS?
Still need help selecting a specialist solicitor?
If you need any further advice or information about seeking legal support please contact the Brake helpline, 0808 8000 401 (Mon-Fri, 10am-4pm) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Complaints, breaches and disclaimer
Although the legal firms listed above financially support the Brake helpline, there are other reputable and experienced personal injury solicitors and you are free to use any solicitor of your choice. We have been careful to ensure that Brake’s funding firms, which provide legal services, only include firms that have agreed to Brake’s Code of Conduct . However, this does not imply that Brake can offer guarantees in respect of the information and services that these firms may provide, and no liability will attach to Brake or any of its staff, as a result of any person using this list.
Complaints procedure and breaches of our Code of Conduct: If, at any stage, you are unhappy with the service you are getting from your solicitor, you can complain to the firm via its complaints policy, which should be clearly accessible on their website. Alternatively, you can ask to speak to the partner in the practice responsible for looking after clients; often called the complaints partner.
If you remain dissatisfied, it may be possible to change solicitor. The Brake helpline can provide advice and assistance on seeking a second opinion or assisting you with any complaint procedures you are following. Call us on 0808 8000 401 or email email@example.com.
You can also make a complaint about a personal injury solicitor by contacting the legal ombudsman. Call 0300 555 0333 or go to www.legalombudsman.org.uk. Please note that Brake cannot investigate complaints against a solicitor, although we can act as an advocate on your behalf if requested to do so.
Additionally, if you believe that one of the above Brake helpline sponsor firms has not complied with Brake’s Solicitor Code of Conduct then please inform Brake in writing, setting out details of the firm and solicitor/s involved, and the specific part of the Code you believe has been breached and why. Brake will investigate the alleged breach and communicate the outcome of our investigation to the affected client. If we assess that a sponsor solicitor firm has breached our Code of Conduct, where appropriate we will press for any remedial action that is possible on the client’s behalf.
Letters alerting Brake to a breach of our Code of Conduct should be sent to: Brake, FAO Victim Support Services Manager, PO Box 548, Huddersfield HD1 2XZ; or emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org, stating ‘BREACH – Solicitor Code of Conduct’ in the subject header.
For any complaints about Brake services please read our complaint policy.