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Disability Insurance Disputes / ERISA
If you have become disabled by illness, disease or injury and are no longer able to work in your own job, or even in any job, you want your disability insurance company to provide the insurance benefits provided for in your insurance policy. Unfortunately, there are many disabled people who are denied coverage for their claims.
Insurance companies will at times show an amazing absence of feeling toward its own insured by denying valid disability claims whether under long-term or short-term disability policies. If you have a dispute over your disability claim, please contact Hans Kennon for a free initial consultation and case evaluation.
I have handled claims against some of the largest insurance companies in the United States and have won benefits and payouts for disabled clients. I have handled cases involving many different types of injuries and diseases, including cancer, back injuries, chronic fatigue, drug and alcohol addition, just to name a few.
I have successfully resolved many types of disability insurance disputes, including those governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). Many people are affected by ERISA, whether they know it or not, as ERISA governs most all disability plans provided through an employer. It can be difficult to find an attorney to take an ERISA claim but we do accept many that come to us for review.
Your disability policy is generally governed by ERISA unless you work for the government or a non-profit organization, your employer-sponsored disability insurance plan is usually governed by ERISA. The process to dispute such a denial can be very difficult.
In most cases, you are allowed only one appeal of an ERISA claim denial and that appeal is normally required to be filed within a short period of time. If the appeal is ultimately denied as many are, you can file a lawsuit in federal court. ERISA cases are not allowed to be heard by a jury and the only evidence considered by the Court are the records contained in the insurer’s file. There are no witnesses allowed to testify on your behalf. Your entire case is decided on what is known as the administrative record which is prepared only by the insurance company. If you go it alone, you will be at a severe disadvantage.
Private Disability Insurance Appeals
I also represent doctors, lawyers, and other professionals when their disability claims are denied by a private disability insurer. In some instances insurance companies deny or delay claim payments as a general business practice with the hope that their insured will simply give up and not push for the disability benefits. The general business practice of denying claims without sufficient support are called bad faith claims. In those cases, not only will the insurer have to comply with the policy terms and pay the benefits described in the policy, but there can be claims for punitive damages and the payment of attorney fees and costs in addition to the benefits.