Too Much Is at Stake To Give Up or Go It Alone. That’s What the Insurance Company Wants You To Do.
Use privacy settings on your Social Media accounts and other online forums. Insurance companies monitor Facebook and other online accounts to find information about your activities. They use activity found there to argue you are not disabled and should be able to work. Avoid having to explain your posts by minimizing your use of Social Media and using privacy settings.
Be truthful and thorough when you present your medical conditions, especially if you have co-morbid or multiple conditions.
When & Why Hire an Attorney?
While you can submit your own appeal, doing so is risky. This is because the strength of a lawsuit depends on the quality of the appeal. Because ERISA cases at litigation are treated as a review of the administrative record (i.e., evidence submitted during the appeals process), a poorly prepared appellate record can severely hurt your case. Except in very limited circumstances, new evidence cannot be submitted after an appeal. So appealing is your one chance to ensure a strong case, particularly if filing a lawsuit becomes necessary to get your benefits.
Sadly, we may need to decline a case if we do not have the opportunity to develop the record on appeal. This is because the administrative record must contain evidence strong enough to overcome the deference a federal judge likely applied toward the insurance company’s decision. When you hire our highly experienced disability lawyers, you can be assured everything possible was done to prevail in every appeal because these efforts establish the likelihood of success at litigation.
The appealing process can feel discouraging and overwhelming, but you should not give up on the disability benefits you deserve. This is exactly what the insurance company hopes you will do. Call us for support and know you are not alone in this process.
Also, if your claim is governed by ERISA, you are generally required to exhaust the appeals process before bringing a lawsuit. This means, if you do not appeal, you could lose the ability to pursue your benefits if you do not appeal. And, your appeal matters! Unlike other areas of the law, ERISA largely limits the evidence you are allowed to present in court to the evidence you present in support of your appeal. Therefore, the appeals process is an extremely important part of your disability case. Even if you are unsure as to whether you want to file a lawsuit, you should still participate in appealing, or forever lose your right to seek benefits later.
Always consult with a disability attorney before submitting appeals and before filing claims to avoid any pitfalls. You are entitled to representation and we can help you like we have so many others. We routinely go up against insurance companies and know what it takes to get your benefits. With so much at stake to protect your livelihood, don’t go at it alone.
We’re Here for You. Get the Help You Need Today!
There are two main ways attorneys can charge a client for services: an hourly rate or a contingent fee. Most people seeking disability benefits cannot afford to pay an by the hour, so most disability attorneys will take disability cases on a contingent-fee basis. This means that you pay for the attorney’s services from a percentage of the amounts they helped you recover.
There are many ways to structure the contingent fee agreement. Some attorneys fix a percentage that remains the same throughout the representation. Sometimes the percentage varies depending on the stage of the case to reflect that additional work required at each stage. For example: It is not uncommon for a lawyer to charge a contingent fee for the initial appeal of an insurance company’s decision to deny or terminate benefits and to increase the percentage if the case needs to be litigated, and to increase again if the case then requires appeal to a higher court.
Disability cases sometimes result in a client receiving continued monthly disability benefit payments, which may continue for years. These future benefits are part of the recovery and subject to the contingent fee. Depending on the amount of the monthly benefit, this could result in a total contingent fee that may not be practical. Even if the fee agreement allows for the attorney to collect fees on future benefits, at the end of a case, the State Bar of Arizona requires attorneys to look back and evaluate whether the contingent fee is reasonable under all the circumstances. To keep fees reasonable, lawyers may reduce the contingent fee percentage on future benefits, only take the contingent fee on part of the future benefits, or cap the total amount of the contingent fee.
Another consideration is if you have disability lawsuit and the case is litigated to verdict and you prevail, the court may order the defendant (insurance carrier) to pay all or part of your attorney’s fees. Such an award would provide an offset against the contingent fee and may cover all or part of the contingent fee.
OPR Disability Law does not have a “standard” contingent fee. One size does not fit all. Our Firm takes a small percentage contingent fee for the internal appeal process. The percentage increases at each stage of the process. When working with a client to set fees, we take into account: how long our client will receive benefits (the longer a client is on claim, the larger the claim file will be), the amount of the monthly benefit, the number of years of future benefits, whether there are damages in addition to benefits at issue, and whether the client wants us to continue to handle their claim if they are continuing to receive benefits. Our goal is to help you recover the disability benefits you are entitled to and to ensure they are not only initially received but continuously maintained. This is a unique benefit to working with our firm. Most firms do not provide continued support after your case is won to ensure your benefits are maintained. Insurance companies use many tactics to avoid paying disability benefits after claims are won. That’s why we provide you this additional care and protection:
Winning a case is not the whole battle. Ensuring your benefits are received and maintained is. After your case is won, we will continuously monitor and deal with the insurance company for you. We receive the insurance company’s forms and requests and and respond to them for you. Unless absolutely necessary, we avoid putting any of the burden on the client. For clients who are paying a contingent fee on future benefits as a result of our representation, this service is included in the fee. Clients may also negotiate a flat monthly fee for this service, if that is preferred.
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