+353-1-416-8900REST OF WORLD
+44-20-3973-8888REST OF WORLD
1-917-300-0470EAST COAST U.S
1-800-526-8630U.S. (TOLL FREE)


UK Personal Injury 2019: Consumer Research Report

  • PDF Icon


  • 63 Pages
  • November 2019
  • Region: United Kingdom
  • IRN Research
  • ID: 4858633


  • Accident Advice Helpline
  • Admiral Law
  • Cooperative Legal
  • First4Lawyers
  • InjuryLawyers4U
  • Irwin Mitchell

The latest consumer research findings from the author suggest that awareness of the leading personal injury (PI) brands have increased over the year as these brands aim to increase their presence in the market. A majority are aware of three brands and these are either leading CMCs or legal marketing groups which spend heavily on TV advertising and online marketing: National Accident Helpline, Accident Advice Helpline, and InjuryLawyers4U. Awareness of Admiral Law and First4Lawyers is just under 50%.
The leading established law firm brand, in terms of consumer awareness, is Cooperative Legal although it has reduced its involvement in the PI market. Close behind are Irwin Mitchell and Slater & Gordon.

However, while these brands aim to increase their use another finding shows that 43% of individuals would be willing to submit their claim to an online claims portal and complete the process themselves. There is less enthusiasm and some concerns amongst individuals about representing themselves in court, dealing with court forms, and negotiating a financial settlement with the defendant.

The Personal Injury Consumer Research Report 2019 is the second annual edition of this report from the author offering insights into consumer behaviour, perceptions, brand awareness, and opinions. This report is based on responses from 503 consumers involved in a personal injury or clinical negligence incident.

Other headlines from the survey include:

  • Fewer than half of claimants shop around when looking for a legal advisor.
  • Various channels are used to find a legal representative but digital routes now lead the way. In particular, the use of web adverts from PI practitioners has grown as has social media content.
  • 58% of pay-outs on claims are £5,000 or less so within the new small claims limit due to launch in April 2020. This suggests that many claims will have to be DIY claims as many of these small claims will be unprofitable for many solicitors and law firms.
  • When asked what factors would be important when selecting a legal services provider for PI work, the top responses are speed of service, how much the service costs, and helpfulness and friendliness of staff.
  • A majority – 58% - accept that most whiplash claims are genuine while a clear majority believe that more people claim than five years ago. A majority also believe that insurance companies will stick to their promise to reduce premiums if the proposed small claims changes come into force in April 2020. 21% are not convinced.


  • Accident Advice Helpline
  • Admiral Law
  • Cooperative Legal
  • First4Lawyers
  • InjuryLawyers4U
  • Irwin Mitchell

1. Executive Summary
  • The next year – more DIY claims and consolidation for the leading brands
  • Incidents led by RTAs but accidents in a public place not far behind
  • Majority of claimants involve an insurer or a solicitor, or both
  • Over half of pay-outs are £5,000 or less so in the proposed small claims limit
  • A mix of funding but led by “no win, no fee” deals
  • Over half received the compensation they expected, or even more…
  • Almost half shop around for legal advice but almost as many do not
  • Speed of service and cost are the important factors in choosing a legal advisor
  • General satisfaction with the claims advice and the final outcome
  • Individuals dealing with their own claims is a concern for many
  • Direct marketing to consumers led by unsolicited phone calls
  • Survey responses point to increased awareness of leading PI brands
  • Claim volumes declining year-on-year but marginal increase in market value
  • Are claimants ready to deal with claims themselves after April 2020?
2. Introduction
  • Overview
  • Methodology
  • Abbreviations
3. Background
  • Over 7 out of 10 have been involved in a road traffic accident
  • Most think that more people are making claims now
  • DIY via the small claims court is not appealing, and not many trust insurers to pay the right amount
  • Online claims portal would be used by over 4 out of 10 adults
4. Personal Injury Claims
  • Insurers are involved in most RTA and whiplash claims
  • Insurers important when choosing a legal advisor but no one source dominates
  • The majority accept that whiplash is a genuine injury
  • A significant percentage of claimants did not consider a claim at first
  • Cold calling still a feature of the claims industry
5. Claims Process
  • Range of advisors used, and most consider their credentials and accreditations
  • Fast-track claims are the largest group, but multi-track increasing
  • Most claims are settled out of court
  • Just over half state that the claims process was simple
6. Claims Funding and Settlements
  • Most claim pay-outs are up to £5,000
  • Mix of funding options but “no win no fee” is still the most common method
  • Compensation paid - expectations met for most claimants
  • Legal expenses insurance – likely to be part of other policies or a membership
7. Small Claims, Fixed Fees For Clinical Negligence Claims
  • DIY small claims - some LIPs would struggle in court and in negotiations
  • More in favour of fixed fees for clinical negligence claims than against
8. Legal Services Providers – Selection and Satisfaction
  • Only a minority shop around when choosing a legal advisor
  • Speed of service and cost are most important to claimants
  • Claimant satisfaction levels with their advisor are relatively high
  • Most are satisfied with the general outcome but not the financial deal
9. Awareness and Use of Personal Injury Brands
  • Awareness of leading brands increased in 2019
  • InjuryLawyers4U leads awareness of TV ads
  • Some consumer interest in specific non-legal brands
10. Market Trends
  • Market value
  • Case numbers and recoveries value declining in recent years
  • Over three-quarters of cases are RTAs, but numbers falling across all cases
  • Claims against the NHS have stabilised in the last three years
  • Claims Portal
11. Future Developments
  • Research points to more DIY claims on the horizon but some consumer concerns
List of Figures
Figure 1 Survey sample – demographic breakdown
Figure 2 Personal injuries suffered, 2018-2019
Figure 3 Most recent type of injury suffered, 2018-2019
Figure 4 Consumer attitudes to personal injuries and claims, 2018-2019
Figure 5 Attitudes about pursuing a personal injury case, 2018-2019
Figure 6 Major types of injury or disease/illness suffered, 2018-2019
Figure 7 List of specific injuries/illnesses suffered, 2018-2019
Figure 8 Sources used to make a claim, 2018 -2019
Figure 9 Sources used to find a legal representative, 2018-2019
Figure 10 Proposed changes to the treatment of whiplash – consumer agreement, 2018-2019
Figure 11 The intention to claim for an accident or disease/illness, 2018-2019
Figure 12 Marketing contacts made in the previous 12 months, 2018-2019
Figure 13 Organisations contacted to settle a claim, 2018-2019
Figure 14 Accredited law firms/solicitors/barristers, 2018-2019
Figure 15 The nature of the claim, 2018-2019
Figure 16 How claims were completed, 2018-2019
Figure 17 Total claim payouts, 2018-2019
Figure 18 Deductions from the final compensation - summary, 2018-2019
Figure 19 Deductions from the final compensation – detailed data, 2018-2019
Figure 20 How claims are financed by type of settlement, 2018-2019
Figure 21 Expectations for the final compensation, 2019
Figure 22 Ownership of legal expenses insurance, 2018-2019
Figure 23 Ease of undertaking a case without legal advice, 2019
Figure 24 Ease of undertaking a case without legal advice, 2018-2019
Figure 25 Fixed recoverable fees for clinical negligence cases, 2018-2019
Figure 26 Claimants making a choice between providers, 2018-2019
Figure 27 Main drivers of advisor choice, 2018-2019
Figure 28 Rating of advisors by claimants (score between 1 and 5), 2018-2019
Figure 29 Detailed satisfaction ratings of advisors (%), 2019
Figure 30 Brand awareness of personal injury companies, 2018-2019
Figure 31 Brand awareness of personal injury companies – TV advertising, 2018-2019
Figure 32 Potential future use of consumer brands covering personal injury cases, 2018-2019
Figure 33 Cases with compensation payments registered with the CRU, 2012/2013-2018/2019
Figure 34 Settlements recorded by type, 2012/2013-2018/2019
Figure 35 Clinical claims dealt with and closed, 2010/11-2018/19
Figure 36 Number and value of settled claims on the Claims Portal, 2014/2015-2018/2019
Figure 37 Forecast value of the UK personal injury market (£bn), 2019-2022
  • Accident Advice Helpline
  • Admiral Law
  • Cooperative Legal
  • First4Lawyers
  • InjuryLawyers4U
  • Irwin Mitchell
  • National Accident Helpline
  • Slater & Gordon