Brake helpline for road crash victims

The National Road Victim Service

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Call 0808 8000 401 or email helpline@brake.org.uk to meet your named case worker

Your trained and experienced Case Worker at Brake’s National Road Victim Service is waiting to support you. The service is for everyone bereaved or seriously injured by a road crash. It is confidential, free, and accredited as a quality service.

We help if

  • someone you love has died in a road crash
  • you, or someone you love, has been seriously injured in a crash
  • you are trying to help a bereaved or injured person, either as a friend or as a professional
  • the crash happened in the UK or anywhere abroad

This is how it works

  • You, or your police family liaison officer, contacts us by phone or email, and you are immediately assigned your Brake Case Worker
  • Your Case Worker helps you, over the phone or email
  • We provide a range of free services to you, listed below, depending on what you want and need.

Your Brake Case Worker offers

  • a listening ear, for your thoughts and feelings, from day one onwards
  • information and advice to help meet your needs, including about:
    • criminal prosecutions and court hearings
    • using specialist lawyers to claim compensation after a death or injury
    • supporting children and young people
    • viewing a body, funerals, registering a death, post-mortems, inquests, wills, and probate
    • dealing with intrusion, for example the media, mail, or calls
    • injury rehabilitation
    • financial or other life challenges, such as housing
    • campaigning for road safety, including with Brake

Your case worker can also

  • talk to people on your behalf if you have a problem that needs sorting out, and it is all too hard to tackle it on your own
  • help you seek healthcare if you need it, for example to support your health and wellbeing
  • help you find grief support groups local to you

Our promise to you

The National Road Victim Service team is professionally managed by Brake and understands that every road crash is different, every caller is an individual, and each set of circumstances is uniquely painful and challenging. We promise to listen, work to meet your needs and help keep you safe and supported. Our aim is to help you to feel able to cope, emotionally and practically, and adjust to your new reality. We help for as long as necessary.

The National Road Victim Service is accredited by the Helplines Partnership and came runner up in the 2019 Helplines Awards.

Read more

Who we help

Our helpline specification

Brake's support guides for people bereaved and seriously injured in road crashes

Support service standards

Comments about our work

Brake is a member of the National Bereavement Alliance

Provide feedback

Provide feedback

Comments and complaints policy

How we are funded 

MoJ LOGO Funded by UK Gov victim services 2017 18 MoJ grant agreement

The helpline's delivery in England and Wales is supported by a grant from the Department for Transport; kind support from the following specialist road crash personal injury solicitors: Birchall Blackburn Law, Irwin Mitchell Solicitors, Lyons Davidson Solicitors and Slater and Gordon Solicitors; and donations from the public and from the following Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) offices:

Avon and Somerset PCC Bedfordshire PCC Cambridgeshire PCC
Cumbria PCC Devon and Cornwall PCC Dyfed Powys PCC
Essex PCC Gloucestershire PCC Greater Manchester Combined Authority
Hampshire PCCHumberside PCC Kent PCC
North Wales PCC Northumbria PCC South Yorkshire PCC
Staffordshire PCC Surrey PCC Sussex PCC
Thames Valley PCC Warwickshire PCC West Yorkshire PCC

The helpline's delivery in Scotland is funded by the Scottish Government and Digby Brown Solicitors.

The helpline's delivery in Northern Ireland is funded by the Police Service of Northern Ireland and by public and corporate donations to Brake.

A grant from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office enables us to support people in the UK who have been affected by road death abroad.

If you want to help Brake’s important work
See our fundraising ideas or donate online. You can also read about two of the many bereaved families who have generously helped Brake by reading Katie's story and Jamie's story.

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