Interim Payments

If a claimant has been significantly injured in an accident caused by the negligence of a defendant, the process of obtaining the right amount of compensation can sometimes be a lengthy and challenging journey.

This is particularly true if the claimant is suffering financially because they are not able to work as a result of the injuries they have sustained.

In many cases, claimant solicitors can request an interim payment at an early stage of the claim. An interim payment is an amount of money that is paid to the claimant before the total amount of compensation is decided.

However, in most cases an insurance company will only agree to pay an interim payment to the claimant where there has been an admission of negligence for the accident. A defendant who denies liability for an accident would not be willing to pay the claimant an interim payment of damages.

In some instances, even if there has been admission of liability, a claimant must also demonstrate that there is a reasonable need for the interim payment. If a claimant has been absent from work for some time because of the injuries sustained in the accident, then it is easier for a claimant to show their losses and to request an appropriate interim payment.

Where there has been no financial losses, a claimant can still make a reasonable request for an interim payment if, for example, he/she intends to use that money to assist with medical treatment. It may be that the claimant’s treatment needs are only available privately or there will be long delays if the treatment is awaited on the NHS

In addition, where injuries have been significant and the serious injury guide is followed, defendants are encouraged to agree to interim payments for rehabilitation/medical treatment, even if the issue of liability has not been resolved.

An interim payment can be extremely beneficial to a claimant to ease any financial pressures they may have. This is particularly so early in a claim, where a claimant may not be eligible for any financial assistance from the government at that time.

A claimant can request an interim payment at any time and more than one, providing it is reasonable.

It is important to remember however that a defendant cannot be forced to make an interim payment prior to the commencement of court proceedings. Once proceedings have been commenced and a defence has been received admitting liability, an application can be made to the court seeking an appropriate order.

Requesting interim payments in appropriate claims can provide a vital safety net for individuals and their families whose lives have been turned upside down as a result of an accident.

The personal injury team at Sintons has a national reputation for its work and is regularly hailed by both Legal 500 and Chambers legal guides as being one of the best of its kind in the North of England. Our legal capability and client service have both been hailed as being “first class”.

Adam Burton is an associate in the claimant personal injury team at Sintons in Newcastle dealing with serious and catastrophic injuries. Contact him at or on 0191 226 7856.

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