Diligent Representation For Disability Claims
Private disability insurance is sold as protection in the event of long-term injury or illness. However, when the time comes to file a claim, you may need protection from your own insurance company!
The best way to get this protection is to contact an experienced disability insurance dispute lawyer practiced in insurance claims. If you are about to file a disability insurance claim, or if your claim has been stalled or rejected, contact our disability attorneys at Uscher, Quiat, Uscher & Russo, P.C., We handle wrongful denial of disability claims under New Jersey disability insurance law and ERISA. We offer more than 35 years of experience taking on large insurance companies.
The Bigger They Are …
Not all insurance carriers provide private long-term disability insurance. This is both good and bad for the policyholders. The downside is that the near-monopoly that companies like Unum, Prudential, MetLife, Hartford, AIG, Aetna, Lincoln Financial, Guardian, Berkshire, United of Omaha, Principal, Northwestern Mutual, Cigna and others have afforded them immense power to deny claims. As a small law firm, our attorneys and staff have fewer companies to deal with, and we are well-aware of the tactics these companies commonly use to deny and/or delay otherwise legitimate disability claims. Uscher, Quiat, Uscher & Russo, P.C. have developed our own effective strategies for compelling disability insurers to own up to the full legal obligations they owe their policyholders.
Private Disability Insurance Claims
Long-term disability insurance is generally offered in group plans through employers. These plans are governed by ERISA, which is a federal law that preempts most state laws. Or disability insurance is offered through private individual policies purchased directly by individuals. Many policyholders seeking to protect their incomes in the event of medical disasters choose private plans through an insurance agent or broker because they typically offer better benefits than an employer-sponsored plan, or because the insured policyholders are self-employed. Some people supplement ERISA policies with private disability insurance policies to cover as many bases as possible.
Disability insurance replaces all or part of your earnings if you become unable to work because of a disabling injury or long-term illness, regardless of whether the illness or injury is work-related. However, your disability claim faces an insurance industry which is profit-driven to deny claims wherever possible. Some insurers have a well-deserved reputation for questionable claims handling practices. i
Even if you have an established long-term disability claim and are receiving benefits, insurance companies are cash-strapped, and they are always looking for ways to generate money by buying out claims and negotiating settlements on terms that are beneficial to them but not beneficial for claimants. Claimants need a knowledgeable advocate in their corner to help them through the complex details of a buyout and to make sure they get their fair share of the benefits.
When all else fails, we do not hesitate to litigate. It doesn’t matter whether the litigation is in federal or state court. We are very familiar with all New Jersey disability insurance laws. We know what “bad faith” is what you must prove to establish it. Also, unlike ERISA disability claims, where claimants may have limited rights, plaintiffs in private disability cases have full legal rights, including trial by jury.
To prevail in a disability claim, you must:
- Prove the disability, which is the injury or illness from which you suffer
- Demonstrate that the disability prevents you from performing your job
Usually, the key to proving the nature and extent of your disability and how it applies to your occupation lies in the hands of your physician. Your disability claim medical reports require special and knowledgeable attention. In addition to this, it’s vitally important to your disability claim that the reports you file are complete, accurate and relevant. Don’t start off on the wrong foot in making your disability claim.
Rely on our disability resources to learn more about your situation
- For denied claims
- Frequently asked questions during the claims process
- Help with forms and paperwork
Also key to proving disability is the definition of the word in your policy. If the definition in your policy is “own occupation,” then benefits will be paid if you are disabled to the point where you cannot perform your “own occupation” (occupation-specific disability). If the definition is “any occupation,” then you will be paid benefits if you are unable to perform “any occupation.”
Don’t Do This Alone, Contact Our Disability Insurance Dispute Lawyer
Uscher, Quiat, Uscher & Russo, P.C. will examine the terms and exclusions of your policy and advise on the viability of your disability claim. It may be as simple as getting a doctor to certify your disability, or there may be complex legal issues that could go either way in court. In any case, you are assured of honest legal counsel and aggressive representation by an experienced professional in just the area you need – disability insurance law.
Contact our disability insurance dispute lawyers at 201-781-5645 to discuss your disability claim today. We are dedicated to responsive and knowledgeable legal representation. We will answer your inquiry promptly and keep you informed and involved throughout the process.