An accident or injury can result in numerous financial losses. If another party caused your injury, you might be able to recover reimbursement for your economic damages. Economic damages include lost wages, medical expenses, and out-of-pocket expenses.
Depending on the facts of your case, your out-of-pocket expenses could total hundreds or thousands of dollars. Therefore, it is worth your time to track and document these costs for your personal injury case.
What Are Out-of-Pocket Expenses for a Personal Injury Case?
Many accident victims overlook their out-of-pocket costs. They fail to keep records of the expenses they pay related to their accident and injury. Therefore, they miss out on out-of-pocket expenses when they settle their personal injury claim.
Out-of-pocket are not necessarily medical bills, but they may be associated with your medical care. These costs are typically not covered by your health insurance plan.
It is essential that you understand what counts as out-of-pocket costs to recover compensation for these damages. If you are unsure whether a cost could be included in your damages, keep proof of the expense and ask your personal injury lawyer.
Types of Out-of-Pocket Expenses
There is not an out-of-pocket limit for these damages. However, the insurance company will scrutinize each expense. Then, if possible, it will find a way to deny the expense.
Costs that may be included as out-of-pocket costs are:
Expenses Related to Injuries
Your medical bills and cost of treatment are generally a separate category of damages. However, you may have costs that are not covered by insurance. Examples include, but are not limited to:
- Prescription drugs
- Medical supplies, such as bandages, alcohol swabs, antibiotic ointment, etc.
- Over-the-counter medications
- Medical equipment, including wheelchairs, crutches, bedside toilet, etc.
- Costs of personal care and assistance with activities of daily living
- Assistance with household chores and childcare
- Cost of hotel stays and meals if you must travel out of town for medical treatment
It can be helpful if you have a doctor’s statement advising you to purchase OTC medications or medical equipment. Also, a doctor’s statement that you cannot perform specific activities because of your injuries can help prove the expenses incurred for personal care and assistance were necessary and reasonable.
Modifications Related to Permanent Disabilities
If you sustained a permanent disability or impairment, you might need a wheelchair ramp. You might need to modify your vehicle or home. If so, keep detailed records of these costs so that you can include them in your out-of-pocket expenses.
You may also include the cost of travel to and from medical appointments related to accident injuries. Travel expenses include, but are not limited to:
- Mileage to and from health care appointments
- Costs of rideshare services, such as Lyft and Uber
- Tax and bus fares
- Parking fees
Additionally, if a car crash or truck accident was your case, you are also entitled to reimbursement for rental car expenses while the damage to your vehicle is being repaired. Keep detailed records of the dates for each medical appointment and the expense you incurred to travel to the appointment.
Who is Responsible for My Out-of-Pocket Expenses After an Injury?
You are responsible for paying these costs as you incur them. However, the at-fault party and their insurance provider can be held liable in a personal injury case. Unfortunately, you do not receive reimbursement for these costs until you settle your claim.
The timeline for a personal injury case depends on many factors. It could take a year or longer to negotiate a settlement offer, especially if you sustain severe injuries.
Proving Your Out-of-Pocket Costs Are Reasonable and Necessary
As discussed above, you may need a doctor’s statement explaining why specific costs were necessary. For example, your physician explains that your back injury prevents you from cleaning the house or caring for your children because you cannot bend or lift objects. Depending on the severity of your injury, a specialist may need to provide documentation.
Also, you may be required to prove that the expense was reasonable. You may need to provide a cost comparison for some expenses. For example, you might need to research the cost of items or services from at least one or two other providers.
Contact An Oklahoma City Personal Injury Lawyer for a Free Consultation
Documenting your damages increases the value of your personal injury claim. A personal injury lawyer works with you and your physician to track all your damages after an injury. You should contact a personal injury attorney to discuss how much your personal injury case is worth.