If your long term disability claim was denied, you may be considering filing a lawsuit against your insurance company. While you generally do have the right to take legal action— you can not simply run into the nearest courtroom. In fact, under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), claimants are required to exhaust their administrative remedies before they file a lawsuit. In this article, our Chicago long term disability attorney explains the most important things that you need to know about exhausting your administrative remedies under ERISA.
Before you can bring an ERISA disability lawsuit to court, you will be required to submit an administrative appeal directly to the insurance company. To be clear, this is a mandatory step in the process. You can not simply file a lawsuit after a disability denial. Of course, this is not necessarily a bad thing — in many cases, long term disability denials can be successfully appealed and/or settled during an administrative review. A top-rated Chicago ERISA lawyer may be able to help you get full disability benefits without actually going through the full litigation process.
You should speak to a long term disability attorney as soon as you receive a denial letter. Far too many claimants wait to seek professional legal help until after their administrative appeal has already been completed and their claim has been rejected a second time. This is a huge mistake.
In ERISA litigation, courts are largely restricted in the evidence that can be reviewed. If you fail to submit relevant evidence — potentially including medical records, vocational records, and witness testimony — directly to your insurer during the administrative appeal, you may simply lose out on the ability to use that evidence in court. To protect your rights, make sure that you hire an ERISA disability attorney who can help you build the best administrative appeal possible. Not only will this dramatically increase your odds of getting a successful settlement outside of the courtroom, but it will also ensure that your rights are protected should you need to file a disability lawsuit.
We can help. At the Law Offices of Michael Bartolic, our top-rated long term disability lawyer is a compassionate, aggressive advocate for claimants. If your disability claim was denied in Illinois, we will help you craft a strong appeal. For a free initial consultation, please do not hesitate to contact our Chicago law office today.