If you have suffered an injury at work which has caused you to need long-term disability care, it can be daunting to determine what your next steps should be. The first move you make should be contacting an attorney with experience in disability cases. They can assist with filing any claims and help you prevent issues, such as missed deadlines or incomplete forms, that would keep you from receiving benefits. Read on to learn about the benefits of hiring a California long term disability lawyer for your case.
How Attorneys Can Help With Your Claim
When it comes to long term disability insurance, most employer provided group plans are governed by ERISA, or the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. As a federal law, this comes with detailed procedures and timeframes to have a claim filed. This is where having a lawyer with knowledge of disability claims can help get your benefits faster. An attorney focused on long-term disability law can assist with:
- Preparing a claims file: In most cases, a federal judge will review your claims case based on the data provided to your insurance company, with the ability to include new evidence rarely allowed. With an attorney, they can enhance your record with additional medical and vocational evidence before you use up your appeals with the insurance company. The lawyer will also update your file with all relevant information, as well as work with your doctors to collect supportive opinions on the limitations you have to work.
- Hiring work-related experts: Your lawyer may call upon vocational experts who would provide testimony on what your position requires or the state of the overall labor market. This may vary depending on whether you have “own occupation” or “any occupation” disability insurance. Having an attorney hire an expert is usually better than relying on testimony from someone provided by the provider.
- Serving as your representative: Along with the services listed above, your lawyer can serve as a liaison between you and the plan provider. Your lawyer can handle initial applications, settlement negotiations and even lawsuits in a federal court.
When Should An Attorney Be Hired?
Typically, a long term disability lawyer should be hired by the patient as soon as it is determined they are unable to work. Most attorneys determine a potential client’s needs with a consultation over the phone or in person. A lawyer can help with initial filing of an application for insurance, which can prevent errors made by people that file on their own. These include trying to file for benefits after quitting a job, making a transition to a job that is easier or pays less or having errors on their application.
An attorney can also help with appeals if an application has been denied, as they are aware of the strict deadlines that are part of the appeal process. It should be noted that most disability attorneys work on a contingency fee, meaning you are charged between 25-40% of past due benefits from the insurance company. Also, while the attorney will, in most cases, cover the costs of litigation, you may be asked to reimburse, even if you lose.
Find A Reliable California Long Term Disability Lawyer
No one wants to be injured for a long period of time, especially if it means they are unable to support their family. However, having a quality lawyer that has handled long term disability cases can make the process to obtain benefits somewhat easier. Throughout Colton and surrounding areas, The Law Offices of Dr. Bill LaTour has attorneys with over 30 years experience in disability cases. Get more information by calling us today for a consultation at (877) 668-9510.