Lateral amorphous selenium (a-Se) detectors based on the metal-semiconductor-metal (MSM) device structure have been studied for indirect detector medical imaging applications. These detectors have raised interest due to their simple structure, ease of fabrication, high-speed, low dark current, low capacitance per unit area and better light utilization. The lateral device structure has a benefit that the electrode spacing may be easily controlled to reduce the required bias for a given desired electric field. In indirect conversion x-ray imaging, the scintillator is coupled to the top of the a-Se MSM photodetector, which itself is integrated on top of the thin-film-transistor (TFT) array. The carriers generated at the top surface of the a-Se layer experience a field that is parallel to the surface, and does not initially sweep them away from the surface. Therefore these carriers may recombine or get trapped in surface states and change the field at the surface, which may degrade the performance of the photodetector. In addition, due to the finite width of the electrodes, the fill factor of the device is less than unity. In this study we examine the effect of lateral drift of carriers and the fill factor on the photodetector performance. The impact of field magnitude on the performance is also investigated.