How long should you wait for your solicitor to obtain an interim payment on your behalf in an accident claim?
I am often contacted by accident victims asking why their solicitor has not obtained an interim payment on their behalf despite liability having been accepted.
An interim payment – is a sum of money paid upfront before your claim for compensation is concluded. This sum is in effect a part payment – on the basis that you can suffer great hardship whilst your claim is being made especially if your sources of income are limited whilst you are recuperating from your injuries.
You must remember – that it is not a given that you will receive an interim payment and even if your solicitor has promised to attempt to obtain a payment there can be quite substantial delays.
Before a court will award an interim payment it must be satisfied that you are certain to win your claim and receive compensation well in excess of the sum requested in the interim payment.
To succeed in an interim payment application the following should be shown:
1. Liability is conceded by the person you hold at fault
In certain types of claim, such as in road traffic accidents, the driver’s motor insurance company will openly accept in letters (open correspondence) that legal liability or fault is accepted.
2. It must be accepted that the accident caused your injuries
It might be accepted that someone was at fault for causing your accident, but this does not mean that your injuries and losses are accepted as being as a result of the accident.
This question is known as medical causation – in other words: did the accident cause your injuries?
An independent medical expert would need to review your GP and hospital notes, examine you and give an opinion as to which of your injuries were caused by the accident.
3. You would need to be able to demonstrate to the court how much your likely claim is worth
You might have suffered a significant injury in a RTA or work accident resulting in a potential large pain and suffering and lost income claim. The evidence necessary to prove this could take some time to produce even if liability is accepted.
A medical expert might take 6 months to examine you and might even at that stage indicate that you need to have a MRI scan, physiotherapy and then to be reviewed again in the future.
To show that you are likely to have substantial lost income into the future you might need full medical evidence, accountant reports and even a rehabilitation expert report, etc.
4. It is up to your lawyer to get the evidence together before applying for an interim payment
It is really in the hands of your solicitor to get all the evidence together before making an application for an interim payment on your behalf.
Should you make an application too early and that application fail due to lack of evidence in support – it is likely you will have to meet the cost of the application even if the person at fault has accepted responsibility.
Click accident claim interim payment to ask me an online question about your own accident claim.