Out of pocket expenses, also known as “special damages”, are expenses reasonably incurred as a result of the injuries suffered in an accident. Examples include physiotherapy and chiropractor fees, CT and MRI scans, prescription medications, hiring a housekeeper, or mileage costs for attending therapeutic appointments.
As a general rule, out of pocket expenses can be recovered so long as they are “reasonably necessary” and would not have been incurred in any event. ICBC will commonly exploit these preconditions in an effort to deny or limit reimbursement. For instance, ICBC may claim that any physiotherapy sessions occurring after a certain date are not compensable because the victim should have made a full recovery by that time.
Alternatively, ICBC may point to a prior injury or pre-existing condition and argue that a claimant’s expenses are not recoverable because they were meant to address medical issues that were not caused by the accident.
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