Disability Lawyer Hiring Tips
1. Confirm that your lawyer exclusively litigates individual and/or group disability, insurance and ERISA claims.
Disability law is highly specialized and differs significantly from personal injury or other areas of the law. A general practice attorney is often not equipped to competently handle cases involving individual or group disability benefits. Specialization is required and is especially necessary when a complicated and continually evolving federal law, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), is involved.
ERISA generally governs group and employer-sponsored disability insurance policies and has its own time sensitive, deadline demanding, unforgiving requirements. Fatal claim mistakes are easily made and often result in a legitimate claim being delayed, terminated or denied.
ERISA and disability insurance law is so complicated that few attorneys find long-term success in this specialized field. Make sure whomever you select as your lawyer has a stellar record of repeated favorable outcomes resolving individual and group disability claims.
2. Review your lawyers credentials.
Ensure that your potential lawyer focuses his or her practice exclusively on disability.
- How many ERISA disability cases have they resolved or litigated?
- How many individual disability cases have they litigated and where?
- Do they have memberships in legal associations and disability-related organizations locally and nationally?
- Is the website thorough and informative including videos?
- Oustanding client testimonials?
- Awards and acknowledgments from peers, legal associations and the media?
- Number of years in disability practice exclusively?
- Have they ever taken depositions at the home office of any billion dollar insurance company and how often?
- Have they taught, lectured, authored guides, aids and consumer information so people who are disabled have the resources to understand the battle they are in?
- Does your lawyer know who the judges are and do they know what law firm will defend your case?
- Does the law firm have milestone achievements?
- Are the law firms results favorable and successful?
Call your potential lawyer and ask important questions about your claim.
3. Assess your potential lawyer and how the firm is staffed.
In addition to the necessity of your lawyer having tremendous legal prowess and an ability to communicate clearly, disability lawyers need a foundational knowledge of healthcare, medicine and biology. They also need access to and the financial ability to hire the best experts to prove the clients case.
Knowing that your lawyer has direct knowledge or a line of communication to consult medical, financial and occupational experts will provide peace of mind and added confidence. Is your lawyer known nationally for hiring only the top doctors, CPA’s, vocational experts, functional capacity evaluators and claim file experts?
4. Ask: Is the lawyer willing to review your claim file or administrative record for free, no matter how large?
High-quality ERISA attorneys and individual disability lawyers rarely offer totally free initial consultations and claim file reviews. At DarrasLaw our, experienced disability attorneys and ERISA lawyers will review your policy, medical and financial records and offer honest feedback about whether you have a valid case that can be won or settled with the insurer. We do it for free so you know what your case issues are and how to successfully proceed.
5. Note your prospective lawyers’ approach to client service.
Most importantly, standout individual and group ERISA disability lawyers listen to their clients’ every need. While you may get a sense of a law firms’ stature and credibility through word-of-mouth and online reviews, the best way to really know, is to have an initial dialogue with the firm or lawyer you hope to hire. If you’re one of the millions of Americans living paycheck to paycheck, unfortunately, you don’t have years to wait for the approval or reinstatement of disability benefits. You need your disability benefits immediately. Experienced individual disability and group ERISA attorneys understand how to recover your benefits and do it fast.
6. Ask to see a “sample contract”
A contract and binding retainer agreement will spell out the terms and fee structure of your lawyer. The contract should also spell out—in clear and simple language—what the representation will cover and for how long. Review the contract carefully, ask for clarification when needed and only sign when you are comfortable after all your questions are answered.
Use the tips above to help find the right lawyer to competently and successfully handle your disability claim, so that you can focus on your recovery. An experienced, individual disability attorney or ERISA lawyer can act as your counsel and file your case or comprehensively complete your administrative appeal in your group disability case after denial. Your attorney is also able to work with you if you have both group and individual disability insurance to get your claim forms, medical documentation, financial and occupational forms completed properly.
The award-winning individual and nationally renowned California disability attorneys at DarrasLaw always offer free disability policy analysis and free claim consultations to determine whether your individual, group or association related policy entitles you to short and/or long-term disability benefits.
If you are suffering from any type of mental or physical injury or illness that prevents you from performing the important duties of your occupation, or any other occupation, please call us today at (866) 276-3054 or contact us online.