Out-of-Pocket Expenses

Often, injured individuals may seek compensation for their injuries and damages from the parties responsible for the cause of their injuries. 

For example, the driver who caused a car accident may be liable for the other driver’s medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. Likewise, a doctor would be responsible for permanent impairments and damages caused by medical malpractice. 

However, an injured person may incur out-of-pocket expenses in addition to the cost of their medical care and pain and suffering damages. Out-of-pocket expenses can be included in personal injury claims. Ignoring these expenses could result in the loss of thousands of dollars that you are entitled to receive.

Examples of Out-of-Pocket Expenses for a Personal Injury Case

Out-of-pocket expenses may be awarded in a personal injury lawsuit or settlement agreement. Examples of out-of-pocket expenses include, but are not limited to:

The cost of medical services is generally included in compensation for medical care and treatment. However, you could have out-of-pocket medical expenses related to your injuries.

Examples of out-of-pocket costs related to your injuries include: 

  • Prescription drugs
  • Medical supplies, such as bandages, alcohol swabs, etc.
  • Over-the-counter drugs 
  • Medical equipment, including bedside toilets, crutches, wheelchairs, etc.
  • Cost of meals and hotels if you are required to travel out-of-town for medical treatments
  • Expenses to install a wheelchair ramp or make other modifications to your home or vehicle for a permanent impairment

Insurance companies will challenge out-of-pocket costs if you do not have evidence of the expense and your payment. Therefore, you should keep detailed records with receipts for each cost. You should also make notes with each receipt describing the item, why it was required, and how it was paid.

Cost of Personal Care

If you require assistance with activities of daily living, you may file a claim for reimbursement of this out-of-pocket cost. Activities of daily living may include:

  • Bathing and dressing
  • Cooking and washing dishes
  • Caring for children
  • Mowing the law
  • Doing laundry
  • Caring for children

If your injuries require hiring someone to help with these tasks, make sure you keep copies of the contract or agreement for services. You also need proof of payment, such as receipts, bank statements, or credit card statements. 

Transportation Expenses

Receiving prompt medical care for your injuries can be crucial for the success of your personal injury case. Following your doctor’s treatment plan by keeping doctor’s appointments, going to physical therapy, and showing up for medical tests is also essential.

You may receive reimbursement for expenses related to travel costs to and from medical appointments. Travel costs could include:

You must have proof you incurred the out-of-pocket cost to receive reimbursement.

Who is Responsible for Paying My Out-of-Pocket Expenses?

You are responsible for paying your out-of-pocket costs as you incur them. However, you may include these expenses in your personal injury claim. If you prove negligence and liability, the at-fault party would be financially liable for your out-of-pocket expenses.

However, you will not receive reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses until your case settles or you receive a jury verdict. The timeline for a personal injury case depends on several factors, including:

  • The severity of your injuries
  • The duration of medical treatment
  • The parties involved in the case
  • The insurance company’s willingness to settle the claim
  • The type of case

Some injury cases can take over a year to resolve or even longer if the case goes to trial. Until that time, you are responsible for paying out-of-pocket expenses. 

Proving the Reasonableness of Out-of-Pocket Expenses

An insurance provider may challenge whether an out-of-pocket expense was necessary and reasonable. First, the company may allege that the expense was not necessary. Therefore, you may need a statement from your physician describing why the expense was necessary.

For example, your doctor may need to explain why your injury prevented you from performing specific household chores or caring for your children. Therefore, you had to hire someone to perform these tasks. The doctor may need to be very detailed in the explanation to justify the expense.

If you establish that the expense was necessary, the insurance company may deny the expense as unreasonable. In that case, you may need to contact other retailers or providers to prepare a cost comparison. Cost comparison can prove that an expense was within the standard cost for similar services or items. 

Our legal team assists clients with this step in the claims process. We work with you to document out-of-pocket expenses to recover the best possible settlement for your injury claim. 

Contact Our Atlanta Personal Injury Lawyer for a Free Consultation 

If you or your family member sustained an injury in an accident, you deserve compensation for all damages, including your out-of-pocket expenses. However, the insurance company may disagree.

Contact our law office at (678) 888-4878 for a free consultation with one of our personal injury lawyers in Atlanta. We fight insurance companies to recover fair settlements in injury cases.