Justice takes time. When you suffer an injury in an accident, you might have to pay many expenses out of your own pocket at first, even if someone else caused your injury. The term “out-of-pocket expenses” can refer to any costs you pay yourself, as opposed to expenses paid by an insurance company or a defendant. Most commonly, however, it is a category of economic damages that is better referred to as “miscellaneous expenses.”
The “Reasonable and Necessary” Restriction
All of your out-of-pocket expenses must be reasonable and necessary for you to claim reimbursement. If you need to rent a car because an accident totaled your car, for example, renting a Maserati might constitute an unreasonable expense. Likewise, spending the night in a hotel for a doctor’s appointment on the far side of town might be unnecessary.
Examples of Out-of-Pocket Expenses in a Personal Injury Case
There is no formal list of out-of-pocket expenses you can choose from. It all depends on the details of your case. Following are some of the most commonly claimed out-of-pocket expenses.
Miscellaneous Medical Treatment Expenses
Medical expenses are a separate category of compensation that does not necessarily cover all of your treatment-related expenses.
Treatment-related expenses that might count as out-of-pocket expenses include:
- Deductibles and copays
- Prescription and over-the-counter medications
- Crutches, wheelchairs, and other medical equipment
- Alterations to your home necessitated by your injuries
- Rehabilitation and physical therapy
- Nursing home care
- At-home nursing care
- Help with bathing, dressing, and other daily activities
When in doubt, seek reimbursement.
If you live in a small town or a remote area, you might have to travel frequently to receive medical care.
This necessity might cause you to incur some of the following expenses:
- Rent-a-car expenses
- Mileage reimbursement
- Bus, plane, or train fares
- Uber/Lyft/taxi expenses
- Gasoline expenses
- Parking fees – park carefully because the expenses of paying a parking ticket would likely violate the “reasonable and necessary” restriction
- Hotel accommodations
You should seek reimbursement for any form of transportation that costs you money and any expenses that are a consequence of injury-related travel.
If your injuries are serious, you might have spent time as an inpatient at the hospital. You might have also spent time at home recuperating. If you have children, there might be no way that you can care for them until you fully recover. That means you must pay for child care, which is not cheap.
If you normally keep house, you are also likely to find it impossible to complete your normal chores while you are recovering from your injuries. Unless you have a family member or a friend who can help you, you will have to hire help.
If your injuries arose from a car accident, your car might have suffered damage. It might even be totaled.
Although car repair and replacement might count as property damage expenses rather than out-of-pocket expenses, certain other vehicle expenses probably count as out-of-pocket expenses, including:
- Alterations to your vehicle necessitated by your injuries
After your car is towed, the insurance company might want to inspect your car. You might have to leave your car in storage long enough for the insurance company to complete their inspection.
How To Prove Your Out-of-Pocket Expenses
Keep all of your receipts in a file (or two files-–one offline and one online). Write down any details of these expenses that might not be obvious from reading the receipt. Be prepared to justify your purchases based on the market price of similar items.
The Time Factor
It’s not only the statute of limitations deadline you need to concern yourself with. Even if you easily meet the statute of limitations deadline, your case might have grown cold. Witnesses move away, physical evidence deteriorates or gets lost, and memories fade. Your best chance of winning your claim is to start pursuing it as soon as possible.
A Vista Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You Identify and Claim Your Out-of-Pocket Expenses
You might not know that you can obtain compensation for many out-of-pocket expenses. Even if you are aware of them, you might stumble when the opposing party refuses to pay them by asserting that they were not “reasonable and necessary.” An experienced Vista personal injury attorney at Petrov Law Firm will know how to handle these objections and prove how much your claim is worth. Call (760) 813-3313 to contact us today.