How can I afford an attorney?
We are here to help. We are flexible and try to meet our clients' needs. The vast majority of our clients are represented on a contingency fee basis. This means that if we do not recover for you, we do not get paid. We can also be paid on an hourly basis by those who so choose.
Can a lawyer just write a threatening letter and get my benefits?
Not often. It usually requires a lot more effort than that. Plans and insurance companies employ a number of people to help them deny your claim. They have doctors, nurses, lawyers and many other well-trained individuals. In order to successfully present an appeal, you must obtain the entire claim file. Often, parts will be unlawfully withheld without you knowing it.
A vigorous, in-depth and thorough review of your claim file utilizing legal and medical professionals is necessary to discovery what is missing and to successfully pursue the benefits to which you are entitled. This may require medical, vocational and legal evidence. You should run, not walk, from any attorney who thinks a simple letter is all you need. A diligent, determined, and quality effort is required.
The adjuster seems pretty nice on the phone. Doesn't he have to be fair to me?
In a perfect world, yes. However, the adjuster works for the company, not you. Denying your claim saves them money. They are not your advocate. You need your own.
You need an experienced ERISA litigator on your side to fight for the benefits you deserve.
My claim was denied. Should I appeal it myself?
It is critical to hire an experienced ERISA attorney after your claim is denied. You should not appeal the claim yourself.
Insurance companies and administrators have language in their plans that give them the right to deny your claim for a wrong reason as long as there is some reasonable basis to support that wrong decision. Therefore, you need an experienced ERISA litigator to handle the appeal and make your claim record overwhelmingly strong in your favor. You may be stuck with your appeal file if you later want to file a lawsuit when your appeal is denied. If you didn’t include all that could be there, your chances of winning a lawsuit drop significantly.
Can I get punitive damages?
Unfortunately, no. But, you can get more than the actual benefit.
The remedies generally allowed under ERISA are the lost benefits, interest on those benefits, attorney’s fees, statutory penalties, and equitable forms of relief. Experienced ERISA counsel know how to make sure that you get all that you deserve.