When you suffer an accident caused by someone else’s misconduct (such as negligence), you have the right to file a personal injury claim to recover money for your losses. However, this money will not be provided immediately, and in the meantime, you might have expenses to pay.
These expenses are known as out-of-pocket expenses, and you can seek reimbursement for them. Out-of-pocket costs are part of your economic damages in a personal injury case. Below, we discuss the types of things that may be included in your out-of-pocket expenses and how to prove their value.
Health Insurance Deductibles and Copays
You might file a claim against your health insurance policy before you receive any compensation from the at-fault party or their insurance company. If your health insurance has any deductibles or copays, you will need to cover these amounts out of your own pocket until your compensation arrives.
Prescription Drugs and Over-the-Counter Medications
Your health insurance might cover your prescription and OTC drugs, or it might cover only a portion of them. Whatever it doesn’t cover will come out of your pocket.
Rehabilitation or Physical Therapy
You might need physical therapy or some other form of rehabilitative care. You may or may not be able to postpone these services until you win a settlement or a verdict, and the provider of these services may or may not be willing to wait for you to receive compensation.
Home Nursing Care
Home nursing care is not cheap, and it might be necessary while you recover. You might have issues receiving approval for these expenses from your health insurance company, or you may experience a delay in approval.
If you suffered a long-term disability, you may have trouble with basic personal care tasks such as bathing, dressing, etc. You may have to hire someone if you have no family members to help you with these tasks.
Necessary medical equipment could include anything from bandages to a wheelchair to kidney dialysis equipment. Your expenses could be small, or they could be substantial.
Home and Vehicle Alterations
You might need to alter your vehicle so that you can drive it to work or the grocery store. Additionally, you might need to have wheelchair ramps put into your home or even install an elevator.
If you don’t live in a big city, your injuries might require you to travel out of town for medical treatment or for other purposes related to your injuries. Such travel might necessitate a variety of out-of-pocket expenses such as parking, lodging, gas, Uber, taxis, bus transportation, train tickets, air tickets, rental cars, or mileage reimbursement. You might also have to pay for overnight accommodations.
Vehicle Towing and Storage
If you were in a car accident, your car was probably towed from the scene, and you will need to pay for the tow to get it out of the garage. If you spent time recuperating in the hospital, your car may have been in storage during that time, and storage also costs money.
If your car was not totaled, you might need to repair it so that you can drive it again. If you are in a hurry to drive your car (you need it for work, for example), you might not be able to wait for a personal injury settlement or verdict, or for an insurance policy payment. This means the money has to come out of your pocket.
Young children require adult care and supervision, no matter how much your injuries may have debilitated you. If there is no alternate caretaker in your household or among your relatives, you might need to pay for childcare.
You cannot keep house while you are in the hospital or sick in bed. If you normally perform these activities but have to hire someone else to handle them while you recuperate, you can seek reimbursement for the cost.
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“Reasonable and Necessary” Expenses
Every one of your expenses must be “reasonable and necessary.” You must actually need all the goods and services you purchase, and the price must be reasonable compared to similar goods and services on the market. If you travel out of town for medical treatment, for example, you don’t have to sleep in your car, but you cannot stay at an expensive hotel either.
It is here where you are likely to experience resistance from both your health insurance provider and the at-fault party’s insurance company. Be prepared to defend your case to both of these parties.
Proving Your Out-of-Pocket Expenses
It’s not enough to simply claim out-of-pocket expenses—you need evidence. Dedicate a file to your out-of-pocket expenses. Keep every single receipt, invoice, and communication. You might also need a written statement from your doctor or someone else to prove your need for these services. Your personal injury lawyer can help you collect admissible evidence.
An Experienced Tifton Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You Prove Your Out-of-Pocket Expenses
Incurring out-of-pocket expenses is one thing. Getting them past the insurance company is another. The insurance company will attempt to undervalue your losses or simply deny your claim altogether.
A skilled personal injury lawyer will know how to handle the insurance company and ensure that you recover a fair amount. Call (229) 386-1376 today to schedule a free initial consultation with an experienced attorney at The King Firm.