Recovering Out-of-Pocket Expenses in Personal Injury Cases

Clayton T. Hasbrook

Written by Clayton T. Hasbrook. Last modified on February 20, 2024

Office Information
Hasbrook & Hasbrook
400 N Walker Ave #130, Oklahoma City, OK

If you’ve been injured in an accident in Oklahoma, you’re likely facing not just physical and emotional challenges but also financial ones due to out-of-pocket expenses. Understanding these costs and how to recover them is crucial for getting the fair compensation you deserve.

What Counts as Out-of-Pocket Expenses in Oklahoma?

In Oklahoma, you can claim a variety of costs resulting from your injury:

  • Medical Expenses: This includes emergency care, hospital stays, surgeries, medications, therapy, and medical equipment.
  • Property Damage: Costs for repairing or replacing personal property like cars or bikes damaged in the accident.
  • Lost Wages: Compensation for missed work due to doctor’s visits, recovery time, or a long-term decrease in earning ability due to disabilities.
  • Travel Expenses: Money spent on getting to medical appointments, legal meetings, or pharmacies.
  • Miscellaneous Expenses: Costs for services like home care, childcare, or tutoring, which become necessary due to your injury.

Health and Disability Insurance

While health and disability insurance can cover some expenses, they often don’t cover everything. Oklahoma law compensates you for deductibles, co-pays, and other uncovered expenses through personal injury claims. Note: Your health insurance likely has a right to be reimbursed from any settlement you receive related to payments from the accident. 

Documenting Your Expenses

Proper documentation is key. Here’s what to do:

  1. Save All Receipts: Keep every receipt related to your injury.
  2. Track Lost Wages: Document missed work hours and obtain documentation from your employer.
  3. Document Property Damage: Take photos and get repair estimates.
  4. Maintain Travel Records: Log all injury-related travel.
  5. Organize Meticulously: Keep your documents categorized and stored securely.

Example Table To Track Expenses

DateType of ExpenseAmount ($)Amount Health Insurance PaidNotes
2024-01-10Medical Appointment$50$100Dr. Smith, follow-up visit
2024-01-12Medication$40$150Pain relief prescription
2024-01-15Travel$20Uber to physical therapy
2024-01-18Lost Wages$200Missed work for doctor’s visit
2024-01-20Property Damage$1500Car repair costs

Recovering Your Expenses in Oklahoma

The recovery process involves:

  • Filing a Claim: Provide a detailed account of the accident, list your expenses, medical records, and medical bills, and include the supporting documents.
  • Negotiating a Settlement: Review the offer(s) from the insurance company and negotiate for a fair amount.
  • Going to Trial: If necessary, you’ll need to file a lawsuit to get a fair settlement offer.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

  • Not Documenting Everything: Every receipt and document adds up.
  • Accepting Low Initial Offers: Insurance companies start with low offers. Negotiate for what you deserve. Get an attorney if the adjuster is unreasonable.
  • Overlooking Minor Expenses: Small costs add up. Include everything.
  • Not Considering Future Expenses: Do not settle with the insurance company if you are still treating and incurring expenses.
  • Going It Alone: Consult with an experienced Oklahoma personal injury attorney to make sure you haven’t missed anything.

Non-Economic Damages in Oklahoma

Beyond out-of-pocket expenses, Oklahoma law allows for compensation for non-economic damages, such as:

  • Chronic pain and suffering
  • Loss of mobility and independence
  • Emotional distress and mental anguish
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Disfigurement from scars

This page has been written, edited, and reviewed by a team of legal writers following our comprehensive editorial guidelines. This page was approved by Founding Partner, Clayton T. Hasbrook who has years of legal experience as a personal injury lawyer. Our last modified date shows when this page was last reviewed.