Advance Payments from Your Insurance Company
By: Taylor Morin, Associate Lawyer
Are you unable to work because of a car accident? Are you having difficulty paying your bills? An advance payment may be the solution.
If you have been in a motor vehicle accident and you are suffering from injuries that prevent you from working, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor immediately to obtain a medical opinion. If your doctor is of the opinion that you are unable to work because of your accident related injuries, you should obtain a medical note which states this, as well as the period of your disability. If you are still unable to work at the end of that period, you should schedule a follow-up with your doctor to determine if another medical note is warranted.
If your inability to work occurs for a minimum of 7 days, within the first 30 days of the accident, you are eligible for a wage loss benefit from your own insurance company. This topic was discussed at length in a previous blog (“I was injured in a car accident. How am I going to pay my bills?”, dated June 24, 2020). Furthermore, if you have a sufficient amount of insurable earnings, you are also eligible for employment insurance disability benefits. However, employment insurance disability benefits are only available for a maximum of 15 weeks.
Often times, once a client’s entitlement to employment insurance disability benefits is exhausted, they start to experience significant financial strain and an inability to maintain their pre-accident financial status.
The fact is that motor vehicle accident personal injury claims are not resolved overnight. Generally, depending on the severity of the client’s injuries and the complexity of the claim, it takes a few years to properly quantify and resolve a claim. During this time, if the client is unable to work, they often experience significant financial hardship.
At the Mike Murphy Accident Team, we want to make sure that you are able to focus on your treatment and recovery, without having to worry about your finances. In this regard, if we see that a client is unable to work and is struggling financially, we will proactively contact the client about their options.
One such option is to obtain an advance payment from the insurance company of the vehicle that caused the accident. This is simply a partial payment of the damages that the client is likely to prove at trial.
We determine the amount of the advance payment by establishing the client’s pre-accident income and calculating the amount that they would have earned if they were able to work. We then deduct the amounts that they have already received from their own insurance company and employment insurance.
Often times, an advance payment can be secured directly through negotiations with the other vehicle’s insurance company. However, if negotiations break down and the insurance company will not advance the funds that were requested, we can file a motion with the Court and bring the matter before a judge.
The chances of succeeding on a motion for advance payment depend on each case’s circumstances. For example, it could be difficult to obtain an advance payment if there are issues with liability, causation, or calculating the pre-accident income. However, these are things that we routinely deal with and we are prepared to advise you accordingly.
If you are unable to work because of a motor vehicle accident and you are struggling financially, do not hesitate to contact us about requesting an advance payment. We are always more than happy to discuss your options and provide you with advice about the best way to proceed.
DISCLAIMER: The publications on this website are intended to provide information of a general nature and not legal advice. The information contained in this publication is current to the date of the publication and may be subject to change following the publication date.