One in every 68 workers employed in 2010 was injured on the job and received worker’s compensation for their injury. The construction industry has the highest rate of work related injuries and there are many workers whose injuries keep them from their jobs.
If you’re one of these workers and you have a long-term disability that prevents you from working, hiring an experienced long term disability lawyer can make a world of difference when filing a long term disability claim. There are many pitfalls for unrepresented disability applicants that can jeopardize your benefits, and a lawyer can help you steer clear of them.
It’s important to contact a lawyer as soon as you become unable to work to talk about your options. Many attorneys will give you a free consultation, and many won’t charge a fee unless they win your case. Having a lawyer assist with your initial LTD application is often better than waiting until your claim is rejected and may save you time.
Insurance companies have many tricks to deny benefits, and a lawyer can alert you to them to increase your chances. They can also help you avoid mistakes like quitting work before filing for benefits or transitioning to a less demanding, lower-paid position. Both common mistakes can result in your coverage being reduced or revoked.
If your claim is still rejected and you need to pursue a lawsuit, it becomes even more important to hire a work injury lawyer that specializes in long term disability claims, because he or she will be familiar with the very specific procedures dictated by long term disability laws. While most personal injury claims are settled outside of court, insurance companies can complicate matters in LTD lawsuits.
This also means they can help you prepare your claims file for a potential lawsuit. Generally, if you’re suing your employer, you’re prohibited from introducing new evidence, and a judge will decide your case using your claims file with the insurance company. Lawyers know how to stack the evidence before you exhaust your appeals with the insurance company, and they make sure your file contains all the relevant evidence to your case.
A long term disability lawyer may also hire a vocational expert to testify about the requirements of your position instead of leaving you to rely on the potentially questionable expert hired by your insurance provider. Your lawyer will also liaise between you and your LTD provider, deal with filing, and bring the lawsuit to federal court if necessary.
Most long term disability lawyers charge 25%-40% of the past-due (and sometimes future) benefits the insurance company owes you, under the contingency that you don’t owe any fees until they win your case. Many will also front costs like depositions, travel expenses and medical records and require you to reimburse them, sometimes even if they lose your case. Ask about these expenses up front when meeting with a lawyer, and try to negotiate if the terms don’t suit you.