People injured in accidents or other personal injury incidents sustain various economic damages. Most of the financial losses fall into the categories of medical costs or lost wages. However, victims may also incur out-of-pocket expenses related to the accident or their injuries.
Out-of-pocket expenses are recoverable damages in a personal injury case. The at-fault party is liable for all damages the injured party sustains when they are entirely responsible for causing the victim’s injuries. Therefore, you can be reimbursed for your out-of-pocket costs when you file a personal injury claim or lawsuit.
What Expenses Can I Include in Out-of-Pocket Costs?
Any reasonable, necessary expense can be included as damages in your case. Each person sustains different out-of-pocket costs based on the specific circumstances of their injuries, medical treatment, and recovery.
However, some common out-of-pocket expenses that many injury victims sustain include:
Expenses Related to Your Injuries and Recovery
Not all expenses you incur are direct medical costs such as doctor’s bills, hospital costs, and physical therapy.
You could also incur costs for:
- Over-the-counter medications
- Prescription drugs
- Medical supplies, such as bandages, alcohol swabs, and wraps
- The reasonable cost paid to someone to care for your children
- The cost of medical equipment, such as bedside toilets, walkers, crutches, wheelchairs, etc.
- The cost of hiring someone to clean your home and perform other household chores
- The expense of hiring someone to assist you with the activities of daily living, including dressing, bathing, eating, etc.
You need to keep detailed records of each expense and payment. Ask for written invoices, bills, receipts, and statements. Whenever possible, pay by check or card to have a payment record. If you pay by cash, ask for a written receipt with the party’s name and contact information for verification.
Cost of Traveling To and From Medical Appointments
The cost of going to the doctor can be expensive for some individuals. For example, if your injuries prevent you from driving, you might need to hire someone to drive you to and from medical appointments. Sometimes, a person might need to ride in a medical transport to doctor’s appointments.
If you do not have a vehicle, you might have the cost of bus fares, taxis, or rideshare fees. Even if you have a car and can drive, you must pay for gasoline and parking fees. Additionally, if you need to travel out of town and stay overnight for medical treatment, you incur the cost of a hotel and meals.
You may include the cost of transportation to medical appointments in your out-of-pocket expenses. However, you need to document the expenses for reimbursement.
Disability or Impairment Expenses
Some accident injuries result in permanent impairment or disability. For example, a car accident could result in amputation or loss of a limb. As a result, the victim may require a prosthetic device, which could require additional physical training, occupational training, and future medical costs.
If a victim sustains a spinal cord injury that results in paralysis, they may need to modify their home or vehicle for wheelchair access. Those costs can be very expensive and would not have been necessary had it not been for the personal injury.
Proving the Necessity and Reasonableness of Out-of-Pocket Costs
Insurance companies consistently challenge the expenses and costs of injury victims in their personal injury claims. Insurance companies do not want to pay more money than necessary to resolve claims. Therefore, the insurer may assert that the costs were unnecessary or unreasonably expensive.
You may need statements from your doctors explaining why your injuries made these costs necessary. For example, a back injury prevented you from picking up anything over five pounds for two months. Therefore, you needed someone to help you care for your children and clean your home because you are a single parent.
Additionally, you may need to prove that the expenses were reasonable. That might require you to compare prices at other stores or obtain estimates for various costs. These steps help prove that you took reasonable steps to mitigate damages.
Lastly, you need detailed records proving each cost or expense incurred due to your injuries. Without written proof of expenses, the insurance company will not reimburse you for your out-of-pocket expenses.
Does Comparative Negligence Impact Out-of-Pocket Expenses?
As with all damages in a personal injury case, if you are partially at fault for the cause of your injury, your compensation can be reduced by your percentage of fault.
The insurance adjuster will try to find ways to shift some of the blame for an accident or injury to you to reduce the value of your claim. Therefore, it is best to talk with an accident lawyer in Las Vegas before attempting to deal with the insurance company alone.
Schedule a Free Consultation With a Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorney For Help Valuing Your Out-of-Pocket Expenses and Other Damages
Out-of-pocket expenses can total thousands of dollars. A skilled legal team will work to get this money back for you, in addition to compensation for your other damages. Schedule a free case evaluation at (702) 570-9000 with our experienced Las Vegas injury attorneys today to discuss your claim.