Consumer watchdog Which? is exploring the idea of creating a 'consumer gateway' to provide accident victims with initial advice about claiming compensation.

According to recent research by the Department for Constitutional Affairs, 89% of adults said they were aware of personal injury compensation payments, but only 31% of accident victims actually claim compensation using legal processes.

Louise Restell, campaigns director for Which?, said:

"[A consumer gateway] would be a good way for consumers to get issues they need to be addressed up front.

"They could discuss circumstances, get easy guidance on when to claim, how to claim and what to claim for, for example - whether it is for the injury itself, stress, loss of earnings or rehabilitation.

"It would also ensure that the consumer does not exclude themselves."

Restell said the gateway could be done through extra funding to Consumer Direct, or through another consumer-facing organisation, such as the Independent Complaint Advocacy Services.

She added that independent advice for the consumer was "really important" in claiming compensation, particularly legal advice.