Why You Must Meet ERISA Litigation Deadlines (part 2)
We previously discussed the requirements and timeline for litigating an individual long-term disability (LTD) insurance or group ERISA claim. We know the basic prerequisites for filing, why you must not file too soon and how a disability lawyer can really help.
Now we can review the statute of limitations on ERISA claims and the consequences of filing an ERISA lawsuit too late.
Statute of Limitations
Let’s proceed with the same scenario where a back injury renders you unable to do the important duties of your occupation. You need your LTD insurance benefits, and you file a legitimate, thorough, comprehensive disability claim with your insurance company.
Despite this, the insurer denies your group ERISA disability claim, and gives you specific information, including:
- Written notice of the denial with specific reasons
- A list of your next steps for review of the denial
- A notice of at least 180 days to submit your timely administrative appeal
You properly exhaust your administrative remedies, as previously established, and file your appeal within the 180-day period only to be denied again. The next step is to file an ERISA lawsuit to recover all of your past disability benefits, interest, and attorney fees.
There is a finite period of time for you to file your ERISA litigation, often referred to as the “statute of limitations.” The statute of limitations may be different in each state or district, but it might be shortened by the fine print of your insurance policy or group contract. Many policies allow a three-year period for you to file an ERISA lawsuit following the proof of loss or injury date, but the best way to know the exact timeline is to hire a disability lawyer.
There is so much legal fine print and legalese in long term disability insurance contracts, that the trained eye of a seasoned disability lawyer will help you avoid any additional hurdles in recovering your benefits.
What Happens When You File Your ERISA Lawsuit Too Late
In contrast to filing too early, filing your case too late may signal the end of the line for your lawsuit. From the outset the insurance company will submit a motion to dismiss and, in most scenarios, if you filed too late, you are out of options. The judge will dismiss your case and you will not be able to recover your benefits or continue your ERISA litigation.
Your ERISA litigation will be based entirely on what you submitted during the claim and when you supplied your administrative appeal, so please be thorough and comprehensive. Whatever isn’t included during the claim or administrative appeal will not be considered by your federal court ERISA judge. Partner with a skilled and experienced ERISA long-term disability lawyer to ensure you provide complete and supportive evidence of the legitimacy of your claim.
Contact DarrasLaw for a free consultation today.