Multi-million-pound campaign aims to remove stigma from PI claims

Herbertson: Claim numbers have not rebounded post-Covid

National Accident Helpline is launching a multi-million-pound campaign to reassure people who are worried or confused about bringing personal injury claims.

The company will advertise on television, radio and online, as well as locations like billboards and bus shelters in a bid to educate consumers and change perceptions of claiming.

NAH spent £9m on marketing in 2022 as it returned to TV advertising for the first time since 2019 and is upping its budget further this year as it doubles the TV spend.

It estimates that at least £1.4bn remains unclaimed in personal injury settlements last year. It calculated this by using the claims volume from the first half of 2022, doubling it, and then applying internal and industry data on the average success rate and settlement figures across road traffic accidents, employer’s and public liability claims and medical negligence.

This indicated that there were 350,000 fewer claims made in 2022 than in 2019, amounting to £1.4bn of unclaimed compensation. “This is a conservative estimate, and the real figure could be much higher,” it said.

Research commissioned to kick off the campaign confirmed that nearly half of the people surveyed (47%) were reluctant to claim because they thought there was a stigma around doing so.

A similar number feared the claims process took too long (48%) while 42% worried about the consequences of making a claim, such as when suing their employer.

Will Herbertson, managing director of consumer legal services at NAHL Group – which also owns the law firm National Accident Law – said the company had wanted to investigate why the number of claims has not rebounded to pre-pandemic levels as life went back to normal, and especially in light of the cost-of-living crisis.

Censuswide conducted two surveys – one of 2,000 members of the public and another of 502 people who have suffered an accident in the last three years.

It found that a quarter of those who could have made a claim had ‘no idea’ they were entitled to compensation, while a similar number did not pursue a claim because they thought the ‘process felt too complicated’.

Other reasons for not claiming were ‘the cost of making a claim’ (23%), ‘being seen as a time waster’ (19%) and ‘worried the process would take too long’ (17%).

A significant number of people (14%) did not make a claim because they were worried they might lose their job, and 12% said it was because of ‘fears of lawyers or the legal system’.

The research also found that only 10% of people thought the personal injury sector was an essential part of the justice system, indicating that most did not understand what it did.

While 11% of people suffered a no-fault accident in the last three years, only 50% attempted to make a claim, of which only half went ahead. That was broken down into road traffic accidents (46%), accident or illness at work (25%), slip, trip or fall in a public place (17%) or medical negligence (13%).

National Accident Law is a fast-growing firm with 80 staff, including 36 fee-earners, running over 10,000 claims.

Speaking to Legal Futures last year, group chief executive James Saralis said a TV campaign National Accident Helpline began in June delivered encouraging results, with more volume, more organic searches, a reduced cost of acquisition and better conversion across all of its marketing channels.

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