Dedicated Insurance Bad Faith Attorneys Serving Clients in Massachusetts
Data from Massachusetts’ government shows there were over 787,000 individuals living with a disability in the state in 2020, giving The Bay State a disability incidence rate of 11.5%. An expert Massachusetts Insurance bad faith lawyer can help when you find yourself in this position. At DarrasLaw, we’ve helped many Massachusetts-based clients secure excellent outcomes following an initial claim denial by their long-term disability insurer.
In Massachusetts, as is the case everywhere else in the United States, individuals suffering from disabilities frequently end up embroiled in disputes with their individually purchased or employer-sponsored group long-term disability insurance providers. These insurance companies regularly attempt to defeat valid claims using legal loopholes or unfair tactics, leaving claimants without desperately needed monthly insurance benefits.
What Does a Massachusetts Insurance Lawyer Do?
Insurance policy contracts, claim documents, and appeals processes are all highly complex. Providers of long-term disability insurance know this; in fact, they deliberately make their documentation difficult to understand. This complicates the process for claimants, leading them to make mistakes and fatally damage their valid claims.
Our role as an expert Massachusetts Insurance bad faith lawyer is to level the playing field between you and your insurer. We’re familiar with the complexities of the law and the strategies insurance companies use to get the upper hand over claimants.
We’ll help you navigate the appeals process from start to finish. When the time comes to go to court, you’ll have the best Massachusetts Insurance bad faith lawyer in your corner if you decide to work with us.
Bad Faith Insurance Litigation v. ERISA Appeals
In every long-term disability insurance dispute, one of the most important considerations is whether your policy is individually purchased or employer sponsored. Employer-provided group plans are regulated by a body of federal legislation called the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), which prescribes a mandatory appeals process before which you cannot sue your insurer. Also, because ERISA is a federal provision, it is not generally possible to bring one of these cases in state court.
However, if your policy is individually purchased, these restrictions will not apply to you. There are various ways to challenge an unfair claim denial on an individually purchased long-term disability insurance policy; the most common is via bad faith insurance litigation.
To succeed in a claim under bad faith insurance law, you must show that your long-term disability insurance provider failed to adequately meet one of the duties it owes you as a policyholder and claimant. If you can prove your insurer deliberately acted unreasonably or without proper cause in denying or delaying your claim, you should succeed in a bad faith insurance lawsuit.
In Massachusetts, the law on bad faith business practices is set out in Section 2, Chapter 93A of the state’s General Laws. It establishes that “unfair or deceptive acts or practices” in the provision of services are unlawful.
As bad faith insurance law exists at the level of the state, any lawsuit you file against a local insurance provider will most likely be in state court. This is advantageous for you, as state cases are typically less costly and more straightforward than their federal equivalents. However, you may have to file in federal court if your insurance provider is based outside Massachusetts.
This type of insurance law is highly specific, so it’s important to get a specialist Massachusetts Insurance bad faith lawyer on your side if you decide to file a case.
How to Interact With Your Insurance Company During the Claims Process
Long-term disability insurers have a range of information-gathering tactics they use to avoid paying out on valid claims. A representative of your insurance company may make unexpected contact with you in an attempt to persuade you to unwittingly share information that could damage your claim.
If your insurer sends you a letter seeking information about your claim or your disability, you should show it to your insurance attorney before responding. Even if the request appears innocuous, you could accidentally share something that might negatively impact your case if you don’t run your reply by an attorney first.
The company may also try to call you; this poses particular risks, as the calls are frequently unannounced and therefore catch claimants off-guard. These are obviously more difficult to prepare for, but the assistance of a bad-faith attorney can still be very useful. A Massachusetts Insurance bad faith lawyer are familiar with the questions insurers ask and can coach you on mistakes to avoid when fielding these yourself.
Finally, your insurer might schedule an interview with you at some point during the claims process. Again, considering likely lines of questioning and potential answers with your long-term disability lawyer will help you to avoid inadvertently giving answers that might work in your insurer’s favor.
Lying to your insurer is an unlawful act, and any dishonest representation you are found to make may derail your claim. Be conscious that your insurer’s questions may be designed to trip you up, so provide responses that are as honest and straightforward as possible.
Staying Protected With A Massachusetts Insurance Bad Faith Lawyer
At DarrasLaw, our attorneys specialize in long-term disability claims of every type, and we’ve successfully fought on behalf of clients in every state in the nation. If you’re concerned that your insurer might not be playing fair, working with an expert insurance lawyer is the best way to ensure the company doesn’t take advantage of you.
Contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation, including a free claim assessment, policy analysis, or assistance with your appeal. If your policy is employer-sponsored and you’ve already received an initial denial, you need to act quickly to ensure you submit a timely, comprehensive ERISA administrative appeal. Don’t wait to start the process.