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Minster Law supports Brake’s expansion of its National Road Victim Service

Minster Law

Minster Law is sponsoring an important expansion by BRAKE, the accident prevention charity, which is announcing that it is expanding its National Road Victim Service. The National Road Victim Service supports victims of bereavement and catastrophic injury following road crashes, and plans to expand its team of specialist caseworkers across the UK including Yorkshire, home of Minster Law. 

The National Road Victim Service, which provides desperately-needed emotional and practical support for victims of bereavement and catastrophic injury following road crashes, is today announcing a regional expansion of its team of specialist caseworkers across Yorkshire and the Humber to help more than 1,000 victims across England and Wales a year.

The service is delivered by road safety charity Brake, which also campaigns to end the carnage on our roads and coordinates National Road Safety Week in November each year.

Across Yorkshire and the Humber, Government figures analysed by Brake show that:

  • 2,277 casualties were killed or seriously injured in 2020 (the last full year of data available), down from 2,907 people in 2019. However, this reduction is mainly as a result of less traffic on the roads due to lockdown measures
  • There were 88 casualties killed or seriously injured per billion vehicle miles travelled in 2020 – the fourth highest in the ten regions across England Wales – but down from 91 in 2019
  • The Local Authorities in the region with the largest numbers of casualties killed or seriously injured per billion vehicle miles travelled in 2020 were: Sheffield (152), Bradford (133), Hull (122) and North East Lincolnshire (110).

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.

The expansion in England and Wales has been made possible through Minster Law’s donation, who is part of Brake’s legal panel.

Companies on the 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 legal panel are members of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers.

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.

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.”

Commenting on today’s announcement, Mary Williams OBE, Brake’s Chief Executive, said: “Road crashes tear families apart and cause untold shock, turmoil and devastation across Yorkshire, the Humber and the UK.

“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.”

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.”