20 Sep 2023

Understanding Interim Payments in Legal Claims

In the legal world, when pursuing a claim or lawsuit, it is essential to understand the concept of interim payments. Interim payments are advances against the final compensation amount. They can provide crucial financial support to claimants during the litigation process, ensuring they can cover immediate expenses an ongoing costs. Coulthursts solicitor Karen Hayes explains…

  1. What are interim payments?

Interim payments are partial payments made by the defendant to the claimant during the course of legal proceedings. These payments are made before the final resolution of the claim, providing the claimant with financial support and helping to alleviate any immediate financial hardships.

  1. Purpose and benefits of injuring payments

Interim payments serve to support claimants who may be facing financial difficulty as a result of the accident or injury. The aim is to help achieve fairness by ensuring that the claimant is not unduly burdened by financial constraints while awaiting the final resolution of the claim.

They can help fund rehabilitation, care packages or a house purchase, depending on the needs of the individual claimant.

  1. Eligibility and Process

If court proceedings haven’t been started, then a request in writing is usually made to the defendant’s insurance company. In practice, evidence is supplied to justify a request for an interim payment. This could be an immediate needs assessment, carried out to recommend a package of measures, to help a claimant, who has suffered injury. However, there is a balancing act in relation to disclosing this needs assessment at an early stage, as it gives the insurance company information about the claimant ‘s injuries and possibly financial difficulties. By providing the report, the defendants could consider the potential value of the claim and make a pre-medical offer that could pose a risk for the claimant and potentially undervalue the entire claim.

If the Defendant refuses to release an interim payment, despite liability not being an issue, then Court proceedings can be started.  Then, an application to the Court can be made, to force an unwilling Defendant to release funds for the claimant’s needs.   The Court will consider the evidence and the potential value of the whole claim when determining whether an interim payment should be released.  This is to prevent overpayment to the claimant.  However, by issuing proceedings too soon to obtain an interim payment, the Court then becomes involved in all aspects of the claim, providing deadlines and may limit evidence.

  1. Coulthursts solution to the problems surrounding interim payments

We seek to collaborate with Defendant insurance companies when it in our client’s interest to do so.  However, we require assurances that early offers are not made before releasing any evidence to ensure that full medical evidence is obtained in due course, so the claim can be valued fully.

If the Defendants will not release an interim payment, Coulthursts are the only firm to fund our client’s rehabilitation package to ensure the client doesn’t delay in receiving the necessary treatment.  Further, it prevents court proceedings being issued too soon, which can limit what we can do and when we can do it.  We protect our clients from the potential negative outcomes surrounding interim payments.

Author:  Karen Hayes who is a brain injury solicitor with more than 20 years’ experience.  Read more about Karen here

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