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UK Personal Injury Consumer Research Report 2018

16

September 12, 2018

MAJORITY OF CLAIMS ARE VALUED AT UP TO £5,000 BUT MOST INDIVIDUALS ARE NOT HAPPY ABOUT TAKING THESE CLAIMS ON THEMSELVES

The latest consumer research findings from IRN Research show that a clear majority of claim payouts – 65% – are up to £5,000, and these would fall under the new small claims limit set to be introduced in 2020. However, only 20% of survey respondents would be happy to take on a claim on their own through the small claims court.

In particular, if individuals had to deal with the claims process themselves, there would be concerns especially about dealing with court forms, representing themselves in court, negotiating a financial settlement with the defendant.

The Personal Injury Consumer Research Report 2018 is the first in a series of new reports from IRN Research (branded as Orchard Reports) on the legal services market and offering insights into consumer behaviour, perceptions, brand awareness, and opinions. This report is based on responses from 567 consumers involved in a personal injury or clinical negligence incident.

Other headlines from the survey include:

A majority – 55% – do not shop around when looking for a legal advisor.
 Various channels are used to find a legal representative but digital routes lead the way.
Social media seems to be becoming more important although price comparison and
consumer reviews sites have yet to generate widespread use.
 Awareness of specific claims management companies is relatively high, less so for leading
law firms. However, only one PI brand – National Accident Helpline – has an awareness
level of over 50%.
 When asked what factors would be important when selecting a legal services provider for
PI work, the top response was how much the service costs (41%).
 A clear majority – 68% – believe that more people are lodging claims than ever before
although this is out of step with the real picture, i.e. claims have been falling.
 More are in favour of fixed fees for clinical negligence cases than against.
…………and there is much more analysis/results from the 30 questions asked to
individuals. See the Contents Page on the next page for a summary of key themes
covered.

The Personal Injury Consumer Research Report 2018, and the detailed dataset of all survey results
with a demographic analysis is available directly from IRN Research, priced at £2,500 (plus VAT).
Discounts for report purchase only, dataset only, or purchases of extracts.

Through the year, there will other Consumer Research reports on conveyancing, family law, wills &
probate, employment law, consumer legal services. The discounted annual subscription to all
reports is £7,500 plus VAT, plus there are discounts for purchases of more than one report.

REPORT CONTENTS

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY.
More regulatory and competitive pressures on their way…………………………………………………………………………….
Incidents dominated by RTAs and accidents in a public place………………………………………………………………………..
Insurers at the centre of the claims process ………………………………………………………………………………………………
Majority of pay-outs are £5,000 or less, within the proposed small claims limit………………………………………………..
Insurers, solicitors, and CMCs all active in the claims process ……………………………………………………………………….
Most claimants did not shop around for legal advice…………………………………………………………………………………..
Cost of advice is most important factor when choosing a legal advisor …………………………………………………………..
General satisfaction with the claims advice and the outcome ……………………………………………………………………….
Most individuals don’t want to take claims on by themselves……………………………………………………………………….
Direct marketing led by unsolicited phone calls………………………………………………………………………………………….
Awareness of leading CMCs is relatively high, but less so for leading law firms…………………………………………………
Claim volumes continue to fall although modest increase in market value ………………………………………………………
No sign of stability for the PI market in the future ………………………………………………………………………………………

INTRODUCTION
Overview…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
Methodology ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
Abbreviations………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

BACKGROUND
Key findings…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
Most adults suffering an injury have done it in a road traffic accident…………………………………………………………….
Our survey says that more people are lodging claims now……………………………………………………………………………
Some would only pursue a claim if they had legal advice, others would go it alone …………………………………………..

PERSONAL INJURY CLAIMS
Key findings…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
Whiplash injuries and cuts/abrasions are the main groups of injuries …………………………………………………………….
Insurers are involved in most RTA and whiplash claims………………………………………………………………………………..
Various sources used when choosing a legal advisor……………………………………………………………………………………
Most accept that whiplash is a genuine injury and claim………………………………………………………………………………
Few individuals take on a claim themselves……………………………………………………………………………………………….
Some don’t claim when injury is considered not that bad…………………………………………………………………………….
A significant group did not intend to claim but did in the end ……………………………………………………………………….
Direct marketing from the claims industry – almost half of respondents have had a call…………………………………….

CLAIMS PROCESS
Key findings…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
Claimants turn to a mix of solicitors, insurers, and claims companies to settle a claim……………………………………….
Most claimants do consider the credentials of their legal advisor ………………………………………………………………….
Most claims are valued at less than £1,000 ……………………………………………………………………………………………….
Most claims are settled out of court ………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
Mixed views on whether claims process was simple or complicated ………………………………………………………………

CLAIMS SETTLEMENTS AND SMALL CLAIMS
Key findings…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
Most pay-outs within the new small claims limit proposed from 2020 ……………………………………………………………
No win no fee deals still the most common funding method…………………………………………………………………………
Over 6 out of 10 claimants had a deduction from their final pay-out………………………………………………………………
Compensation paid – expectations met for most claimants…………………………………………………………………………..
Legal expenses insurance – likely to be part of other policies or a membership………………………………………………..
Some concerns about dealing with small claims alone, especially in court……………………………………………………….
More in favour of fixed fees for clinical negligence claims than against…………………………………………………………..

LEGAL SERVICES PROVIDERS – SELECTION AND SATISFACTION
Key findings…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
Most claimants do not shop around for the best legal advisor………………………………………………………………………
Service costs and speed of service most important to claimants……………………………………………………………………
Claimant satisfaction levels are OK but room for improvement……………………………………………………………………..
Most are satisfied with the general outcome of their case but not the financial deal…………………………………………

AWARENESS AND USE OF PERSONAL INJURY BRANDS
Key findings…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
Awareness of leading claims management companies is high, less so for law firms…………………………………………..
High awareness does not always translate into high use………………………………………………………………………………
Some confusion about which brands advertise on TV………………………………………………………………………………….
Some interest in specific non-legal brands ………………………………………………………………………………………………..

MARKET TRENDS
Key findings…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
Market value……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
Case numbers declining in last five years…………………………………………………………………………………………………..
RTA cases account for over three-quarters of all cases but numbers falling……………………………………………………..
Claims against the NHS fall in latest year…………………………………………………………………………………………………..
Claims Portal……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
Growing consolidation as law firms and CMCs leave the sector …………………………………………………………………….

FUTURE DEVELOPMENTS
Key findings…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
The PI market is bracing itself for 2020 …………………………………………………………………………………………………….
The research findings offer mixed news……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

IRN Research (trading name of IRN Consultants Ltd)

Established in 1991, IRN Research is a research agency with a focus on the legal services market.
We offer a range of research services to law firms and suppliers to the sector. Services include
client surveys, market studies, competitor intelligence, industry reports, and strategic studies.

Orchard Reports is a new series of reports from IRN Research covering the legal services sector.
The series combines IRN Research’s established Market Reports series with a new series of

Consumer Research Reports: The new series complements our existing series by offering results
and analysis from detailed proprietary consumer research.
Consumer Research Reports – based on detailed analysis of results from surveys of between 500
and 2,000 consumers (depending on topic). Each survey has between 20-30 questions.

Market Reports – each report contains market size & trends; sector structure and supplier profiles;
key market developments and issues; market drivers and obstacles; future trends and forecasts.

For further information, contact David Mort on +44(0)7905 239599 or dmort@irn-research.com.

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