DAS is set to cover the expenses of people applying for injury settlements through the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) which was launched this week in Ireland.

A DAS spokesman confirmed that the DAS legal expenses policy would cover expenses even though the regime for injury claims no longer involves lawyers.

Under the new regime, claimants fill in a claim form themselves and send it with a medical report to the government-run PIAB, which is based in West Cork.

The application costs E50. According to the DAS spokesman, medical reports cost upwards of E200. It is understood that unsuccessful claimants will receive E150 back.

The PIAB is set to make an offer based on a book of quantum and is held to make the offer within nine months. Claimants can accept or challenge the award.

Tanaiste Mary Harney claimed the new system would cut insurance costs by up to 40%. The system applies to employers' liability claims from this week and, it is understood, will be introduced for motor claims next year.

Last month saw the number of personal injury claims registered at the Dublin High Court leap 80%, compared to the same period last year as claimant lawyers put forward claims to be settled under the old regime.