If you were injured in a car accident, slip and fall, or another personal injury incident, you might pay for various expenses out-of-pocket before you recover any compensation from the insurance company. You should keep up with the documentation for all your accident-related expenses to be reimbursed for them. A personal injury lawyer can help you determine the fair value of your claim and ensure that you account for all of your out-of-pocket expenses.
What Are Out-of-Pocket Expenses?
Out-of-pocket expenses are a type of economic damage – they have some kind of monetary value to them. Kentucky allows a plaintiff to recover the actual economic damages they suffer, including any out-of-pocket expenses related to the accident. Kentucky has a short, one-year statute of limitations for personal injury cases, but you should keep up with all documentation from the day of the accident and provide it to your lawyer to help you negotiate for fair compensation.
Common Out-of-Pocket Expenses in Personal Injury Claims
Out-of-pocket expenses may include costs associated with:
You may incur substantial medical expenses as a result of your personal injury. You may be able to recover reimbursement for any medical bills you pay out of pocket, such as:
- Insurance deductibles and copays
- Medical expenses for hospital stays and emergency department visits
- Ambulance charges
- Doctor’s bills
- Medical devices
- Physical and occupational therapy
- Emotional counseling and therapy
- Over-the-counter medications and supplies
- Mileage costs to and from treatment
- Travel expenses if you have to travel a substantial distance
If the accident left you seriously injured, you can also seek compensation for home health care you have paid for.
You may be able to recover compensation to repair or replace damaged physical property. This may include costs such as:
- Car repairs
- Replacement of personal property, such as a cell phone damaged in the accident
- A child’s car seat in a motor vehicle accident
You may also be able to recover compensation for your losses of the use of your personal property. For example, if you are a rideshare driver and cannot work because the accident put your vehicle out of commission, you could seek compensation for the loss of use of your vehicle.
Lost Income and Related Expenses
While you recover, you may need to take significant time off work to heal properly. As a result, you may lose income and benefits, such as:
- Regular and overtime wages
- Bonuses, tips, or commissions
- Use of employment benefits, such as sick time, PTO, or vacation time
If the injury impairs your ability to work, you may be able to seek compensation for vocational rehabilitation.
If you were injured in a motor vehicle accident, you might need alternative transportation while your vehicle is being repaired. You may pay out of pocket for expenses like:
- Rental car expenses
- Parking fees
- Costs of using a rideshare service
- Bus or taxi fares
You may also be able to recover mileage reimbursement based on the IRS rate.
If you suffered a serious injury that left you disabled, you might need to make modifications to your home to accommodate your disability, such as:
- Widening of doorways to make room for a wheelchair
- Leveling of floors to walk carefully around the home
- Creating a wheelchair-accessible ramp
- Adding a stairway lift
These are just some of the possible modifications that may be necessary to help you get around your home environment.
If your vehicle needs to be adapted to accommodate a disability, such as adding a wheelchair lift, you may also be able to seek compensation for this need.
Personal Care and Household Services
If you need help with routine activities like bathing, dressing, or feeding, you can include expenses for personal care in your claim. You may also be able to seek reimbursement for payments you made for others to handle household services you were unable to complete while injured, such as:
A lawyer can review the circumstances surrounding your claim and your injuries and explain which out-of-pocket expenses you may be able to recover compensation for.
Who Pays for Out-of-Pocket Expenses?
Initially, you will likely pay for the expenses described above. However, you may be able to include these expenses in your accident claim if you can show that they arose out of the accident and are reasonable and necessary. Insurance companies may carefully evaluate your claim and the severity of your injuries to determine whether your out-of-pocket expenses are reasonable and necessary. Your attorney can advocate for you and fight for the compensation you deserve following an injury caused by another person’s negligence.
Get Your Legal Questions Answered in a Free Consultation Today
If you need help in determining the fair value of your claim for all of your out-of-pocket expenses, call us at (859) 550-2900. You can also contact us online for a free consultation to have your questions answered by an experienced legal professional.