If you have long-term disability insurance and find yourself in a situation in which you’re unable to work, it is probably a good idea to hire an experienced long-term disability lawyer as soon as possible. Acting quick will help you get the best results and maximize your chances of success. The process of filing a long-term disability claim seems to be intentionally challenging and, especially in the event that you have employer-provided group coverage, can be a serious obstacle for the disability applicant who decides to go at it alone.
If any deadline is missed, or any form is not completed to full satisfaction, the whole claim could be compromised. A good long-term disability lawyer will help you avoid these issues and will provide you with a much better chance of getting the coverage you deserve.
1. A good lawyer will prepare your claims file
As soon as you’ve agreed with a lawyer that you’d like them to take your case, they will immediately begin handling the details and paperwork. There are going to be unanticipated obstacles to navigate and they can help you through this process.
For example, one provision that frequently catches applicants by surprise is that, in a lawsuit against your insurer, you’re generally prohibited from introducing new evidence. Thus, an experienced lawyer will try to “stack the administrative record” with medical, vocational, and other favorable evidence before you exhaust your internal appeals within the insurance company.
2. A good lawyer will hire experts and act as your representative
Depending on the nature of your disability policy, you might also require vocational experts to testify about the exact requirements of your position specifically, or to provide more general information about the labor market as a whole.
This is an important point of contact that your lawyer will be able to provide some valuable resources for. As they will be able to tell you, it is not typically advisable to rely on the testimony of the supposedly “independent” vocational experts hired by your long-term disability carrier.
3. A good lawyer will be there for you throughout the entire process
As stated above, it is never too early to hire an attorney to represent you in your disability case. It should pretty much be your first matter of concern as soon as you realize you’re unable to keep working.
From this point forward, your attorney should be at your side and will be able to outline what you can expect throughout the rest of the process. Keep in mind, that when it comes to tricky insurance cases, an attorney will often be willing to provide a free consultation or case evaluation over the phone or in person, so that you can get a feel for whether not you’re a good match.
4. A good lawyer will be transparent about how much things are going to cost
Depending on the nature of your case, you can expect to pay a different percentage of fees. Do some research to figure out a ballpark number before going in to talk to anyone. You should feel that they are being straightforward and honest about all the costs up front and that you feel comfortable asking about any aspects of the billing that might not be clear to you.
5. A good lawyer will have experience
As you begin your search for the right lawyer for your case, be advised that in this realm of law, you want to go with someone who has lots of experience. It is essential that you find someone who specialised in handling long-term disability cases, as they are very complex and require someone who makes it their mission to know the ins and outs of all proceedings.