Out-of-Pocket Expenses

An injured victim often incurs medical bills and lost wages. However, an accident or personal injury can result in other financial losses and expenses. Out-of-pocket expenses represent these “other” expenses.  

You can seek to have the money you’ve spent due to your accident reimbursed as part of your economic damages in a personal injury claim.

Out-of-pocket expenses are unique to the case. The types of expenses you incur depend on your accident and injury circumstances. However, common types of out-of-pocket expenses that many injured parties incur include:

Transportation Costs 

Transportation Costs

Depending on the severity of your injuries or your personal circumstances, traveling to and from medical appointments could be expensive. Even if you drive yourself, you incur costs for transportation.

Transportation costs included in out-of-pocket expenses include, but are not limited to:

  • Mileage
  • Bus, cab, and rideshare costs
  • Parking fees
  • Paying someone to take you to appointments
  • Medical Transportation 

You must keep proof of each expense to seek reimbursement in a personal injury case. To include your mileage, make a note of the beginning and ending odometer readings for trips to the doctor, pharmacy, physical therapy, and other medical appointments. 

Personal Care 

Some injuries may prevent someone from caring for their basic needs. These tasks are often referred to as activities of daily living and include dressing, grooming, bathing, and feeding. Keep copies of invoices from services that assist with personal care and proof that you paid those invoices as evidence of your out-of-pocket expenses.

Modifications Because of Impairments 

An injury may require you to modify your car or home permanently. For example, if you sustain an injury that results in paralysis, you may need to widen the doors of your home, build a wheelchair ramp, and modify your vehicle. In your personal injury claim, you can claim these expenses as part of out-of-pocket expenses. 

Household Services 

Injuries may also prevent you from performing basic household tasks, such as mopping, cleaning, washing laundry, and caring for your children. If you hire individuals or services to assist with these tasks, this amount needs to be included in your out-of-pocket expenses. Again, ensure you have copies of each invoice and proof you paid the bill. 

Medications and Supplies 

There may be some overlap for this category with medical expenses. Generally, out-of-pocket expenses for medical supplies and medications refer to expenses that your physician or other medical provider does not bill. For example, this may include the costs of purchasing over-the-counter pain medications or the costs of crutches, a wheelchair, or a bedside toilet.

Proving Out-of-Pocket Expenses Are Necessary and Reasonable 

The insurance company may challenge your out-of-pocket expenses. Therefore, be prepared to provide proof that you incurred and paid the expense. Also, you may need to prove the expense was necessary and reasonable.

A statement from your physician explaining why your injuries prevented you from performing certain tasks or required specific equipment often satisfies the “necessary” requirement. However, you may need to research costs for an item or service to prove that you paid a reasonable amount. If you hire a Nashville personal injury attorney, the legal team handles this step for you.

Does Comparative Fault Impact Recovery of Out-of-Pocket Expenses in a Nashville Personal Injury Case?

Comparative fault impacts an accident victim’s ability to recover compensation if they contributed to the cause of their injury. However, Tennessee adopted a comparative negligence standard instead. 

Under Tennessee law, you can be partially to blame for the cause of your injury and recovery damages. However, your damages are reduced by your level of fault. Therefore, if you are 40% to blame for the cause of your slip and fall accident, you could only recover 60% of your damages.

Tennessee imposes a bar under its modified comparative negligence law. If you are 50% or more to blame for the cause of your injury, you are barred from recovering any money for your claim. Therefore, if the jury finds you were 51% to blame for a car accident, the other party is not liable for your damages. 

What Is the Deadline for Filing a Claim for Out-of-Pocket Expenses in Tennessee?

The Tennessee statute of limitations applies to claims for out-of-pocket expenses in personal injury cases. The filing deadline for most personal injury claims in Tennessee is one year from the injury or accident date. The court can dismiss your lawsuit if you miss the deadline, regardless of whether the other party is responsible for causing your injury.

However, several exceptions exist that could change the deadline to file a lawsuit. You should seek legal advice as soon as possible to avoid losing your right to pursue a court action for a personal injury or accident. 

Consult a Nashville Personal Injury Lawyer for Help Recovering Out-of-Pocket Expenses 

Your personal injury claim could be worth more money because of out-of-pocket expenses. Learn more by talking with an experienced Nashville personal injury lawyer. Doing so can help move you one step closer to recovering your out-of-pocket expenses. Contact Labrum Law Firm Personal Injury Lawyers at (615) 685-8546 to know what our law office can do for you and schedule a free consultation.