The National Road Victim Service is recruiting 12 new regionally-based caseworkers, and two regional case managers, to support more victims across all parts of England and Wales. These professional caseworkers have expertise in helping victims suffering shock, turmoil, devastation, and many life challenges as a result of crashes.
The additional caseworkers are being deployed in regions across England and Wales to provide expert care to road crash victims, including help through the psychological shock and trauma, help with practical matters including legal support, injury rehabilitation and mental health, and help accessing care for children and families. The National Road Victim Service works in close partnership with police, health services, and many other community services to deliver its vital support.
Today’s expansion in England and Wales comes just weeks after the National Road Victim Service was awarded a £537,000 grant from the Scottish Government to extend its support for road crash victims in Scotland over the next three years.
The expansion in England and Wales has been made possible through generous corporate donations from seven law firms on Brake’s legal panel - Birchall Blackburn, Hodge Jones & Allen, Horwich Cohen Coghlan Solicitors, Hugh James, Irwin Mitchell, Minster Law and Slater and Gordon. Companies on the legal panel have been assessed by Brake to have extensive experience in helping road crash victims. Road crash victims have complex legal needs, that require specialist help from specialist lawyers. All firms on the National Road Victim Service legal panel are members of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers.
Since it was set up in 1996, Brake’s National Road Victim Service has helped more than 50,000 victims across the UK through provision of vital information and caseworker care. All police forces across the UK distribute National Road Victim Service information to road victim families and the service works in close partnership with many police Family Liaison Officers.
Chief Constable Jo Shiner, National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) Lead for Roads Policing, said: “Focussing on victims is a key part of the NPCC Roads Policing Strategy 2022/25. It is important to remember that too many people live in the shadow of grief from road collisions every day.
“Of course I want to see far fewer families suffer the traumatic, unexpected and often preventable death of a loved one on our roads, but we know that there will be hundreds of families, this year alone, that will need compassionate and professional support when, sadly they do suffer such a loss. We must always remember, these are real people not just numbers.
“I am pleased to learn that the National Road Victim Service, provided by Brake, is now able to expand its service to victims and look forward to seeing how this progresses in the coming months.”
Mary Williams OBE, Brake’s Chief Executive, said: “Road crashes tear families apart and cause untold shock, turmoil and devastation.
“Victims of bereavement and catastrophic injuries due to road crashes deserve expert support, from day one, from a specialist caseworker who can deliver essential care and work alongside our partners in the police, health services, legal services and other essential services required by victims, particularly services for children and families, and victims with a range of vulnerabilities.
“Today’s expansion marks a big step towards our goal of more than 4,000 road crash victims getting the care they need each year, and this step is taken thanks to the vital donations received from expert law firms who assist road victims. All communities are affected by carnage on our roads. Please help us to support even more road victims and end the deaths and injuries by donating or raising funds for Brake.”
Quentin Underhill, Head of Catastrophic and Serious Injury at Birchall Blackburn Law, said: “Brake’s new regional caseworkers will be vital to the North West families we meet every week who are devastated by road crashes. We’re honoured to play a small part in providing that help, support, and hope.”
Ken Brough, Personal Injury Partner at Hodge Jones & Allen, said: “Supporting and contributing to the ongoing development of Brake’s National Road Victim Service is very special for Hodge Jones & Allen. The work Brake’s caseworkers undertake to support the bereaved and seriously injured, when they need it most, is incredible and we feel privileged to be able to support and assist with legal advice and guidance.”
Martin James, Chief Operating Officer at HCC Solicitors, said: “HCC Solicitors is proud to support this important expansion of the National Road Victim Service which delivers essential support for road crash victims in local communities across the country. Having simple, local access to legal support at a traumatic time helps families get the physical and emotional rehabilitation they need more quickly and enables them to deal with court proceedings and insurance companies in the aftermath. As specialist lawyers, we understand the devastation and trauma caused for families as a result of a loved one being seriously injured or killed on the road. Working together with Brake and the National Road Victim Service we will do everything in our power to help families who have been affected.”
Cari Sowden-Taylor, Partner at Hugh James, said: “It’s so important for people affected by road crashes to be able to access on-the-ground support. The expansion of Brake’s National Road Victim Service will be a gamechanger for families. It will ensure that they can access a local caseworker and be signposted to vital services, advice, and help, at a local level, when they need it most. We’re passionate about making sure individuals and their families can get all the advice they need and are pleased to be supporting Brake in establishing additional support to victims in Wales.”
Claire Newstead, Partner at Irwin Mitchell, said: “Every day we see the devastating result of road crashes and the impact on victims and their family and friends. The regional expansion of Brake’s National Road Victim Service will allow so many more victims and their families get the support and immediate care they so desperately need, and we are proud to be able to support this much needed expansion.”
Shirley Woolham, Chief Executive at Minster Law, said: “The National Road Victim Service provides a brilliant and essential service for people caught up in the tragedy of road traffic crashes. At Minster Law, we see at first hand the devastating impact of serious crashes on victims and their families, and the long road back via treatment and rehabilitation. We are proud to support the National Road Victim Service and wish them every success with their ambitious plans to expand their team of caseworkers delivering this vital support.”
Kate Nicklin, Principal Lawyer, Serious Injury, at Slater and Gordon, said: “We are very excited to be working with Brake as their partners in the North East and continuing our long standing relationship. At Slater and Gordon we know too well the devastating and often tragic consequences of road deaths and serious injuries and we are committed to supporting Brake’s work to improve road safety and to supporting those who have been injured or bereaved following road collisions.”
Go to www.brake.org.uk/fundraise to give to the charity or fundraise.