2023 UK Road Injury Statistics: Trends and Insights

Quittance 2023 road injury claimant survey

Our experience in the field of road traffic accident (RTA) injury claims has shown that injured claimants are frequently not aware of their legal rights or how liability is assessed when making a compensation claim.

This survey was designed to identify factors that might discourage or deter potential claimants from pursuing claims. A key focus was on assessing misconceptions or knowledge gaps about the claims process that could influence an injured road user's decision to take legal action.

This report presents an analysis of a large-scale survey conducted in 2023, targeting thousands of claimants at the outset of the RTA claims process.

  • Sample size: 4643 adults
  • Survey period: 01/01/23 to 31/12/23
  • Geographic coverage: England, Scotland and Wales
  • How compiled: Survey of road accident injury claimants when making initial claim enquiry

In this report:

Who caused the injury

Work injuries

Psychological harm in the workplace

Serious injuries


Claimant perception of road accident liability

We asked claimants at the initial enquiry stage who they thought was liable for their injury. The following table is a summary of their answers:

Who claimants thought were responsible Percentage of respondents
Another road user 94.76%
The claimant 2.38%
Both another road user and claimant partly liable 0.48%
Liability unclear 2.38%

Further investigation

5.24% of claimants thought that they were at least partly liable for their injuries, or were uncertain about who was liable.

From this data, it is not possible to determine how many potential claimants are deterred from making a claim due to a misunderstanding regarding their rights in a split liability road accident. Under the principle of contributory negligence a claim in respect is not defeated as a result of the claimant partially causing the accident or injury themselves. However, this principle is not generally understood.

Some road users may feel that because they were partly responsible for an aspect of the accident or their injury (or believe this to be the case), they are not entitled to claim compensation and as such, do not make even initial enquiries into the viability of a claim.

In addition, major changes to the Highway Code came into force in January 2022 in which a hierarchy of road users was introduced. Many road users' understanding of who is a fault in a collision will likely be confused.

The psychological impact of road accidents

Psychological injuries, either in isolation, or as a result of a car crash or other road accident, are often overlooked. The following data highlights the prevalence of psychological injuries following an accident:

Type % of respondents % of all data
Respondents who suffered a psychological injury 32.47% 32.47%
Respondents with a psychological injury who also suffered a physical injury 78.53% 25.50%
Respondents who solely suffered a psychological injury 21.47% 6.97%

The Judicial College make provision for general damages to be paid for PTSD, and all other psychological injuries are considered under a single category of "general psychiatric damage".


Although it is possible to claim for a psychological injury that is not connected to a physical injury, many personal injury solicitors don't accept these claims. Unless a claimant's psychological injury has been diagnosed at outset of the claim, these claims can be harder to win.

Unfortunately in these cases solicitors don't always refer the claimant to firm specialising in psychological claims, or advise the claimant to obtain a second opinion.

Where a claimant has suffered both a physical and psychological injury, it is critical that the psychological injury is assessed during the claims process. It is not possible to make a second claim for psychological harm if a claimant's symptoms worsen after a compensation settlement has been agreed.

Road injury severity

This table categorises respondents' road injuries as minor, moderate, or severe. These categories align with the three injury claims tracks: small claims track, fast track, and multi-track, in accordance with the Judicial College Guidelines for General Damages.

Average general damages value by injury Percentage of respondents
Minor - Less than £5,000 35.9%
Moderate - £5,000 to £25,000 42.5%
Serious - Over £25,000 21.59%

For reference: General damages claims for drivers and passengers valued at below £5,000 are handled through the small claims court process. Claims valued under £25,000 follow the fast-track process, and claims worth over £25,000 follow the multi-track process.


The government reformed the process for making a small personal injury claim on 31st May 2021. One stated intention of the reforms was that claimants with less severe injuries would be able to handle claims themselves, without legal representation.

In practice, navigating the claims process remains challenging for laypeople. Claimants must independently establish liability, review medical evidence, prove any financial losses, and correctly assess the value of their claim. Injured workers may, in particular, be discouraged from making a claim by the sometimes mistaken belief that their claim falls into the small claims court category.

Respondent data

This table offers a concise breakdown of different categories of injuries suffered in road accidents, presented as percentages.

Injury selected by respondent % of respondents % of these respondents who suffered multiple injuries
Ankle injuries 4.63% 76.34%
Arm injuries 6.42% 76.74%
Arm injuries 0.25% 140%
Back injuries 17.53% 73.01%
Brain damage 6.32% 74.02%
Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) 0.6% 50%
Chest injuries 8.12% 83.44%
Cold injury 0.15% 66.67%
Dermatitis 0.3% 83.33%
Epilepsy 0.25% 60%
Facial injuries 3.98% 68.75%
Finger and thumb injuries 3.04% 83.61%
Foot injuries 2.14% 76.74%
Hair damage 0.6% 100%
Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) 0.1% 50%
Hand injuries 0.4% 87.5%
Hand injuries 2.49% 76%
Hernia injuries 0.1% 100%
Illness/health conditions 1.2% 45.83%
Impairment of taste and smell 0.15% 100%
Injuries affecting hearing and speech 0.65% 100%
Injuries affecting sight 0.85% 64.71%
Knee injuries 8.27% 73.49%
Leg injuries 6.87% 71.01%
Leg injuries 2.74% 34.55%
Lung-related conditions 0.9% 83.33%
Neck injuries 9.11% 73.77%
Organ damage 1.69% 79.41%
Other injuries 0.9% 66.67%
Other psychological injury 12.3% 79.76%
Pain disorders 3.34% 86.57%
Paralysis 0.5% 50%
Pelvis or hips injuries 10.11% 77.34%
Post-traumatic stress (PTSD) 20.17% 77.78%
Repetitive strain injury (RSI) 0.35% 71.43%
Shoulder injuries 12.1% 83.95%
Teeth loss and damage 1.15% 82.61%
Tinnitus 2.89% 87.93%
Vibration White Finger (VWF) 0.05% 0%
Whiplash 36.9% 61.13%
Work-related Upper Limb Disorder (WRULDS) 0.2% 75%
Wrist injuries 7.07% 83.1%

Report disclaimer

Both Quittance and the specialist panel solicitors we work with have expertise in particular areas of personal injury claims. The data collected and presented in the 2023 Quittance Work Injury Claimants Survey is not intended to represent the complete personal injury claims market.


Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases Sixteenth Edition

RTA compensation claims