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How to choose a long-term disability lawyer?

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, slip and fall, or by a defective product, you may be entitled to claim benefits from your long-term disability insurer. Navigating an insurance claim can be a daunting task, particularly when living with the effects of a long-term disability. For this reason, it is important to actively seek out legal advice when you believe you may have a claim.

client and lawyer reviewing documents at a desk

Hiring a Lawyer to Handle Your Case

It is important to know that your long-term disability insurance policy can contain limitations you may not be aware of until you have already been injured.  Under certain circumstances, your claim may be denied for not being fully compliant with the terms of your policy, or the type of injury you suffer may not be covered in your policy. When accident victims have questions about getting insurance benefit compensation for their claims, especially about what’s fair and reasonable under the circumstances, a personal injury lawyer can help to clarify the terms of your policy. In some cases, you may require some assistance in recovering the maximum benefits under your policy.

If you carry long-term disability coverage and have questions about recovering benefits, or the limitations or exclusions in your policy, choosing an experienced personal injury lawyer is a vital first step to protect your rights. A lawyer who specializes in long-term disability claims can tell you how long you have to file a claim, walk you through the process, and make sure you receive the financial support you need to continue living a healthy, productive life.

Working with your lawyer on disability claim

It is important that when seeking legal advice on a disability claim, you take the time to find a lawyer who is both experienced and who you trust in handling your case. Because many long-term disability claims require you to share personal and sometimes very emotional details, you need to be sure you trust your lawyer’s expertise and their ability to handle your claim. Asking your lawyer to share details of their previous experience with claims like yours, their approach to providing service and their general philosophy towards personal injury law, will help establish if they are the right person to represent you.

Disabled man walks with crutches. These is a wheelchair in the background

How long should I wait to contact a personal injury lawyer?

Knowing when you need to contact a lawyer is not always straightforward, and when dealing with a long-term disability claim, claimants are often faced with life-altering conditions. Nonetheless, the short answer to when to contact a lawyer is that when you are unsure of your rights under an insurance policy, you should seek legal advice to clarify and explain anything that is unclear.
Long-term disability claims can be complex and long-drawn affairs. Many things can happen from the time of injury and the approval of a claim. Even after approval, insurance companies may, and upon further evidence or change in circumstance, reconsider their decision. The length of time which long-term disability plans offer coverage can vary and are dependent on a variety of factors, including the type of policy you have and the type of injury you have sustained. Typically coverage can last from one year up to the age you retire at age 65. It is worth noting that the number of years you can potentially be covered should be clearly indicated in your policy. In such a situation it is important to obtain legal advice in order to protect your rights and fight to have your coverage reinstated.
In addition to the complexity of the claims process, insurance companies almost always initiated investigations into the claims being submitted to ensure their validity. With this in mind, when making a claim there is a likelihood that you may be subject to surveillance, which in the modern era can include monitoring your social media. Such tactics of investigations may not be at the front of a claimant’s mind but are nonetheless a reality with long-term disability claims.
Navigating, applying for or appealing a denial of coverage can be emotionally taxing. For this reason, hiring a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible is recommended as they will be familiar with the procedures, time frames and guidelines for submitting or challenging a decision by an insurance company.

Legal fees and payment arrangements

Being clear about how you can expect to be billed will allow you to prepare financially for the expenses related to your claim. Living on a fixed income because of your age or disabilities should not prevent you from seeking the benefits you may be entitled to.

Many claims will be accepted on a contingency fee basis, which means that legal fees will be recovered as a percentage of any settlement. For payment of ongoing disbursements and any legal fees billed on an hourly basis, we are generally willing to work out a regular payment schedule that fits within our client’s budget.

What should I bring to my first consultation?

The initial consultation with a personal injury lawyer is intended to help you better understand the situation you find yourself in, and for the lawyer to familiarize themselves with your claim. It is important to be open and honest in this meeting because even information which may appear minor could have a significant impact on your case. For example, disclosing that you have a pre-existing condition that may be worsened by your injury is important for your lawyer to know at the start of your relationship, as it assists them in getting a full picture of your health pre and post-onset of disability.
Our lawyers will dedicate enough time during your first consultation to understand the details of your claim, and to get to know you as a client. Arriving with the following information will help your lawyer to better understand your case:
– the details of your insurance coverage, including the name of your insurance company, your policy number and the name of your insurance agent or adjuster;
– the names and contact information of your doctors and other health care providers, and a list of hospitals where you have received treatment for your injury;
– photo identification.

Attending a consultation does not necessarily mean that you have retained the lawyer you’ve met with; however, anything you discuss in this meeting is confidential. As such, when you are faced with a question about whether or not to hire a personal injury lawyer to assist with your long-term disability claim, come prepared to share your story knowing it is being discussed with the strictest of confidence.

Taking Action

If you feel you have a valid long or short term disability claim and you have questions or need assistance at any stage remember to contact the Disability Lawyers at FDT Law at 1-800-563-6348 to get a consultation.

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    *Please note: Sending an email to us will not make us your lawyers. You will not be considered a client of the firm until we have agreed to act for you in accordance with our usual policies for accepting clients. Unless you are a current client of FDT LLP, please do not include any confidential information in your email. No information you send us can be held in confidence and no information we provide to you can be treated as legal advice unless and until we have agreed to act for you.