Simon Dewar suffered severe head and brain injuries as well as a broken neck when he was hit by the hydraulic door of a vacuum tank truck. Simon and his partner Rachel tell us how Personal Injury solicitor Ian Johnson, who is a specialist in head and brain injury claims, helped Simon get the compensation he deserved.

Q. How did you come across Bray & Bray?

Simon. Rachel works for the NHS and through her connections with Headway, she was referred to Ian who is a Trustee of the charity.

Q. What were your first impressions of Ian?

Simon. I do remember initially meeting Ian for the first time.  I must have looked such a mess because my neck was very badly broken, but Ian came across as very friendly and professional.

You don’t expect to be having conversations about the rest of your life – it’s not something you can prepare for.  However, Ian put me at complete ease.  We had to deal with a loss adjuster so my claim took 4 years.  Despite this, my confidence in Ian and getting the right result never waned.

Rachel. What I was really impressed with was Ian’s approach to the situation and his level of understanding.  Following the accident, Simon was low and at times paranoid and forgetful. Ian recognised the impact this was having on Simon and was sensitive to this. He worked really hard to develop a relationship with us, understanding what we were both going through.

Q. What did Ian do for you?

S. Ian not only explained everything in really simple terms, but when required was able to explain the more complex parts of the process – typically with Rachel. Because Ian had suffered his own head injury, I really got the sense that he knew exactly what I was going through and that he was fighting my corner.

I have my doubts whether I’d have had the same experience with another solicitor.

R. I really felt like I could be honest with Ian, but in a way where it would not negatively impact Simon.  I can be very busy, but Ian was very accessible and I had a number of ways of contacting him. I could drop him a text, email or call him, which made the whole process quicker and easier. Having a number of ways to contact Ian was important because if you think of something, without easy access you run the risk of losing the moment.

Q. Were there any issues that arose along the way and how were they handled?

R. It was apparent very early on that the opposing side weren’t going to follow due process and made it clear that they were going to make it very difficult for us. There were no signs of humility. Ian’s response was very good.  At each stage he discussed the implications of going down a certain route and placed them within the wider context of the case.

S. There was a time when we had personal money issues. We needed money to fix our car and Ian was aware that our circumstances were getting more difficult – we were desperate. Despite difficult circumstances, Ian did everything he could to help us through this tough period.

Q. How would you describe the process from start to finish?

S. When you start out, you have no idea how long the process could take.  Ian kept me informed every step of the way.  Even if he didn’t have an update from the loss adjusters, he told us so.

In my mind he was doing exactly what the other side should have been doing.  Ian said something which stood out for me; he said “If you can get 10% off a lot of money, that’s 10% of a lot of money.” It highlighted why the process was taking longer than you would hope and what we were up against.

R. This was a horrendous life event which made the process very challenging.  Given the circumstances and the challenges we faced, the process was made as good as it could possibly be. Things were hard enough already and Ian didn’t over complicate matters.  He broke things down into bitesize pieces so that we always knew where we stood.

Q. How do you feel now that your case has been settled?

S. It’s like having my life back and we can start again. Having an accident like that is a big wake-up call.  I’m still living with the scars and the memories, but I really appreciate all of Bray & Bray’s help.

R. Like a new woman!  Ian was completely transparent in outlining what our options were.  We definitely made the right decision to agree a settlement out of court.  Where other solicitors might have pushed for more money and more years of difficulty, Ian was very supportive of our decision.  Simon has his confidence back and we’re in a much better place.

Q. If you were to recommend Bray & Bray to a friend or family member, what would you say to them?

R. If you’re pursuing a personal injury claim, it’s going to be challenging and you need someone who you can trust, who is completely genuine and has your best interests at heart.  I would definitely say that Ian has all of these qualities.

S. It’s a no brainer – if you’ll excuse the pun!  You won’t get a more professional and friendlier service. There’s every chance I will get asked whether I could recommend Bray & Bray and I would have absolutely no hesitation.

Speak with Ian or the Personal Injury Team

For more information on some of the areas we can help visit the personal injury section of our website. If you have had an accident and want to know if you’re entitled to compensation, for a no obligation free chat you can get in touch with Ian Johnson who is based at our head office via email on: or call 0116 254 8871.