There will be one million personal injury claimants a year in the UK by 2005, if the UK follows the US rate of growth in claims.

Research by Datamonitor shows there are 10.4m accidents in the UK a year, with 1.7m of these potentially resulting in a claim as they can be blamed on another party.

There were 744,000 actual personal injury and illness claims made to insurers in 2000.

Datamonitor said the customer base is also changing with an increasing number of claims coming from ABC1s.