Court waiting times in the event of a claim, however, are at ‘record-highs’ – ‘adding more misery for hard-pressed consumers’, says executive director

Submitted motor injury claims decreased by 44% to 84,247 in Q4 2022 – the lowest figure on record since 2018 – the latest quarterly data from the UK government’s Compensation Recovery Unit (CRU) has revealed.

Overall claims for clinical negligence, employers liability and public liability also fell to half a million for the full year of 2022.

The data was obtained by a Freedom of Information request by the Association of Consumer Support Organisations (ACSO).

ACSO’s executive director Matthew Maxwell Scott said there are “several” reasons behind the “sharp drop” in personal injury claims over recent years – including “the impact of the government’s whiplash reforms, changing behaviours, improved health and safety in the workplace and falls in marketing spend in the sector”.

The organisation further highlighted that UK-based drivers’ total mileage is not behind the decrease in claims, as miles travelled increased to 300bn in 2021 – up from 265bn miles in 2020, with this rise expected to continue.

CRU data on volume of personal injury claims 2018 - 2022

Lost cash

Despite the drop, Maxwell Scott noted that up to £1.4bn in personal injury compensation remains unclaimed from 2022, according to resent research by ACSO member company National Accident Helpline (NAH) (January 2023) – this is a conservative estimate, however, meaning that the real figure could be much higher. 

Around 50% of people who have suffered a no-fault accident in the last three years have not claimed, 25% stated they were unaware they were entitled to compensation and 23% were worried about the cost of making a claim.

Maxwell Scott added: “There are some signs that the new battleground could be so-called hybrid motor claims – those which contain whiplash as well as other injuries.

“Consumer representatives should [therefore] be on their guard against any attempt to squeeze compensation levels further still, while insurers should be reminded that motorists are compelled to buy policies precisely in case they injure themselves or others.

“The low claims numbers are sadly not reflected in lower court waiting times, [however]. These are at record highs, adding more misery for hard-pressed consumers.”

For the findings on unclaimed compensation, NAH looked at data for total UK claims volume between January and June 2022 – this was then doubled to estimate the expected total number of claims for the year.

The helpline looked at internal and industry data covering the average success rate and the average settlement figures across a variety of areas – including road traffic accidents, accident or illness at work, slips, trips and falls in a public place, as well as medical negligence.