What are Interim Payments?
26 February 2020
For some people pursuing a Personal Injury or Medical Negligence Claim, their injuries could be so severe that their ability to work is affected. This can result in a continuing loss of earnings. In addition, they may require treatment or rehabilitation, such as physiotherapy or counselling, which can be paid for privately and included as part of the claim for compensation.
If this happens to you, it will understandably make your financial situation extremely difficult. As a result you may feel pressurised into settling your injury claim early, just so you've got some money to keep you afloat.
However, it's important not to settle a claim before the effects of the injury can be properly assessed, as you may not receive the full amount of compensation that you are entitled to. Usually once a personal injury claim settles, it is on a 'full and final basis', so you won't be able to get any more compensation from your claim once you've accepted a settlement.
But that can leave you in a difficult position, as Personal Injury Claims can occasionally take years to finalise where the injuries are long term. During this time your finances could be seriously depleted. To overcome this problem, it's possible to ask for an interim payment.
How Do Interim Payments Work?
An interim payment is a payment on account of your full compensation, and what it means is that you effectively receive part of your compensation settlement early. Then, when your claim settles and the final amount is known, you will receive the rest of the money.
Who Can Get an Interim Payment?
If the other side in your Personal Injury or Medical Negligence Claim admits fault for causing your injuries, your Solicitor can ask for a voluntary interim payment to be made. If the other side is not prepared to make an interim payment voluntarily then your Solicitor can prepare Court proceedings (once medical evidence has been obtained) and ask the Court to order that an interim payment is paid to you, as the Claimant.
Your Solicitor can only make an application to the Court if proceedings have been 'issued' which means that your claim has been lodged with the Court and the legal process is underway. Before ordering an interim payment, the Court will check that:
- Liability has been admitted, or that if your claim went to trial there would be a reasonable chance that the other side would be found at fault
The Claimant has set out why they are requesting an interim payment (i.e. what the payment is for)
The amount requested is reasonable and is likely to be less than your final compensation settlement
There is no limit to the number of interim payments you can receive, but the Court will want the above criteria to be satisfied each and every time.