How to Recover Out-of-Pocket Expenses in Your Personal Injury Case

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The last thing you will likely think about when injured is money. Even if you sustain an injury due to someone else’s negligence, your first concern will be to get well and return to work. 

Unfortunately, it is not always that simple. At this point, you will have to start thinking about money. More specifically, you must think about the money you are losing. 

On top of the pain and suffering, you will get medical bills and have to pay for a lot of extra expenses. These out-of-pocket expenses include personal care, transportation to the hospital, medications, and more, which can get expensive very quickly. 

You may be able to recover some of this money by filing a personal injury case against the party responsible for your injury. 

Let’s look at the process of personal injury lawsuits and how to navigate yours. 

What Are Out-of-Pocket Expenses?

Before you can claim out-of-pocket expenses, you must determine which of your expenses qualify. 

Generally speaking, out-of-pocket expenses refer to bills you run up that are directly related to your injury or accident. 

Your health insurance will likely not cover these expenses, so it can add up quickly. 

Out-of-pocket expenses include the following:

  • Medical bills: These bills include the cost of the initial ambulance ride and emergency room visit after you sustained your injury. They also include subsequent doctor’s appointments, hospital stays, and surgery costs. If you need physical therapy, the cost also falls under medical bills or expenses.  
  • Medication: All treatments, including medication, are grouped under out-of-pocket expenses. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medication, and additional supplies like braces and bandages.  
  • Medical equipment: If you need to use crutches or a wheelchair, the cost will fall under out-of-pocket expenses. 
  • Transport: The same applies if you cannot drive to the hospital or PT sessions. Out-of-pocket costs include taxi or Uber fares. 

Moreover, if you cannot care for yourself and need a nurse or personal carer, add the expense to your list. You can even add home modifications if they relate directly to your injury. 

Technically speaking, you can recover all these costs with a personal injury claim. You may even be able to include lost wages. But it is crucial to note that there is no guarantee you will get all your money back. Also, not all expenses are automatically reimbursed. 

The insurance company representing the defendant can and will challenge some or all of your expenses. This is precisely why you must save all expense records and receipts as proof. Also, note that out-of-pocket expenses can only include payments not covered by your insurance. 

Keep Detailed Records of All Out-of-Pocket Expenses

The first and most important thing to do to prove expenses is to keep all receipts. It does not matter whether you get three capsules over the counter or a barrage of medications for seven months. All these receipts add up, proving that you are spending a lot of money on treatment and medical care.

You should also organize these receipts. For instance, you should not lump your PT receipts with your home modification records. Instead, keep everything separate in a flip file or binder under specific headings. Doing this makes it easy to highlight how much you spent on medicines, treatments, home care, etc. 

Also, do not only keep the original documentation. Make copies of all receipts or get digital versions, if possible. 

If you pay for something and do not get a receipt, write down the amount, date, and purpose. 

Additionally, you can create a driving log to document mileage to and from doctors and physical therapy centers. You could even list all the costs incurred when hiring someone to help you at home. 

How to Prove Reasonableness

Unfortunately, saving your receipts and records is only half the battle. No matter how diligently you note all your expenses, the insurance company will still question each one. 

In this case, get detailed notes from your doctor or surgeon explaining why you need specific medications, treatments, and equipment to aid your recovery. 

If you have to buy medical equipment instead of renting, research the average cost of these items in your area. Doing this will allow you to demonstrate reasonableness (cost-wise). 

Getting the Help You Need to Recover Out-of-Pocket Expenses

If this all seems overwhelming, you will be glad to know you need not go through the personal injury claims process alone. An experienced lawyer will guide you, showing you how to document your expenses and ensuring you understand what qualifies as out-of-pocket expenses. 

The best part is that your lawyer will also handle all negotiations. Insurance companies are well known for not offering high settlements. This is where your lawyer can make all the difference. They will negotiate on your behalf until you get fair compensation. 

Your lawyer can analyze your medical bills and check for errors or overcharging. These issues may have an impact on your legal case. 

If you cannot settle negotiation or mediation, your lawyer will prepare your case for court. During the court case, they will fight for the compensation you deserve.

Winning Your Case and Moving Forward

Throughout the legal proceedings, you will get fed up and frustrated. Legal cases can drag on, especially if insurance companies are unwilling to settle. Throughout this process, your lawyer will advise you on the best course of action based on what the other party says or does. 

Your lawyer will always aim to help you win your case and move on with your life. This is why personal injury lawyers focus on providing legal and emotional support throughout a case. 

At the same time, remember that your recovery will rely on much more than just money. Try to take some time every day to focus on getting well and keep your mental well-being on track. 

Prioritize your health and use all available resources to get to the other side. This way, you can move on stronger and financially sound. 

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