At least £1.4bn remains unclaimed in personal injury settlements from 2022 – with half of Brits reluctant to seek compensation because of worries about stigma, according to research by a leading personal injury company.
National Accident Helpline, which offers trusted advice and support to people who’ve been injured through no fault of their own, calculates that at least £1.4bn remains unclaimed in 2022 from no-fault accidents.
Accompanying research reveals a surprising level of confusion and worry about making legitimate personal injury claims, despite the cost-of-living crisis.
According to a detailed survey by National Accident Helpline, half of those who suffered a no-fault accident in the last three years have not made a claim (50%).
Half of Brits (47%) are reluctant to claim because they think there is a stigma around doing so. A similar number say they fear the claims process takes too long (48%) while 42% worry about the consequences of making a claim.
A quarter of those who could have made a claim (24.60%) say they had ‘no idea’ they were entitled to compensation.
A similar number of people, 24.21%, did not pursue a claim because they thought the ‘process felt too complicated’.
Other reasons for not claiming were ‘the cost of making a claim’ (22.62%), ‘being seen as a time waster’ (19.44%) and ‘worried the process would take too long’ (17.06%).
A significant number of people (14.29%) did not make a claim because they were worried they might lose their job, and 11.51% said it was because of ‘fears of lawyers or the legal system’.
Will Herbertson, Managing Director, said: “Even though economic activity and road usage has broadly returned to pre-pandemic levels, the number of claims for personal injury has not. We calculate that at least £1.4 billion has not been claimed due to concerns and stigma about claiming, rather than any reduction in the number of no-fault accidents during 2022. This seems surprising when there is a cost-of-living crisis and such economic uncertainty.
“Our new research shows that half of people who suffered an accident chose not to make a claim. People worry there is a stigma around making a claim. They also have concerns about how long the process takes and how much it might cost.
“People should be reassured that if they suffer an accident which was not their fault, help is available. The majority of personal injury claims are brought using a no win no fee agreement, or legal expenses insurance – so there is no cost to the claimant if a claim is unsuccessful.
“There is nothing to fear from the legal process nor is it right that anyone should be concerned about repercussions from employers or anyone else. Everyone understands that people need help after an accident and the law is there to support legitimate claims.”
The research, by Censuswide, showed that 11% of people suffered a no-fault accident in the last three years. That was broken down into road traffic accidents (46%), accident or illness at work (25%), slip, trip or fall in a public place (17%) or a result of medical negligence (13%).
Jonathan White, Legal and Compliance Director said: “No-one should worry about bringing a legitimate claim for compensation after an accident. Compensation exists to help people rebuild their lives. Making a legitimate claim after an accident which is not your fault is entirely appropriate and there is nothing wrong with exercising legal rights put in place by parliament and the courts.
“People are entitled to receive compensation if they suffer an accident which was not their fault. Compensation is never a windfall or lottery win. It is a carefully negotiated sum, the purpose of which is to try to put an injured person back in the position they would have been in, had the accident not happened.”