What Does “Out-of-Pocket Expenses” Mean?

What Does "Out-of-Pocket Expenses" Mean?

If you are injured in a slip and fall accident, car accident, or other situation, you could be entitled to financial compensation for your damages. The party who caused your injury is generally liable for any damages that result from the accident. It is important to understand the types of damages that you can demand to ensure you receive a fair settlement for your personal injury claim

What Damages Can I Recover for a Personal Injury?

Generally, you are entitled to receive reimbursement for your economic damages and pain and suffering damages. 

Economic damages are financial losses. An out-of-pocket cost is an expense or loss that you would not have incurred but for the accident and injury. If you were not at fault for your injury, you should be entitled to full compensation for all out-of-pocket expenses.

However, the insurance company for the at-fault party may challenge your economic damages. It may allege that some of the costs were not “reasonable and necessary.” If you do not have evidence to prove you incurred the expense or loss, the insurance company will deny that portion of your claim.

Careful documentation of all out-of-pocket expenses is the best way to increase your chance of receiving reimbursement for all costs and financial losses. A New York personal injury lawyer can help you document your losses and calculate the value of your injury claim. 

What Are Common Out-of-Pocket Expenses in Personal Injury Cases?

What Are Common Out-of-Pocket Expenses in Personal Injury Cases?

Each personal injury case is different. You may have expenses that another accident victim did not incur. Several factors impact the type and amount of your economic damages, including the severity of your injuries.

Common out-of-pocket expenses claimed in a personal injury case include:

Medical Costs

The costs of your medical care could be a substantial portion of your economic damages. Even if you do not pay a medical bill, it can be included in your claim. 

Examples of medical expenses include, but are not limited to:

  • Home health care costs
  • Emergency room and hospital bills
  • Ambulance charges
  • Medical equipment and medications
  • Doctor’s bills, surgeries, and therapies
  • Medical supplies

Keep detailed records and copies of all bills and receipts. You must have proof of a medical expense to demand reimbursement for the cost from the insurance company.

Lost Wages and Income 

Another substantial portion of your injury claim is the money you lose while you are out of work. A lost wage claim includes, but is not limited to:

  • Wages
  • Overtime
  • Salary
  • Commissions
  • Benefits
  • Bonuses

Evidence that you need to prove loss of income includes copies of your pay statements, tax returns, and a statement from your employer verifying your income and the amount of time you missed from work. You also need a statement from your doctor verifying that you could not work because of your injuries. 

In addition to the income you lost because you were out of work, you might be entitled to future lost wages and diminished earning potential. If you cannot work because of an impairment, talk to a lawyer about a claim for future loss of income. 

Nursing Care or Personal Care

You may require nursing care or personal care while you recover from your injuries. These costs are included in out-of-pocket expenses. The care may be provided at home or in a skilled nursing facility.

Help with Household Chores

If you cannot mow the grass, wash dishes, or perform other tasks required to care for your home and family, you may be entitled to reimbursement for household services. Keep a detailed record of the cost of hiring someone to perform these tasks. Also, make sure you have a doctor’s statement explaining why you could not perform the taxes.

Travel Expenses 

You can also claim mileage and the cost of traveling to and from medical appointments. Mileage may be charged at the current federal mileage rate. Paying someone to take you to appointments is also an out-of-pocket expense. 

Modifications to a Vehicle or Home

If you sustained a permanent impairment or disability, you might need to modify your home or vehicle to accommodate your impairment. For example, you may need a wheelchair ramp added to your home if you now use a wheelchair. You may need handicap bars installed in your bathroom.

Other Out-of-Pocket Expenses 

You could incur other expenses related to your personal injury. If so, keep detailed records to prove you incurred the expense. 

Be prepared to fight for reimbursement of your expenses. Insurance companies try to undervalue out-of-pocket expenses. The key is to have more documentation than you need to verify the expense and documentation proving why it was necessary to incur the expense. 

Schedule a Free Consultation With Our New York Personal Injury Lawyer 

If you sustained injuries in an accident, we want to help you recover compensation for all damages. Contact our law office to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case with an experienced New York personal injury attorney.