Two in five British people would be willing to make a personal injury or medical negligence claim, despite not having a genuine case, according to a survey released today.

At the same time, many others are put off from bringing a case due to fears over cost, lack of success, a lack of understanding of legal jargon, the time required, and intimidation or pressure from lawyers.

Market research company Sapio surveyed more than 500 people who have either used or considered using legal services, on behalf of mmadigital, a digital marketing and customer acquisition specialist for the legal sector. 

While the majority of respondents believed there should be a good and valid reason for making a claim, 41% of respondents admitted they would be likely to make a false claim for financial gain if they thought they could get away with it.

Regarding costs, 51% said they would be likely to pursue a legal claim even if there was a risk they would have to pay damages and court costs if they did not win. This increased to 73% for cases on a no-win, no-fee basis.

Questioned about where they would initially seek advice before deciding whether to pursue a claim, 18% said they would turn to Citizens Advice or a law firm they already know, 15% to a claims specialist, 14% would search on Google, and 13% wouold go to a friend or family member.

Dez Derry, CEO of mmadigital, commented: "The research highlights interesting findings on what consumers think about the claims market. While it may not be surprising that consumers are generally more willing to pursue a case when their personal finances aren’t on the line, the associated costs associated with legal representation generally still appear to be a barrier for many. The no-win, no-fee model can help genuine claimants get their case heard without fear of losing out financially, but firms also need to be aware that this may offer security for false claims. To minimise this risk, legal professionals in the injury claims sector need to be dealing with pre-qualified and vetted leads so their valuable time is spent only on pursuing genuine and legitimate claims."