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How Do You Pay Your Bills After An Accident?

The first question from most of my clients who have to have time off work because of an accident isn't "How much compensation will I get?”, but " How am I going to pay my mortgage next month?”

If you are involved in an accident, maybe a road traffic accident or an accident at work, even if liability has been admitted by the other side, your employer does not have to pay your wages while you're off work - even if it's your employer that caused the accident in the first place.

If you are not paid your wages when you are off work how do you cope? How do you pay your mortgage and other bills if you do not have savings to dip into?

This is just the situation that lots of injured people find themselves in. Employers simply refuse to pay wages during an absence because they are not contractually bound to pay. It's a common situation and one which I come across time and time again and it can be a real source of worry and stress for injured people.

But there is a way around it. Lost wages are recoverable as part of your compensation claim. The defendant's insurance company will want you to wait until your claim is finally settled (which could take a long time) before they pay your lost wages  - but you do not have to wait. There is no reason at all why you should be kept out of your money until the claim finally settles.

The solution is very simple. A request is made to the insurance company for a voluntary interim payment to cover any wage loss. As liability has been admitted they should agree to pay your wages whilst you are off work. But some insurance companies are awkward and refuse to pay. In that case a short interim medical report is obtained confirming that your injuries are the reason you cannot work and then an application is made to the court for an Interim Payment Order. These court applications nearly always succeed  - and the judge will not be happy with the insurance company if you are forced into making the application.

It's essential that you use a solicitor who knows how to make sure you do not have to sit and wait for your wages to be paid. It's very important to take the initiative at an early stage and to make sure you get your interim payments as quickly as possible before financial problems become serious.