Before checking to see if we handle the type of claim you have, remember – the clock could be running on your rights. Understand it is important to get a lawyer to examine your claim now, before that clock runs out.
Professional & Executive Disability Claims
Struggling through decades of education only to suddenly lose the ability to work in your chosen occupation can be a traumatic event. We understand the needs of professionals, and we represent them on a regular basis. Importantly, just as in every case, our team prides itself on being the most professional in the courtroom.
We handle cases involving long-term disability insurance for both ERISA (employer-provided) and non-ERISA (private policies) claims. The difference between these two broad categories of claims is quite substantial, and each claim is unique. Non-ERISA claims are subject to different laws in each state, so it is important to seek legal help. Even determining whether ERISA applies to a claim can be difficult in many cases, and insurers routinely take advantage of this uncertainty.
Your pension and retirement are far too important to skip seeking legal counsel if you believe there is an error in your benefits. After all, you have worked and planned for this period your entire life. There is room for a wide array of errors, ranging from unintentional miscalculations to non-communicated changes or wrong designations. Employers and human resource departments often do not realize they are violating your rights.
A class-action lawsuit is beneficial when a group of people has been negatively impacted in similar ways. Truth is, litigation is costly, sometimes so much so that an individual is unable to pursue a claim. Although a class action unites the claims of many, it is presented as a single case allowing for a more cost-efficient approach. Because the voice of many typically overrides the voice of one, there is substantial success in holding companies and insurers accountable through class actions. This also prevents large companies from getting away with tiny thefts from large groups of people. Given the costs and time involved, it is unlikely you could find anyone willing to litigate a case over $50. However, if an employer or insurer overcharged a large number of people by that amount, then a class action is available to remedy and prevent these wide-ranging, but low-impact abuses.
Health Care Benefits
You have health care benefits for a reason, and you have every right to expect your insurance company to honor its coverage. Unfortunately, some insurance companies make decisions based upon personal profit rather than the welfare of their policyholders. The claims processor does not know you and has not met you or held your hand during medical care or an elongated hospital stay. We know your story. We understand the company’s failure to pay health claims can result in long-term repercussions for you. We work to make sure the insurance company honors what they rightfully should so you and your loved ones can focus on recovery.
This is like no other type of law you have heard of or dealt with. ERISA is an acronym for the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974. A federal law, ERISA covers nearly all benefits provided by employers to employees such as insurance and retirement. By design, it was meant to protect the employees, but it has become a law that protects the employer and insurance company. It is complex in nature and requires an attorney who regularly handles this type of law.
Life Insurance and AD&D Claims
Your need for life insurance benefits necessarily comes during a very difficult time. Unfortunately, insurance companies often make the process even harder and more painful. Because grieving families should be allowed to focus solely on their loss and moving forward, Sinclair Law Firm will shoulder the burden of acquiring the benefits you are entitled to receive.
Top Hat Claims
A “Top-Hat” ERISA benefit plan is a rare breed of ERISA plan designed to benefit those in the top echelons of power within a company. It must meet certain stringent standards because if it is truly a “top-hat plan” it has a drastic effect on your rights. Normally ERISA provides certain protections to participants in the plan. Many of those protections are found under the heading of “fiduciary duties.” But in a “top-hat plan” the participants are high enough up in the ranks of the company that courts assume the participants can protect their own rights and don’t need ERISA’s fiduciary duties to protect them.
When an insurance company fails to pay a valid claim, it is guilty of failing to abide by its original promises. When that happens and a bad faith claim is filed in court, those court proceedings can last years. If the court finally holds the insurance company liable for their unjust denial, just making the company pay what it was supposed to in the first place is not enough. Otherwise, insurance companies would be free to deny all claims because there would be no punishment for bad conduct. When that unreasonable failure to fulfill a legal obligation occurs, bad faith claims are filed. In these cases, state laws allow individuals to seek punitive damages as punishment for dishonesty, which deters insurance companies from repeating that same bad faith behavior. These additional damages often far exceed the monetary injury suffered.
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