Interim payments and rehabilitation, in personal injury claims, are of great assistance to those who have either suffered serious injury or have been bereaved.
As a solicitor specialising in serious injury I am dedicated to achieving the best possible outcome for my client. Interim payments and rehabilitation help put injured people back on the road to recovery as soon as possible.
An interim payment is an upfront payment by a defendant, usually via their insurance company, that will be set off against the final payment of a claim.
An insurance company will often agree to make an interim payment where they believe it is likely they will admit fault in full or part of the claim, and the interim payment amount is unlikely to exceed the full value of the claim they are expected to pay.
As an example, the injured person may have suffered a serious injury that prevents them from returning to work. As a result, they may not be paid by their employer during their whole absence from work and as a consequence not be able to pay household Bills. An interim payment may help the injured person to pay their Bills, for example the mortgage payments and food costs.
I have on occasion been asked by a client to write to their mortgage company to explain the situation regarding any personal injury claim in an endeavour to persuade the lender to stay off any enforcement action whilst an interim payment is secured.
As a second example, the client who has tragically been bereaved will often be expected to pay for their loved ones funeral. A standard funeral can cost several thousand pounds. I have found most insurance companies will often make a general upfront interim payment to assist the client to meet this cost.
Where a person is seriously injured the initial, or acute, phase of their treatment in the immediate aftermath of the incident is almost always provided by the NHS.
However, what happens after the acute treatment has been completed, and the NHS are looking to discharge the injured person home?
I am frequently instructed on matters where a person admitted to hospital is facing the prospect of a discharge home but they are worried, in light of the serious injury suffered, how they will cope at home. The injured person may live alone or they have to use stairs to access their home that would prove difficult due to their injury. They may also require ongoing treatment needs.
In all personal injury claims a solicitor can approach the insurance company for the other party under the Rehabilitation Code 2015 to ask whether the insurer will invest in the appointment of a rehabilitation Case Manager who can undertake an assessment of the clients immediate needs, and prepare a report making recommendations. The insurer may then provide further funds for the Case Manager to implement those recommendations, that may include managing the injured persons discharge home, and their ongoing rehabilitation needs for an agreed period, for example 6 months.
Whilst the ultimate outcome of a personal injury claim is a financial payment the actual role of the solicitor is much more than that in supporting the injured person to regain as far as possible their independence and be returned to the position they would have been absent the incident. Interim payments and rehabilitation work toward this goal.
A solicitor specialising in serious injury claims will be able to guide an injured person through the process of seeking from the insurance company an interim payment and investment in the claim for rehabilitation.
Matthew Claxson is a Solicitor and Partner at Moore Blatch Solicitors specialising in serious injury and fatal incidents. Tel 0800 157 7611
Profile available on LinkedIn. Twitter: @matthewclaxson