A study by Highway into the benefits of rehabilitation on personal injury claimants has found that it improves settlement times and increases the accuracy of reserving.

The motor insurer said that, following the study, rehabilitation would become standard practice for relevant claims.

The three-year study found claimants receiving case management-led rehabilitation had a better chance of returning to work or finding a suitable alternative.

Nearly a third of Highway's serious personal injury claims were considered suitable for rehabilitation.

Highway's claims director Peter Gallagher said: "In appropriate cases, there is no doubt rehabilitation leads to earlier settlement and increased accuracy of reserving."

He refused to comment on the precise nature of savings, but said these were "worthwhile", although lower than 20%.

In addition, he said reserving would be more accurate and it was likely more favourable reinsurance rates could be obtained.

Gallagher said rehabilitation would become "par for the course" for many serious injuries, such as orthopaedic injuries - often where there were broken bones - and brain damage cases.

Highway said the challenge was now to find quality rehabilitation providers.