Nine Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Disability Lawyer
Sudbury disability lawyers at Paquette & Paquette pride themselves on helping clients understand their rights and get the compensation that is rightfully theirs. You expect that disability insurance will provide peace of mind and a reliable source of income if you are temporarily or permanently unable to work due to illness or injury such as depression, cancer, fibromyalgia, MS, or chronic pain. Unfortunately, the long-term disability (“LTD”) claims process can be very complex, and the insurance company may deny your claim, terminate your benefits, or demand additional evidence of your disability. If that is the case, it is important that you immediately seek legal advice from a lawyer with extensive LTD experience (contact our Sudbury disability lawyers now for help). If your LTD benefits have been denied or terminated, or you need legal advice with respect to your LTD claim, here are 9 questions to ask before hiring a disability lawyer.
Sudbury law firm on the top nine questions to ask a disability lawyer
How much experience do you have with handling long-term disability claims?
The LTD claims process is complex and highly specialized. Interpretation of insurance policies requires skill and there are different requirements to be met depending on whether you are facing denial or stoppage of benefits. You want to ensure the lawyer has solid expertise and a proven track record for successfully representing LTD claimants.
Are you familiar with my type of illness or injury?
Some medical conditions are more difficult to objectively assess, such as psychological conditions, chronic fatigue, and fibromyalgia. LTD insurers often reject these claims where the impairment is not “objective”. You need a disability lawyer with knowledge of your type of illness or injury and experience in gathering compelling medical evidence to establish the nature and extent of your disability.
What deadlines apply to my LTD claim?
If you wait too long to bring a claim or wait too long to take action against an insurance company for refusing to pay benefits, you may be prevented from asserting a claim.
What are my options and what steps do you recommend?
Depending on your case, you may be able to make an internal appeal; it may be that further medical evidence is needed to prove your disability; or it could be that it is necessary to start a lawsuit. A skilled LTD lawyer will explain your options and advise you on the best course of action.
How long will it take for me to get benefits or settlement?
Experienced disability lawyers will be able to estimate how long it will take to reach a resolution of your LTD claim and a skilled lawyer will likely be able to get faster results – a seasoned LTD lawyer understands the claims/denial process, and can readily identify what needs to be done to get benefits flowing or achieve final settlement.
Can you arrange an independent medical examination?
An independent medical examination ("IME") is conducted by a medical specialist who has never previously provided you with medical care. An IME is meant to provide unbiased evidence and can go a long way to substantiating your long-term disability claim. Your lawyer can also advise you on whether you are required to submit to an IME at the request of the insurance company.
How often will we meet and communicate?
You want a disability lawyer who is responsive and keeps you up to date on the status of your LTD claim. Your disability lawyer should provide you with a clear communication policy, including the best way to contact the lawyer if you have questions or concerns.
Do you offer a contingency fee arrangement?
When you are unable to work due to disability, you do not want to also have to worry about gathering funds to pay for legal fees. Ask if the lawyer will represent you on a contingency fee basis, which means the lawyer only gets paid if and when you receive benefits or settlement of your LTD claim.
Can you help carry the expenses associated with my case?
There are costs associated with obtaining medical records, arranging IMEs, and filing legal proceedings, for example, all of which may be essential to your disability benefits claim. It can be overwhelming to fathom paying those necessary expenses upfront when you are already suffering a loss of income due to disability. Ask your lawyer if they will carry these expenses, known as “disbursements”, until resolution of your case is achieved.
Get legal advice today from Sudbury disability lawyers
Sudbury’s Paquette & Paquette has been providing trusted advice and strong legal representation to clients for over 50 years. If you are considering hiring a long-term disability claim lawyer or have questions about an LTD claim, call us today at 1-877-767-6356 in Val Caron or 1-888-383-3751 in Sudbury. Disability lawyers at our firm can help you get the justice you deserve. If you are unable to come to one of our offices, we can come to you.
VAL CARON 705-897-7272
Toll Free 1-877-767-6356