Dishonesty Accusation Defeats Claim for Interim Payments


It may be possible to secure interim payments to help cover expenses such as care costs until a personal injury claim is settled. However, interim payments are only available in certain circumstances, such as where the defendant admits liability to pay damages or the court is satisfied that the claimant would receive substantial damages if the claim went to trial. In a recent case, a man who was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident was denied interim damages after it was alleged that he had been fundamentally dishonest.

The man, who had run a restaurant business before the accident, was riding a motorcycle and was involved in a collision with another vehicle. He suffered a severe brain injury and a number of orthopaedic and soft tissue injuries. He brought a claim against the driver of the other vehicle and sought an interim payment of £75,000, together with the High Court’s approval of a £10,000 interim payment he had already received. His claim was brought via a litigation friend as it was claimed that he lacked capacity.

Despite admitting primary liability for the accident, the other driver denied liability to pay damages on the grounds that the man had been fundamentally dishonest. He relied on evidence from an expert neuropsychologist and surveillance footage of the man working in the restaurant. It was argued on the man’s behalf that the surveillance footage might not show his problems with memory and executive dysfunction, and that he had carried out tasks such as taking orders and cooking rather than returning to his previous managerial role.

The Court concluded that whether the man had exaggerated the effects of his injuries and, if so, whether that amounted to fundamental dishonesty were questions that could only be resolved at trial. While noting that not receiving an interim payment could cause an injustice to him if he were later successful at trial, the Court could not be satisfied that he would obtain judgment for a substantial amount of money. Accordingly, his applications were dismissed.

Share this article