A Fatal Accident Act claim: How can a Solicitor help
Matthew Claxson | 04.03.2019
22.01.2018 Rosanna Watts
An interim payment is a payment that is received by the injured party (the “Claimant”) from a Defendant before the claim is settled. This payment would be set off against the final payment by the Defendant of compensation in a Claimant’s claim.
An interim payment can be made voluntarily whereby; the Claimant makes a request for an interim sum of money in which the Defendant agrees. This would be the most desirable situation. If no agreement can be made between the parties, the Claimant can make a formal application to the Court. This application would request the Court to make an Order that the Defendant does pay an agreed sum.
Rule 25.7 of the Civil Procedure Rules, which govern personal injury claims, sets out the conditions that a Claimant would have to meet before the Court makes an Order for an interim payment.
In essence, a Claimant would have to prove the following:
The claim has reasonable prospects of success
The Claimant has to show that there is over a 50% chance that their claim will succeed.
The sum requested is a reasonable amount in proportion to the likely amount of the overall claim
The Claimant needs to be realistic when making a request for an interim payment but the Court does have a wide discretion to decide what amounts to ‘reasonable’.
The Court will take into account any issues surrounding contributory negligence, or any relevant set-off or counterclaim when deciding whether the amount requested is reasonable.
It should also be noted that there is no limit to the number of the interim payments that a Claimant can receive.
The Defendant (or their insurance company) has the financial ability to make the payment
A Court would only make an Order if they are confident that the Defendant would have the ability to make this payment. In many instances it would look to see if there is an insurer in place who can raise payment.
Application for an Interim Payment
When making an application, the Claimant should deal with the following in their supporting evidence:
Relevance to a seriously injured Claimant
In serious injury claims, a Claimant will often suffer from multiple injuries and it will take time to gain a full understanding of the prognosis and extent of the injuries. Until an acting solicitor has all the medical evidence available they would not have an accurate understanding of the value of the claim. It is important to ensure that the litigation process is not rushed and that the final award sum is of adequate amount to reimburse the Claimant for their loss and to provide enough support for them for the rest of their life.
It is of equal importance to understand that any serious injury will likely cause immediate financial strain to a Claimant and their family. An interim payment is a great method to ensure that a Claimant can receive some form of financial support. The interim payment can be used for things such as medical treatment, housing or care assistance. There are, however, no set rules on what a Claimant must spend their interim payment on.
The Claimant was a pedestrian crossing a road when struck by a motor car driven by the Defendant. The Defendant failed to stop at the scene but was later traced and successfully prosecuted by the police for dangerous driving.
The Claimant had sustained extensive injury including a brain injury, serious spinal fractures and psychological injury. The Claimant would spend a long period in hospital before being discharged home. Once home the Claimant would require significant personal care and not be able to return to work for 24 months.
The Claimant’s case is likely to be worth a substantial sum, in excess of six figures. The Defendant’s motor insurer was prepared to make an interim payment of £50,000 to be spent as the Claimant wishes, and set off against the final payment. This will provide the Claimant with the flexibility to invest as required in their rehabilitation, and meet financial obligations in lieu of his wages.
There is no doubt that the interim payment can be highly beneficial for a seriously injured Claimant who should bear in mind that the payment will be set off against the final compensation claim.
Rosanna Watts is a Trainee Solicitor at Moore Blatch LLP who are a leading UK firm of solicitors specialising in obtaining maximum compensation for those Claimant’s who have suffered life changing injuries or have been bereaved.
Moore Blatch LLP is the winner of the Rehabilitation First 2017 Award for client service.
If you have suffered serious injury or have been bereaved and would like to discuss an insurance claim then telephone our specialist team on Freephone 0800 157 7611 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or request a call back here