Out-of-Pocket Expenses

After you suffer an injury, you will face many financial costs. Ambulance services are expensive. And even with health insurance, you will spend money on copays and deductibles before it kicks in. Additionally, these costs do not even include the damage to your vehicle.

All of these financial losses qualify as economic damages. You can recover compensation for them if you can prove a connection to the at-fault party’s culpable conduct. The losses that sting include the out-of-pocket expenses. You must get reimbursed for these losses.

What Are Out-Of-Pocket Expenses?

What Are Out-Of-Pocket Expenses?

According to a personal injury attorney, when you seek compensation for personal injuries, you can pursue two types of losses.

Economic damages represent the monetary costs you incurred due to the at-fault party’s actions. 

Economic damages include:

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Loss of income
  • Diminished future earnings

Non-economic damages represent losses in your quality of life due to your trauma. Separate from the cost of treating the trauma and the income you lose, these losses erode your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. 

Non-economic losses include:

  • Physical pain
  • Mental suffering
  • Disability
  • Dismemberment
  • Disfigurement

Out-of-pocket expenses are a type of economic loss. These expenses have a few characteristics that make them different from other economic losses. Out-of-pocket expenses are costs you’ve already incurred due to the injury.  

Economic losses can include amounts you have paid or have a legal obligation to pay. For example, a hospital can bill you for your emergency room visit. It can even file a hospital lien against your personal injury compensation. Out-of-pocket expenses only include expenses you’ve already paid.

Like all economic losses, you must connect out-of-pocket expenses to the actionable conduct. 

Specifically, you must prove the out-of-pocket expense was:

  • Necessary
  • Reasonable
  • Caused by the other party’s negligent or intentional act

Necessary means it was related to the losses you suffered. For medical expenses, necessity usually means your doctor prescribed it.

Reasonable means you did not overpay from the viewpoint of an objective observer. You might reasonably rent a vehicle to temporarily replace your minivan damaged in a car accident. But you probably could not reasonably rent a luxury sports car.

Causation means the expense was a natural and foreseeable result of the at-fault party’s actions.

Examples Of Out-Of-Pocket Expenses

Out-of-pocket expenses can come from many sources, including the following:

Medical Care

Amounts you paid to access or obtain medical care will typically qualify as out-of-pocket expenses. 

Examples of out-of-pocket expenses for medical care include:

  • First aid supplies, like an arm sling
  • Over-the-counter medication
  • Durable medical equipment, like crutches
  • Insurance copays and deductibles
  • Travel if you cannot get prescribed medical care nearby

You should receive reimbursement for most of your reasonable and necessary medical expenses. Some expenses requiring additional documentation include alternative therapies like chiropractic treatment or acupuncture.

Replacement Services

You likely have necessary tasks in your home life. Your injuries might disable you from performing these activities, and you may need to pay for replacement services such as:

  • Transportation, including taxis and rideshare fares
  • Cooking
  • Cleaning
  • Childcare

You should talk to your doctor about documenting your need for replacement services. The doctor can include a note in your medical records limiting the weight you can lift. This note will prove you need help with your household activities.

Home Modifications

You may need to modify your home to accommodate long-term disabilities that result from your injuries. Some examples of modifications you may need include:

  • Grab bars
  • Wheelchair ramps
  • Lowered counters

You must show these modifications qualify as reasonable and necessary. This means you likely need your doctor to testify about your abilities and the amount of improvement they expect to see.

Property Losses

If you suffered an injury in an accident that damaged your property, you will have expenses related to the losses. 

For example, in a car wreck, you might incur out-of-pocket expenses for:

  • Towing
  • Storage
  • Rental vehicle
  • Taxi or rideshare fares

You can also include the out-of-pocket expenses for replacing personal property lost in the accident. Thus, you could seek reimbursement for the cost of replacing the prescription glasses damaged in your crash.

Documenting Your Expenses

Your attorney will review your expenses and explain how to document them. Typically, you will prove your out-of-pocket expenses using financial records such as receipts and credit card statements. You will also need copies of your medical records to prove the expenses qualify as both reasonable and necessary.

Out-of-pocket expenses can make up a significant amount of your losses after you suffer an injury.

Contact an Experienced Orlando Personal Injury Attorney  

You do not have to deal with seeking out-of-pocket compensation alone. Our skilled Orlando personal injury attorney is here for you during this frustrating time. Contact our lawyers at Payer Law Personal Injury Lawyers for a free consultation. Our legal team can discuss your out-of-pocket expenses and how you can seek reimbursement for them. Call us today at (407) 648-1510.