Experienced Disability Attorneys Protecting Clients In And Around Florida
We Help Floridians Get the Disability Benefits to Which They Are Entitled Under the Law
Our Florida disability attorney found that nearly 27 percent of Floridians older than 21 have a disability? That’s more than one out of every four Florida citizens.
If you struggle with a disability in Florida, you’re not alone. Surveys report that only 30 percent of all Floridians with a disability are employed. Although it’s difficult to work with a disability, some Floridians have no other options. Their individual or group long-term disability insurance company may have wrongfully delayed or denied their benefits. Some disabled Floridians simply don’t know how to properly apply for their disability benefits. Other disabled Florida citizens can’t work but are still not receiving the long-term disability benefits they need.
In fact, reports indicate that only 20 percent of disabled Floridians receive federal disability benefits. This means that nearly 80 percent of Florida’s disabled population may need to rely on individual or group long-term disability insurance. However, for-profit insurance conglomerates run these disability policies, and work to find ways to save themselves money by wrongfully denying you the benefits for which you dearly paid.
The award-winning, experienced disability insurance attorneys at DarrasLaw have more than 100 years of combined litigation and claim experience fighting for the rights of disabled workers. Led by nationally revered Florida disability attorney Frank N. Darras, DarrasLaw fights to prevent your insurance company from standing in the way of your valid disability claim.
Florida Employer-Sponsored Disability Insurance
Your disability carrier isn’t looking to help you with your valid individual or long-term disability insurance claim. Instead, your customer care representative may try to convince you that you don’t qualify for disability benefits. Remember, private disability insurance companies are for-profit enterprises. Insurance companies want to make money, not distribute it. Depending on the provisions and limitations of your individual or group long-term disability insurance policy, you may not need to suffer from a total disability to claim benefits. If you find performing certain essential tasks extremely difficult as the result of pain or impaired physical or mental problems, you may qualify for partial disability benefits with your private individual or group disability insurer.
If you have trouble carrying out daily tasks or the important duties of your occupation due to an illness or injury, take advantage of DarrasLaw’s free insurance policy analysis and claim consultation. Our top-rated, experienced Florida disability attorney will review your insurance policy to determine whether you qualify for disability benefits or you need help with an appeal.
Your employer may offer you a group long-term disability insurance as a part of your employee benefits package. In addition, your employer may pay all or part of your disability premium, or you may simply get a discounted rate as part of the group policy. Either way, employer-sponsored disability group insurance doesn’t generally travel with you when you change or leave your employer.
If you qualify for group disability benefits, most plans cover only a percentage of your lost wages. However, your disability insurance plan may also carve out exceptions and exclusions to coverage, limitations on your group benefits, or claim application requirements. For this reason, review your policy with an experienced individual insurance disability lawyer from DarrasLaw before you apply for individual or group benefits. The top-rated disability insurance attorneys from DarrasLaw can help you avoid the pitfalls that disability insurance companies set for you early in the claim application process.
In fact, insurers hope that you won’t challenge a bad-faith individual denial or timely appeal your group disability denial. The sooner you get an award-winning individual disability insurance attorney from DarrasLaw involved in the claim process, the less likely your insurance company will delay or wrongfully deny your valid disability claim.
Florida Individual Disability Insurance Policies
Not all Florida employers offer disability insurance for their employees. Furthermore, if you are self-employed or work as an independent contractor, you will need your own private individual disability insurance. Individual disability insurance also follows you—if you change or leave an employer, you keep your coverage. If you are a working woman, get pregnant, and stay at home to raise kids, your coverage follows you back to work.
Before you buy an individual disability policy, review the features, advantages, and benefits of the proposed policy with a seasoned Florida disability attorney from DarrasLaw for free.
The distinction between individual and group disability insurance policies is actually vital to your valid claim. It is a lot easier for a group disability carrier to wrongfully deny your valid claim than it is for an individual disability insurance carrier. This is because of a very insurance-friendly set of federal laws that applies to group disability policies.
If your individual disability insurance company wrongfully denied your valid claim, you generally have the right to immediately file your lawsuit in a court of law. The law will afford you:
- The right to a trial before a judge and jury.
- The judge and jury don’t need to assume the individual disability insurance company’s wrongful denial was correct.
- The right to call witnesses to testify on your behalf. You can call your treating doctors, friends, employer and coworkers, family members, or even expert witnesses to testify about your disability.
- The right to discovery will allow you to request evidence from your individual disability insurance company about how and why it wrongfully delayed or denied your benefits.
- The right to cross-examine insurance company witnesses. This means your disability insurance lawyer can ask the individual disability insurance company’s representatives questions under oath about your wrongful denial of benefits. Your disability insurance attorney may even cross-examine the often improperly credentialed insurance company-hired doctors or on-site company physicians who may have found you were not disabled.
The top-rated Florida disability attorney at DarrasLaw can litigate immediately the bad-faith denial of your valid individual disability insurance claim. They will fight for your right to benefits in court while protecting you against the insurance company’s team of defense lawyers.
Appealing a Disability Group Policy’s Wrongful Denial of Benefits
When it comes to employer-sponsored group disability insurance, the rules governing appeals are extremely complex. These plans fall under a set of federal laws called the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). Group-sponsored disability plans, including plans sponsored by labor unions, are generally covered by ERISA.
Unlike with an individual disability plan, you do not have the same legal rights when a wrongful denial of benefits under a group long-term disability insurance plan is governed by ERISA. In all cases, you do not have the right to a trial by jury. The standard of review of either de novo or arbitrary and capricious depends on what jurisdiction in America you live in. You do not have the right to call witnesses on your behalf or depose anyone. ERISA cases don’t allow the insured to submit any evidence that is not also contained in their administrative appeal records. Furthermore, if you failed to timely file an administrative appeal with your insurance company, the court will generally dismiss your case.
Before making a claim-ending fatal mistake, consult an award-winning Florida long-term disability lawyer from DarrasLaw. If your group’s long-term disability insurance company wrongfully denied your valid claim, we can help you properly appeal and fight back. No other individual or long-term disability litigation firm has greater experience or recovered more benefits for their clients than Frank N. Darras and his firms. We have taken on every major disability insurance company in the nation—and won.
Fighting for Your Rights During a Group ERISA Administrative Appeal
If your group disability insurance company wrongfully denied your valid claim, you must file a timely, comprehensive, legally sufficient administrative appeal. Depending on the terms and limitations of your disability policy, you only have a certain amount of time to file an administrative appeal after receiving your group denial notice.
Your insurance company will send you a letter laying out your right to submit your administrative appeal. However, it won’t tell you that your federal lawsuit will be limited to the documents you submit during the group long-term disability administrative appeal.
Many people faced with a bad-faith denial may assume their disability carriers made a mistake because their disabilities are so straightforward. In this case, a beneficiary may only submit a few medical records, or just ask for an appeal to be done, assuming that will set the record straight. This is not the case—and then your entire federal lawsuit will be based on only those few records or the short request to appeal the decision.
Never assume that a multimillion-dollar for-profit insurance company is looking to timely approve and pay your valid disability claim. Your disability insurance carrier makes money off of your premiums, hoping it will never have to payout. When you file a valid disability claim, your individual or group long-term disability carrier will do everything it can to limit your payments. Whether that means wrongfully denying you benefits, cutting off your payments, or paying doctors with the wrong training or specialization to certify that you are no longer disabled, you need an experienced Florida disability attorney from DarrasLaw on your side.
Disability claims are typically denied for “medical” reasons if the insurance company’s “independent” doctor reports that you do not have enough documented limitations. That insurance-hired doctor may do this after a quick evaluation, despite all of your treating physician’s chart notes and medical records to the contrary. In addition, doctors hired by the insurance company frequently lack the proper claim file records, full vocational training, or proper specialization to evaluate your specific disability.
Remember, the insurance company pays these reviewing doctors and their goal is seldom to help you take more of the insurance company’s money. Though a different insurance company doctor may review your records during the group administrative appeal, this rarely makes a difference. Occasionally, if you neglected to submit certain paperwork during your initial disability claim, a group administrative appeal might prove successful if you faced a non-medical denial. It may also prove successful if the denial was clearly erroneous and you have a top-rated, experienced disability insurance lawyer from DarrasLaw on your side during your administrative appeal or federal lawsuit.
Don’t Delay. Call DarrasLaw Today to Schedule a Free Consultation With a Florida Disability Attorney
The nationally recognized Florida ERISA lawyers at DarrasLaw is here for you during every stage of the disability claims process. Whether you need someone to review a policy you may buy or your current disability insurance policy, interpret your claim application questions, or protect your legal rights, our goal is to protect you from bad-faith disability claim denials by Florida’s insurance conglomerates. Frank N. Darras and his firms have recovered nearly a billion dollars in wrongfully denied insurance benefits for hard-working Americans, and we can recover your wrongfully denied benefits too.
Frank N. Darras is the top disability attorney in the United States. With more than 30 years of hard-fought claim and litigation experience fighting for your rights against teams of insurance lawyers, he knows how to protect his disabled clients.
Our individual and group disability insurance policy analysis and insurance claim consultation are free. We evaluate claims and appeals throughout the country, including Florida. We are on your side, and we will fight to ensure your right to benefits. Email us or call (800) 458-4577 today to schedule your free meeting with one of our individual disability insurance lawyers.