There are three times someone would consider hiring an attorney for a disability insurance claim: before filing a claim, after a claim has been denied, and before filing a lawsuit. Different considerations apply to hiring an attorney for representation in connection with a disability insurance claim, but in every situation, the client’s expectations should be the same.

Do I need a disability benefits attorney?

Here are the most common stages during the disability claim process where you should consider consulting or retaining a disability benefits attorney:

Before filing a claim:

It is generally advisable to seek legal advice and advice before filing a disability insurance claim. Insurance policies are complicated and can be difficult to understand; and the claims process can be challenging to navigate without guidance. Even if the attorney remains on the sidelines while the claim is processed, it is helpful for claimants to have expectations about how their claim will be decided and what may be helpful to submit to increase the likelihood of approval. Hiring an attorney before filing a claim also means that if any issues arise during the claim process, the attorney is aware and ready to step in and protect the client’s rights. Insurance companies often rely on the advice and counsel of their attorneys during the claims process. Claimants should too.

After a claim denial:

No layperson should handle a disability insurance claim appeal on their own behalf. No matter how smart and sophisticated they may be, disability insurance is complex; and proper handling of a claim appeal is the key to success in court if the claim appeal is denied. In fact, failure to file a thorough appeal can ruin the plaintiff’s chances of winning in court if the appeal is denied.

Claimants should not be misled if an insurance company representative tells them that an appeal does not require an attorney. And while hiring an attorney incurs legal fees, saving money should never be an excuse for not having an attorney by your side considering what’s at stake. Many attorneys handle claim appeals on a contingency fee basis, meaning no fees are due unless benefits are awarded. Therefore, choosing not to hire an attorney to handle an appeal of a denied disability insurance claim can be crazy.

Before filing a claim

Here again, no lay person, or even an attorney unfamiliar with disability insurance dispute litigation, should forego hiring an attorney to file a claim on their behalf. Litigation is inherently complex; and disputes over disability insurance benefits further add to the challenge, making it essential to have an attorney on the plaintiff’s side.

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What should you expect from your disability benefits attorney?

When retaining an attorney, the client should expect and require the following of any attorney they choose:

1. Knowledgeable and experienced

When hiring an attorney to offer advice and counsel, or representation in a matter related to disability insurance, a potential client should know that the attorney they are hiring has experience in the field. If the benefits are derived from an employer-sponsored benefit plan, the claim will likely be governed by ERISA (Employee Retirement Income Security Act), which requires an even higher level of knowledge about that area of ​​law as well as being familiar with disability insurance. Therefore, claimants should avoid hiring an attorney who is a general practitioner and should seek an attorney who focuses on handling disability insurance cases. Clients should also be wary of hiring a lawyer or law firm just because their name appears as the first result in a Google search. A top Internet search result is not necessarily indicative of the knowledge and experience of the law firm. Instead, someone in need of a disability insurance attorney should focus her search on finding out more about the attorney or law firm to ensure that the attorney actually has the experience she can claim to have. Read the attorney bio to learn more about cases the attorney and law firm have litigated and whether they have handled similar matters for other clients.

Clients should also take the time to read what the lawyer has written on topics that may be similar or even nearly identical to the client’s needs, not just self-published blogs, but also articles the lawyer may have published in journals. authorized laws, such as laws. reviews written for other attorneys, bar association magazines, and legal news sources. Finally, the client should see if the attorney has lectured on disability insurance related topics at legal seminars or teaches law students. A lawyer who teaches other practicing and budding lawyers is one who has been recognized by his peers as having experience in the field.

2. jealous

All lawyers have an ethical duty to be zealous in representing their clients. But some stand out for leaving no stone unturned and putting in the hard work and effort that makes the difference between winning and losing. Clients can learn a lot about the attorney and law firm they plan to hire by reading client testimonials and seeing what others have said about their experience with the attorney and law firm.

However, zeal does not mean combativeness, and in the long run, a client is better off retaining a disability lawyer who is highly respected by the judges and the other party’s attorneys. That does not mean that the lawyer is “soft” or weak; it means that the lawyer is effective and is recognized by his peers and courts as someone who does the job.

In addition, each client expects the lawyer they hire to be honest and ethical, but that also means that the lawyer will scrupulously keep all client confidences, avoid even the appearance of any conflict, and be completely transparent in explaining the fees and expenses of the case. , along with claims and litigation strategy. Also, the client should expect the lawyer to be compassionate. He spends time talking with the lawyer he plans to hire. Clients with disability insurance claims are having a difficult time and need to know that the attorney cares about them and not just their case.

3. Responsive and informative

The most common complaint about lawyers is that they don’t return phone calls. Clients have the right to expect prompt responses when calling or emailing their attorneys. While responses to phone messages or emails sent late at night, on weekends, or on holidays may be delayed until the next business day begins, or the attorney may be busy in court, on a plea, or on a meeting when the client calls, clients appreciate being responsive and being informed of the progress of their matter.

4. Realistic and Economic

Every client has expectations, but are those expectations realistic? A potential client should select an attorney who will tell her what she needs to hear and know, not just what she wants to know or expects to hear. Ideally, a client should select an attorney who underpromises and overdelivers.

When looking for a lawyer, a client should select one that provides the best quality services at a fair price and manages legal costs and expenses to provide the best value for money. The availability of contingency fees on most disability insurance matters can make it feasible to pursue a case that would be unaffordable if the attorney charged by the hour for their services. But sometimes an hourly rate agreement is cheaper than a contingency or flat rate; And not all contingency fee arrangements offered by attorneys are the same. The fee must be proportional to the services provided and the results obtained.


Get the right lawyer to guide you and defend your disability insurance claim

Disability insurance claims, whether through an individual insurance policy or an ERISA plan, are complex. You don’t need to go through the process alone. Having the right legal representation is often the key to getting the benefits to which you are entitled. Contact one of the top ERISA or disability insurance lawyers at DeBofsky Law to properly initiate and defend your claim.

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The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide on the subject. Specialist advice should be sought according to your specific circumstances.