Experienced Bad Faith Insurance Lawyers Serving New York City
New York is arguably the most famous city on the planet, known for its countless landmarks, bustling culture, and unique urban atmosphere. Our New York City Insurance bad faith lawyer understands the complexities when dealing with insurance companies.
Unfortunately, disability is as much of a problem in the Big Apple as anywhere else. In fact, because of the sky-high cost of living in NYC, disabling conditions have the potential to cause even more disruption to your life there if you find yourself unable to work.
A long-term disability insurance policy should cover you in this situation, but wrongful denials and unreasonable delays of benefits by insurance companies are, sadly, common. A New York City insurance bad faith lawyer can help if you find yourself on the wrong end of a questionable decision like this.
How Should Long-Term Disability Insurance Work?
In an ideal world, everyone with a genuine disabling condition and a long-term disability insurance policy would be able to simply provide evidence of their restrictions and limitations, fill out a simple claim form, and start receiving monthly insurance benefits.
Of course, if this were actually the case, insurance bad faith attorneys would have very little to do. In reality, disability insurance companies often do whatever they can to get out of paying benefits in a timely fashion. These companies use a wide range of justifications for refusing to pay out, including:
- The claimant’s alleged failure to provide sufficient medical, financial, or vocational evidence of disability.
- The presence of a pre-existing condition, that caused or contributed to the disability.
- The claimant’s failure to submit a required document or meet a policy deadline.
- The presence of false or misleading information on claim documents.
Of course, your insurance company’s justification for not paying you won’t necessarily be based in fact. If you think the carrier’s denial of your claim was unfair, the company may have acted in bad faith.
What Is Bad Faith?
According to New York’s common law, it is unlawful for any insurer to engage in fraud, misrepresentation, or concealment, or to neglect to fulfill a duty or obligation. In cases involving long-term disability insurance claims, one or more of the following may constitute bad faith:
- Failing to provide a valid reason for denying a claim.
- Failing to carry out a proper investigation before denying a claim.
- Restricting a claimant’s access to their claim file.
- Delaying excessively before revealing a decision in relation to a claim.
- Offering inaccurate or incomplete information about filing requirements.
- Misrepresentation of important information related to coverage.
How to Resist Bad Faith Insurance Tactics
If you believe that your insurance company is acting in bad faith, there are steps you can take to combat unfair tactics. First, document all communication and interactions with your disability insurance company, noting dates, times, and the names of any representatives you speak with. Make sure to keep any medical, financial, and vocational records related to your disability in a safe place.
At this point, it’s time to start working with a top-class long-term disability insurance attorney. Insurance contracts and claims are highly complex, and it’s nearly impossible to effectively navigate a dispute unless you’re an expert in the field.
Your long-term disability lawyer will analyze your policy, your claim, and the reasons your insurance company gave for its adverse benefit determination. They will highlight any weaknesses in the insurer’s rejection and negotiate with the company to attempt to settle the matter on your behalf.
If it’s not possible to rectify the situation in this way, your lawyer may recommend filing an insurance bad faith lawsuit.
Common Disabling Conditions in New York City
A wide range of conditions, illnesses, and injuries can give rise to disability. As long as your symptoms prevent you from doing the essential duties of either your own occupation or those of any role for which you’re trained, educated, or suited (depending on the terms of your policy), you should be regarded as disabled.
Some of the most common disabling conditions in New York City include:
- Back pain.
- Mental health disorders, such as depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia.
- Heart disease.
- Hearing impairments.
- Multiple sclerosis (MS).
- Respiratory disorders, such as asthma or COPD.
- Traumatic brain injury.
- Visual impairments and migraines.
- Chronic pain.
- Epilepsy and other seizure disorders.
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
- Long Covid.
Remember, long-term disability insurance policies don’t pay benefits on the basis of specific symptoms or conditions. Instead, it’s your inability to work that dictates whether you are disabled, for the purposes of your policy.
This means a health issue that counts as a disability for one policyholder might not for another. For example, chronic pain related to movement would likely be counted as a disability for a construction worker, but the same issue, at the same level of severity, might not be deemed a disability in the case of an accountant who spends most of their working day sitting down.
Each case depends on many unique circumstances like this. That’s why it’s crucial to speak with an expert long-term disability attorney if you’re unsure of your entitlements.
Hire Our Top-Class New York City Insurance Bad Faith Lawyer
Dealing with a wrongful delay, denial, or termination of disability benefits by your insurance carrier can be a highly frustrating experience. However, there’s no need to suffer in silence. A top-class New York City insurance bad faith lawyer will be able to help you analyze your situation and decide on your next move.
Contact DarrasLaw today to schedule a free initial consultation, including a free policy or claim analysis.