Out-of-pocket expenses are included in your economic damages in a personal injury claim. These losses are in addition to the lost wages and medical bills you incur due to an accident or injury. You can receive reimbursement for out-of-pocket costs, but you must keep careful records to prove each expense.
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What Are Out-of-Pocket Expenses in a Philadelphia Personal Injury Case?
Economic damages include the monetary losses an injured party experiences because of an accident or personal injury. The victim would not have incurred these expenses or losses had another party not caused them to be injured. Pennsylvania personal injury laws hold the at-fault party liable for the victim’s financial losses when the victim proves the legal elements of negligence, intentional torts, or strict liability.
Examples of economic damages include medical bills, rehabilitative therapy, and lost wages. However, victims may incur additional expenses that do not fall within these categories. Those costs are called out-of-pocket expenses because the victim must pay for them out of their own pocket.
Examples of out-of-pocket expenses in a personal injury claim include:
Medical Equipment and Medications
Some victims require over-the-counter medications, medical devices, supplies, and equipment during their recovery. They pay for these items as the need arises.
These expenses can be included in your personal injury claim as out-of-pocket costs so you can be reimbursed. However, you must have documentation to prove that you paid the expense to include it in your damages.
Personal Care and Household Services
If your injuries prevent you from performing activities of daily living, you may require personal care. In-home care can include assistance with bathing, grooming, dressing, and eating.
You may also need assistance with household chores. Your injuries might prevent you from cleaning your home or caring for your children. If so, you might need to hire someone to perform these tasks until you recover.
You can include the cost of traveling to and from medical appointments. Examples of out-of-pocket expenses for travel include mileage, parking fees, rental car fees, rideshare fees, and public transportation costs. If you need to stay overnight in another city for medical treatment, you can also include the cost of your lodging and meals.
Modifications for Permanent Impairments
An impairment might require you to modify your vehicle or home to accommodate your impairment. For example, you might need to install a wheelchair ramp in your home or widen the doors to accommodate a wheelchair. Payments to contractors, builders, mechanics, and other professionals can be included in your out-of-pocket expenses.
Recovering Out-of-Pocket Expenses in a Philadelphia Personal Injury Case
As with your other damages, you must prove that you paid the cost and that the expense was necessary and reasonable. Therefore, you should keep all bills, invoices, statements, and other evidence that you incurred the expense. Keep copies of receipts, canceled checks, and other documentation.
Even though you prove you incurred an expense, the insurance company might dispute the charge as unnecessary or unreasonable. If so, you need medical records, statements, and opinions from your physicians explaining why the expense was necessary.
A diagnosis might not be sufficient to justify an expense. Instead, you may need a medical specialist to explain how your condition requires a specific cost.
The insurance company might challenge the cost of a service or item. For example, an insurance adjuster might argue about the price of a patient lift. If so, you may need to provide evidence proving that the cost you paid was within the normal range for a patient lift.
Our legal team can work with you to gather evidence proving your out-of-pocket expenses. We’ll fight disputes with evidence to prove you are entitled to reimbursement for the costs and expenses.
Does Shared Fault Impact an Out-of-Pocket Expense Claim in Pennsylvania?
If the victim is 51% or more to blame for causing their injuries, they cannot recover damages from the other party. However, if they are less than 51% at fault, they can recover damages in proportion to their level of fault.
Therefore, suppose a jury finds you were 25% to blame for causing a car accident. If so, the judge can reduce the amount of the jury award by twenty-five percent.
A Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You Prove Your Out-of-Pocket Expenses
Our legal team can fight to recover the maximum compensation for all damages in a personal injury case, including the costs you pay out of your pocket after an accident or injury. Let us help you recover the money you deserve from the party who caused your injuries. Call Zavodnick & Lasky Personal Injury Lawyers at (215) 875-7030 to schedule a free case evaluation with a Philadelphia personal injury attorney.