You will have many expenses and losses when you suffer a personal injury due to someone else’s actions. You will face medical bills, missed paychecks, and other costs that threaten your financial health.
All of these expenses hurt. But out-of-pocket expenses are especially painful. When you pay for an expense from your wages or savings, you have spent money that you could have otherwise used to pay for medical treatment or living expenses. Getting reimbursed for these losses can be essential to regaining your economic stability.
What Are Out-of-Pocket Expenses?
Out-of-pocket expenses are a type of economic loss. After you get injured, you will suffer economic and non-economic losses. Non-economic losses represent your pain and suffering. Economic losses represent all the ways your injuries affect your finances.
Economic damages can include:
- Amounts you paid
- Charges billed to you
- Income you could not earn
For expenses to qualify for reimbursement, they must be reasonable, necessary, and caused by the other party’s actions. Reasonable means you did not overpay for the expense.
Necessary means it has some connection to your losses and recovering from them. “Necessary” does not mean you would die without it. You can prove necessity by showing that your doctor recommended it or you needed it to accommodate your injuries.
Causation has two parts. First, the other party’s actions must have a natural connection to the reason you incurred the expense. Suppose the other party’s distracted driving caused them to hit your car. All the expenses associated with the leg you broke in the accident were caused by their negligence.
Second, an injury must be foreseeable in view of the other party’s actions. The other party did not need to foresee the exact injury. Instead, their negligence must be dangerous enough that it could foreseeably cause an injury.
You can include any reasonable and necessary amounts you spend obtaining medical care.
Medical expenses might include:
- Ambulance fees
- First aid supplies
- Over-the-counter medication
- Health insurance copays and deductibles
- Durable medical equipment, such as a wheelchair
If you cannot access medical care near your home, you can also seek reimbursement for travel expenses to hospitals, doctors, and therapists. These travel costs could include gas money, airfare, hotels, and parking fees.
Your injuries might disable you from performing any activities around the home. As a result, you may need to pay to replace those essential services.
Replacement services might include:
- Cooking and cleaning
- Home or auto repair
The amounts spent on these replacement services need to meet the reasonable and necessary test. To satisfy this test, you can only seek reimbursement for these services for as long as your medical condition requires them.
Some accidents result in property losses. For example, you might break your glasses in a slip and fall accident.
Some other property losses for which you can seek reimbursement include:
- Towing and storage of a damaged vehicle
- Rental vehicle
- Rideshare and taxi fees if you cannot drive
These types of expenses will not arise in every case. But they happen frequently in car accidents and other traffic-related crashes.
Home and Vehicle Modifications
Your condition might require you to modify your home and vehicle to accommodate any disabilities.
Some examples of these modifications include:
- Vehicle hand controls
- Wheelchair accessible van
- Wheelchair ramps
- Grab bars
- Lowered counters
- Roll-in showers
The reasonableness of these modifications might depend on the extent of your injury. A permanent or long-term injury might justify home and vehicle modifications. A broken leg that healed in eight weeks might not.
Pursuing Compensation for Out-of-Pocket Expenses
When you meet with a lawyer, they will outline how you document your out-of-pocket expenses. You will need to have evidence to substantiate how much you paid and why.
Some documents you may use for evidence include:
- Credit and debit card statements
The lawyer will include these records in your insurance claim. The claims adjuster will review them and determine whether they are reasonable, necessary, and caused by your injuries. If the claims adjuster denies the claim, your lawyer can file a lawsuit against the at-fault party.
Evidence of your losses will be critical at trial. A jury can only award economic damages for losses documented with evidence. Your lawyer will present your out-of-pocket expenses with your other economic losses to jurors. The jury can then use the evidence to arrive at a fair damage award.
Contact Our Lawrenceville Personal Injury Lawyer
Contact our attorneys at Lawson Personal Injury Attorneys by calling (678) 446-3655 to discuss the out-of-pocket expenses you incurred due to your injuries. We can discuss your legal options and how our Lawrenceville personal injury lawyer can help you pursue fair compensation.