Britain's compensation culture putting off genuine claimants

60% resent personal injury claimants who ‘push up cost of insurance’ but Brits left average of £1,178 out of pocket because they ‘don’t want to make a fuss’ following an injury.

New research reveals a third (32%) of Brits put off claiming for an injury that wasn’t their fault because they don’t want to contribute to the ‘compensation culture’ in the UK today. Three quarters (73%) admit they judge people who put in a claim following an injury and two-thirds (60%) feel resentful towards them because they feel it’s driving up their insurance premiums. 

The study, from the UK’s leading network of solicitors, QualitySolicitors, reveals these perceptions are leading many genuine claimants to forgo pursuing a claim because they didn’t want to make a fuss (43%). A third (32%) say their feelings around compensation culture led them to not make a claim and one in 10 (13%) were worried about what others would think of them.

However, over half (57%) say there were real consequences to not claiming. Financially, it left those who didn’t make a claim an average of £1,178.45 out of pocket, with one in 10 having to find £2,000 or more to cover their costs. A quarter (23%) suffered a loss of earnings and one in 10 (13%) had to deal with unexpected medical expenses. 14% had to make cut-backs on day-to-day expenses such as reducing their shopping bill and 7% missed out on job opportunities such as a promotion of pay rise.

Britain’s so-called ‘compensation culture’ means many people have negative perceptions around how claimants spend the money they win:

  • 43% think the money will go on a nice holiday
  • 42% believe claimants will hot foot it to the shops for a spending spree
  • 25% think people will head straight to their local car dealer to pick up new wheels
  • 23% think it’ll go on nice things for their family

Just 19% believe the money will be spent on getting themselves back into the place they were before the accident, just a quarter (25%) think it’ll support them whilst they’re unable to work and less than one in five (19%) say it’ll go towards treatment for their injury.

John Baden-Daintree, Director of Legal Services at QualitySolicitors comments: "This research shows that perhaps it’s time for us Brits to reassess our views of people who claim for personal injuries. It’s a real shame that honest, hard-working people are missing out on the financial compensation they need to get their lives back on track because they are worried others will think badly of them. At QualitySolicitors, we’re committed to offering people practical advice to help them following an accident that wasn’t their fault. This could mean compensating them for loss of earnings, or getting them the funds they need to make adjustments to their home to help them recover from an injury. I’d urge anyone who thinks they might have a claim to look at the options available to them. Otherwise they could find themselves seriously out of pocket.” 

Young vs. old

The results show a big discrepancy between the generations: young people (18-24yrs) are far less likely to be resentful towards people who make a claim (39%) compared with over half (68%) of older people (55yrs plus). This perception also leads over half (50%) of older people to forgo making a claim compared with 42% of younger people. Older people are more likely to believe Britain has a ‘compensation culture’ with 54% of those over 55yrs believing this compared with just 36% of those aged 18 – 24yrs.

Gender differences

Men (54%) are more likely than women (40%) to not make a Personal Injury claim for an injury that wasn’t their fault, with the top reason they gave being they ‘didn’t want to make a fuss’ (42%). However, women are generally more sympathetic to people who make claims with 21% saying they assumed people use the money to get back into the place they were in before their accident, compared with just 16% of men.

To help reassure genuine claimants of their options and explain the process of making a claim, QualitySolicitors has produced downloadable top tips for claimants and employers.

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About QualitySolicitors:

  • Launched in 2010, QualitySolicitors is a group of law firms across the country working as part of the QualitySolicitors brand. Only one firm per local area is selected to become a QualitySolicitors partner. Customer feedback forms an integral part of the selection process.
  • QualitySolicitors’ national network of lawyers consists of over 100 branches across England and Wales.
  • QualitySolicitors lawyers are experts in their fields dealing with both consumer and SME legal matters. QualitySolicitors offers a personal, local service but with the assurance of a recognised national brand.
  • QualitySolicitors’ website address is
  • In 2011 QualitySolicitors secured equity investment from Palamon Capital Partners, a private equity house with a £700m fund.

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