Leveling the Playing Field: Understanding Interim Payments for Personal Injury Cases

Posted on

Personal injury cases and claims can drag on for an average of two to five years if the plaintiff and the defendant cannot settle the case out of court. That's a long time to be paying for medical expenses, legal expenses and other bills out of your own pocket. Settling may cause you to lose a significant chunk of compensation that you are entitled to. To even out the playing field, your personal injury attorney may request the court for interim payments. Read further for more insight on interim payments.

What Are Interim Payments?

Not many plaintiffs are familiar with interim payments because most cases are settled out of court—99% of all cases to be exact are settled without a trial. For those who do take their case to court, requesting payments in advance before the trial ends may be a possibility. An interim payment is a part of the total compensation that you are expected to receive once the case has settled. Your personal injury attorney may be able to negotiate interim payments with the defendant; however, if the negotiations are going nowhere, a court order can be requested.

In the event that the interim payments exceed the total settlement, you will be expected to pay back the difference. In addition, the courts are generally quite strict in regards to when interim payments can be requested.

When Can Interim Payments Be Requested?

In order to even have a chance at being granted interim payments while the case is still in trial, your personal injury attorney will have to prove that there is undeniable evidence that the defendant is liable for the accident, and will likely be found either partially or completely for the injuries sustained as a result. You may be eligible for interim payments if:

It will be a lot easier for your personal injury attorney to request interim payments for your case if the defendant is undeniably liable, and is willing to discuss interim payments with you. Generally speaking, this only happens when both parties have already established liability and are only fighting against the amount of compensation that is deemed fair in court.

What Can Interim Payments Be Spent On?

You are not required to explain why you are requesting interim payments to the court, and you can technically spend the interim payments you receive on anything you want. However, the court will generally be more willing to order the defendants to pay a larger amount of interim payments if you can prove why you need the money. For example, you may want to provide receipts or quotes for home care support, specialist therapy and medical aids and equipment. 

Accidents and injuries may leave you financially stretched; however, you can visit with a law firm like Law Office of Daniel E Goodman, LLC to learn whether you may be eligible for interim payments. If your case is strong and there is an extremely high chance that you'll win the case, there will be a good chance that the court will approve of interim payments if the amount is less than the amount of compensation you are expected to receive. Your personal injury attorney may also negotiate with the defendant's attorney in order to get the best deal for you based on your medical needs.