After an accident or personal injury, you incur expenses. Financial losses and expenses are known as economic damages. Generally, you are entitled to reimbursement for all economic damages if the other party is entirely at fault for the cause of your injury.
Lost wages and medical bills are two types of economic damages. In many personal injury cases, medical expenses and loss of income make up a significant portion of the economic damages.
However, you can also seek reimbursement for your out-of-pocket expenses. These expenses are related to the accident and your injuries, but they do not necessarily fit into the categories of medical bills and lost income.
What Types of Losses Can I Include in Out-of-Pocket Expenses?
You can include any reasonable and necessary expense you incur because of the accident, your injuries, and your recovery.
Examples of the types of expenses that you could include as out-of-pocket costs are:
Expenses Related to Your Injuries
You could incur substantial out-of-pocket expenses, depending on the type and severity of your injuries.
Incidental expenses you might have include:
- The cost of prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications
- The cost of in-home nursing care
- Assistance with personal care, including the activities of daily living (i.e., bathing, eating, dressing, etc.)
- Reasonable costs for someone to help with household chores and/or childcare
- Expenses for medical equipment, such as crutches, bedside toilet, wheelchair, walker, etc.
- Cost of medical supplies, including bandages, Ace wraps, gauze, etc.
You must have proof of payment for these expenses. Keep a copy of the receipt showing you purchased or paid for the expense. It can also be helpful to keep a list of the expenses, including the date, description, and cost of each purchase.
Cost of Going To and From Medical Appointments
You can recover mileage for driving to and from medical appointments. You would not have incurred this expense had it not been for the accident. However, you need to keep detailed records, including the date and location of each appointment and the number of miles between your home and the doctor’s office.
If you incur public transportation costs to medical appointments, those expenses could be included in your out-of-pocket costs. Examples include bus fares, rideshare services, taxis, and other forms of public transportation. In addition, if you must pay someone to take you to and from the doctor, you could include that amount in the expenses.
Some individuals need to travel out of town for medical care. The cost of travel, hotel, meals, and other expenses are out-of-pocket expenses. Keep detailed records, including receipts.
Modifications Because of a Permanent Impairment
Some accident injuries result in permanent disability or impairment. If so, you might need to modify your vehicle or home to accommodate the impairment.
For example, you may need to install a chair lift if you cannot climb stairs because of a spinal cord injury. Likewise, you might need to purchase a hospital bed or install a wheelchair ramp. Sometimes, a person might need to install a walk-in shower because they cannot take a bath in a tub.
Are Your Expenses Reasonable and Necessary?
The insurance company for the at-fault party may argue that your out-of-pocket expenses are unnecessary or too costly. Therefore, the initial evidence you need to prove that you are entitled to reimbursement is a statement from your physician.
Your physician needs to explain why the expense was necessary. For example, you may have to use a walker after surgery because a motorcycle accident resulted in a broken bone. Until you can walk in a cast, you must use a walker.
The insurance company may also allege that the expenses are too high. If so, you may need to comparison shop for prices. For example, provide the insurance company with estimates from two other companies for the cost of a bedside toilet.
Keeping Track of Evidence to Prove Out-of-Pocket Expenses
Many people overlook these damages in a personal injury case. Also, they might not want to keep up with the costs.
However, out-of-pocket expenses could total thousands of dollars. Therefore, it is worth the time and effort to track the expenses.
You might want to consider folders for each type of expense. First, write the date, description, and amount of the expenditure on the inside of the folder. Then, place the receipt and other evidence in the folder.
Having a system for tracking these expenses can make it less stressful for you. It is also easier to determine how much money you spent on out-of-pocket costs. Additionally, you have all the evidence you need to prove damages in one place.
Schedule a Free Consultation With a Miami Personal Injury Lawyer For Help Calculating Your Out-of-Pocket Expenses
An experienced Miami personal injury attorney will work to recover compensation for all your damages, including out-of-pocket expenses. Schedule a free case evaluation to discuss your case and get the money you deserve after a personal injury or accident.