With the value of claims continuing to increase in with serious injury cases - often running into the hundreds of thousands and sometimes millions of pounds - there is growing support for a rehabilitation approach that helps claimants recover as swiftly as possible and, where appropriate, return to work

Not all insurers accept rehabilitation as cost-effective, but those that do are increasingly active in promoting it - even offering immediate rehabilitation support regardless of whether liability has been established.

Successful rehabilitation benefits all parties, and indeed the economy as a whole - but requires a proactive partnership between the injured person, the employer, the insurer, the broker, the solicitor, and trade unions involved.

Prompt notification is essential so that appropriate medical support can be provided straightaway. It also requires ready access to appropriate medical care and support - and the development of these facilities is an area insurers and the government are currently focusing on. Rehabilitation support covers a number of areas. Among these are:

- Physical disability, where prompt physiotherapy or early surgery can make a big difference

- Pain management, where alternative therapies are often now considered

- Psychological rehabilitation, where there is increasing emphasis on disciplines such as cognitive therapy and a growing recognition that psychological problems can play as significant a role as physiological ones in preventing or delaying a return to work or prolonging problems faced by the claimant.