The medical negligence claims process can be a lengthy procedure. The time it takes to reach a settlement in a compensation case depends on the complexity of the circumstances surrounding it.
If you have suffered an unusual or complicated illness or injury then it may take longer to conclude your case. During the process of your claim (or in the interim) you might suffer financial hardship or have expenses to meet because of the nature of your injury.
Because of this, there is a system that allows people making compensation claims to access funds to provide them with the care they need prior to a conclusion to their case.
Sums of money can be paid to you ahead of your claim being fully settled to help you on the path to recovery quicker. These payments are called interim payments.
It is important to note that interim payments can only be provided if the blameworthy party has admitted liability and that the amounts you receive will be deducted from your final compensation settlement amount.
How can I get interim payments?
Your solicitor will only be able to request an interim payment for you if the other party has admitted liability. This request could be denied, in which case there is the option to apply to the courts for their consideration on the matter, however, this is subject to certain conditions which your personal injury solicitor will be able to explain to you.
The value of an interim payment is usually quantified as a percentage of the amount of compensation you are likely to ultimately receive. This amount will be taken off the final compensation amount at the end of your claim.
What are interim payments for?
If you have not been able to work then an interim payment can help you. Similarly, if you are self-employed or on statutory sick pay, then an interim payment can put you on the path to recovery sooner.
Despite this, you do not need to prove that you are experiencing financial hardship in order to qualify to receive interim payments.
How much can I claim for an interim payment?
The amount you will receive will depend on your case. Like all other claims which all result in different levels of compensation, there are, generally speaking, no restrictions on how much you can apply to receive but it must be considered a ‘reasonable proportion’ of the overall amount of compensation likely to be paid out.
You can make as many applications for an interim payment as you like as there are no limits. Payment of an interim sum does not mean that your compensation has been settled in full and the remainder of your claim will still be dealt with.
What can interim payments be used for?
Usually, interim payments are used to pay for the following kinds of care:
- Home adaptation
- Specialist equipment
- Transport costs
- Rehabilitation support and equipment
- Private medical treatment
- Loss of earnings
Will my benefits be affected by interim payments?
It is worth noting that if you have a compensation settlement then your entitlement to means-tested state benefits can come into question.
If you put your funds into a Compensation Trust then this money will not be considered if you are having your means-tested benefits assessed. The most common kinds of means-tested benefits are housing benefit, free school meals, council tax benefit and free health care.
The benefits which are not means-tested are employment support allowance, disability living allowance, Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit and Carers Allowance.
What are compensation trusts?
Compensation Trusts were set up by the government to enable the people who have suffered medical negligence to protect the funds they receive. When funds are in one of these trusts it means that benefits will not take the money into account. Your solicitor will be able to sort out this arrangement for you.
Interim payments at Jefferies
If you would like to know more about Interim Payments or if you have any other questions about personal injury compensation please get in touch with our no win no fee solicitors at Jefferies. Call us today on our 0800 342 3206 or complete one of our online claim forms.