The Personal Injuries Assessment Board, which was set up to speed up insurance claims, says most of the legal profession is now working with the organisation.

Releasing its figures for last year, the PIAB said it was now delivering compensation within nine months, compared with three years under litigation, while the average cost of processing a claim under the PIAB was four times cheaper than going through the courts.

It said that 35,000 personal injury writs were issued in the High and Circuit Courts in 2004, but this dropped to 4,000 last year. The PIAB also claimed that early settlement of claims was growing due to its influence.