Interim payments - what they are and how they work

Interim payments - what they are and how they work

Serious injury compensation claims are complex and can take time to reach settlement even when liability – the issue of who is at fault – has been resolved. Some cases, such as cerebral palsy or other brain injury claims can only be valued over time.

The child may be too young for their long-term needs to be assessed straight away or there might be uncertainties about the severity of their future disability which can only be determined when the child is older. In the case of a seriously injured adult, rehabilitation may be required before the claim can be finally settled. Meanwhile, the injured person and their family’s hardship is often increased by the financial worries caused by the additional costs of caring for a severely disabled child or losing the former breadwinner’s income. 

In cases where liability is admitted but settlement is still a long way off, we can often help relieve our clients’ hardship by applying to the court for what is known as an interim payment.

What is an Interim Payment?

An interim payment is a part-payment of compensation that is paid by the defendant during litigation to the claimant. The sum can vary significantly and is often used for rehabilitation, putting in place treatment or even to ease financial hardship. The amount of the interim payment should be comfortably less than the expected total value of the claim as it will be deducted from the total settlement awarded at the conclusion of the case.

When can an interim payment be requested and how?

An interim payment can be requested once liability has been admitted or proven against the defendant. This may take place early in the claim, sometimes even before proceedings have been issued or following a successful trial in respect of liability. 

Where an interim payment is needed, before applying to the court the claimant’s solicitors usually ask the defendant to make a voluntary interim payment, explaining how much is required and what it is intended for. If the defendant does not agree to make an interim payment or is unwilling to pay an amount sufficient to meet the claimant’s needs then the claimant’s solicitors will need to make an application to the Court, justifying the sum requested in the context of the overall value of the claim and the reason that the interim payment is needed.  Documentary evidence such as a witness statement and medical reports are usually provided in support.

Do you need to go to court?

If the claim relates to child or protected party (someone who is represented by a ‘litigation friend’ in the proceedings), the permission of the court must be obtained before an interim payment is made, even if the defendant agrees to make the payment voluntarily.  The claimant rarely needs to attend court for this hearing.

At this stage, a Court of Protection deputy may be appointed to oversee the management of the money for the claimant. At Boyes Turner, our clinical negligence and personal injury teams work closely with own Court of Protection specialists to ensure that our clients’ money is managed in accordance with the court’s requirements but easily accessible to meet their needs.

What are the benefits of an interim payment?

An interim payment allows you see what works for you and your family before settlement and helps demonstrate what you will need long term. This allows us to claim the most suitable provision for you for the future.

Each individual and family’s circumstances are unique, but our clients commonly use interim payments:

  • to buy and adapt a property, so that the family home is suitable for their disabled child’s needs;
  • to pay for a rental property whilst their existing property is adapted;
  • to purchase specialist treatment, aids or equipment which is not readily available on the NHS;
  • to purchase a wheelchair and regular seating assessments;
  • to put a care plan in place;
  • to put in place therapies, such as physiotherapy, speech and language therapy, pain management etc;
  • to assist with the additional costs of caring and providing for a family member with a disability.

At Boyes Turner we have helped hundreds of disabled clients and their families rebuild their lives after medical negligence and serious personal injury. The support we give our clients in obtaining and using interim payments ensures that they can focus on rebuilding and participating in family life, whilst we work to achieve settlement of their claim.

If you or your child have been severely disabled as a result of negligence, contact us by email at claimsadvice@boyesturner.com.

The service was personal, professional and considered. I was treated so kindly and in the end I knew that not only had I found the right organisation but also the right person.

Boyes Turner client

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