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What are Out-of-Pocket Expenses?

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What are Out-of-Pocket Expenses?

When you are involved in a car accident or other type of personal injury case, you may sustain physical injuries. However, you may also incur out-of-pocket expenses related to the accident. These out-of-pocket costs can often be substantial. Therefore, the at-fault party should be held financially liable for any costs or expenses you incur because of the injury. 

An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you recover your out-of-pocket damages through a personal injury claim. An attorney can even help you prove that the other party caused your injuries. 

What Are Out-of-Pocket Expenses in a Personal Injury Case?

What Are Out-of-Pocket Expenses in a Personal Injury Case?

Generally, any cost you incur related to your accident and injuries can be considered out-of-pocket expenses. After all, these expenses would not have occurred but for the at-fault party’s negligence or wrongdoing. Therefore, out-of-pocket expenses are compensatory damages in a personal injury claim.

Damages include economic losses and non-economic damages. The economic damages are your out-of-pocket expenses.

The liability insurance company for the party who caused your injury will generally compensate for your damages. However, you might not recover all of your out-of-pocket damages. 

Insurance companies fight to limit their liability for a claim. The insurance provider will likely dispute your economic damages, so be prepared to fight.

Common Out-of-Pocket Expenses in a Personal Injury Claim 

Any expenses that arise from an accident or injury could be included as out-of-pocket costs. Two of the main categories of expenses are medical bills and lost income.

Medical Care 

The cost of healthcare treatments can be expensive. To receive reimbursement for your medical expenses, you need to prove your treatment and care was necessary and reasonable. 

Examples of medical expenses may include:

  • Ambulance, emergency room, and hospital bills
  • Surgeries, therapies, and doctors’ bills
  • Prescription and over-the-counter medications
  • Medical equipment, such as crutches, wheelchairs, respirators, hospital beds, portable toilets, etc.
  • Medical supplies
  • Cost of future medical treatments for permanent impairments or disabilities 

The accident victim typically pays for medical expenses that health insurance or PIP insurance does not cover. Ensure that you keep detailed records, including receipts, bills, and invoices, to prove the charge and the payment. 

Lost Income and Diminished Earning Capacity

Lost income includes:

  • Wages
  • Salaries
  • Bonuses
  • Commissions
  • Benefits
  • Overtime

Evidence that you need to prove lost income includes copies of tax returns, pay advices, and statements from your employer tracking lost time from work. You also need a statement from your physician explaining why your injuries prevent you from working.

Additionally, lost income may include future lost wages and reductions in earning potential. You will need medical experts and financial professionals to assist in proving how much money you lose out-of-pocket for future income because of your injuries. 

Other Out-of-Pocket Costs You Might Recover for a Personal Injury

In addition to lost income and medical expenses, there are many other out-of-pocket expenses that you could incur because of your accident and injury. These expenses may be recoverable from the party responsible for your injury.

Other out-of-pocket expenses include:

Property Damage 

Property damage claims are generally settled separately from the personal injury claim. Property damage may include repairs to your vehicle, loss of personal property, and replacement of damaged property. 

The value of a property damage claim equals the amount to repair the item or the fair market value of the item if it is completely destroyed. 

Personal Care and Nursing Care

If you require in-home nursing care or personal care, you could recover these expenses by proving the care was reasonable and necessary for your recovery. It is wise to hire skilled care from a reputable facility. The insurance company will question care provided by friends, family members, or unlicensed facilities. 

Travel Expenses 

You can recover the expenses you incur traveling to and from medical appointments, including parking fees and mileage reimbursement. 

If you are in a car crash and your car is being repaired, you could be reimbursed for a rental car, bus fares, and other forms of public transportation. 

Modifications to Home and Vehicle

This type of damage is generally required when a person sustains a permanent disability because of an accident injury. For example, a wheelchair ramp may be needed for the person to enter and exit the home. In addition, a wheelchair lift might need to be installed for the person to use their vehicle. 

Childcare and Household Services

If you cannot perform household services or care for your children, you could also recover out-of-pocket expenses related to hiring someone to perform these tasks. You must keep detailed records of the expenses and hire qualified individuals. Also, you need a doctor’s statement explaining why you need assistance with these tasks. 

Call Our Miami Personal Injury Lawyers for a Free Consultation 

If you have questions about a personal injury or accident, contact our Miami, Florida law office now at (305) 937-0191 to schedule a free consultation with one of our personal injury attorneys at Shaked Law Personal Injury Lawyers.