If you or a member of your family is suffering from a personal injury, illness or industrial disease caused by the negligence of someone else, our specialist personal injury lawyers may be able to help you claim compensation. Contact us today on 0800 032 8511 for claim advice, or by completing a claim enquiry form.
There are two elements to a compensation award.
The first, called general damages, is for the pain and suffering you may have gone through and any loss of amenity (perhaps an inability to wash your car, look after your garden, walk the dog). The award for loss of amenity can be for a short period after an accident or for ever if that is what the medical evidence supports.
The second element of a compensation award, for your losses and expenses, is known as special damages and aims to put you back in a position financially as if the accident had never occurred. It is important to keep receipts for any expenditure you have related to the accident so that these can be reclaimed.
In serious cases, where a person may no longer be able to continue their employment, this can be taken into account. Costs for care, equipment, transport and housing modifications can also be factored into the calculations. There can also be a loss of pension and other benefits.
If the person is still able to work but not in the same role as before, particularly if they held a public service role such as a doctor or police officer, an extra amount may be awarded for loss of ‘congenial employment’. A court can also make a financial award to recognise that an injured worker's prospects on the open labour market may be limited.
If a person is fatally injured, a dependent relative such as a widow and children may be able to claim a statutory sum for their bereavement and funeral expenses, but also sums for the loss of income and contribution to the household in the form of future losses.
The amount of compensation awarded is based on the facts of each individual case, however previous awards of damages in any similar case are also used as a guideline, together with guidelines provided by the Judicial Studies Board. See our how much section for further information.
As the process of making a claim can take time, it is sometimes necessary for the claimant to receive what is known as an ‘interim payment’, to tide them over financially until the case is fully settled.
This is a partial payment of your compensation and could be made to cover the costs of medical treatment or care, transport, or even equipment required to adapt a home in the case of very serious injury. Interim payments can also be vital where there is no employers sick pay scheme or, if there is a scheme, sickness benefits either reduce with the passage of time or run out altogether. The idea of the interim payment is to try and ease the financial burden caused by the injury and perhaps the inability to maintain earnings. Some sick pay schemes only cover basic pay and do not include the additional components of overtime or commission which in these days can be a crucial component of ones overall earnings. Interim payments can help cover ongoing living costs and bills.
Interim compensation payments can be possible in cases where there is a good chance of success, for example if the defendant has admitted liability or a court accepts that the claimant has a strong case. The amount that can be requested will be a reasonable percentage of what is likely to be the overall compensation figure. This is particularly so where there may be delay in the resolution or stabilisation of the injury which in turn may delay the final assessment of compensation that should be paid.
It is usually necessary for interim payments to be justified by the claimant, so it is important to retain receipts for the purchase (or payment) of items and services and proof of financial losses. One does not have to prove financial hardship to get an interim payment. However, this can be very persuasive to the court when considering this and particularly to produce documents or evidence demonstrating a present or indeed a future need for such a payment .
If the defendant accepts liability at an early stage in the claim and the claimant (i.e. the injured person) can show that an interim payment would be appropriate and beneficial to them, it may be possible for such a payment to be arranged, whilst the insurers consider other aspects of your claim.
For example, this may be as simple as a payment to cover a course of physiotherapy or the costs of a rental / courtesy car so that you can get back to your normal routine as quickly as possible, before an overall figure for your injuries or loss of earnings has been agreed.
In more serious cases, the interim payment may be more substantial, to cover the costs of alternative accommodation, housing modifications or specialist equipment.
Suffering a personal injury and being unable to work as a result can cause serious financial difficulties, so an interim payment may also be requested to make up for a loss of earnings or insurance excess.
The interim payment would be deducted from the total final award of compensation.
In any personal injury claim it is necessary to show that the person you are making a claim against owed you a duty of care, that they breached that duty of care (were negligent), and that the injury you sustained was a reasonably foreseeable consequence of that negligence.
In every case, medical evidence will also be required. Detailed expert evidence is often also required in disease cases to show that the condition suffered by a claimant was caused by exposure to a particular substance.
It is therefore important to seek the advice of a reputable solicitor, who can collate all of the necessary information and evidence to pursue your compensation claim effectively.
The Legal Line's lawyers are experts in all areas of personal injury, with extensive experience in recovering compensation for the victims of accidents,industrial diseases and clinical negligence. They can provide specialist accident claim advice, assistance and guidance in helping you obtain the maximum level of damages and pursue your claim to the best possible outcome.
Our lawyers, Thompsons Solicitors, have acted in many cases where it has been necessary to obtain an interim payment for the injured party. Links to details about a selection of these cases can be found below: