• Are Attorney's Fees Recoverable in an ERISA Disability Denial Case?Are Attorney's Fees Recoverable in an ERISA Disability Denial Case?

If my long term disability claim is wrongfully denied will the insurance company pay my attorney’s fee if I win my case?

The answer to this question depends on multiple factors. If your disability policy is governed by ERISA then the court will conduct an analysis to determine if an attorney’s fee award should be granted. To learn more about this analysis please see our discussion on attorney fees for ERISA governed claims.

If your claim is not governed by ERISA then an attorney fee award will usually depend on the attorney fee statutes in the state in which your policy was delivered. Most states do not provide attorney fees for prevailing parties in long-term disability insurance cases. In states that do have attorney fee statutes there is sometimes a requirement to prove intentional bad faith conduct in order to collect attorney fees. In all states, a disability insurance company will never be required to pay attorney fees unless the case is won at trial. In rare circumstances, a disability carrier will agree to pay attorney fees prior to trial.

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FAQ

Do you work in my state?

Yes. We are a national disability insurance law firm that is available to represent you regardless of where you live in the United States. We have partner lawyers in every state and we have filed lawsuits in most federal courts nationwide. Our disability lawyers represent disability claimants at all stages of a claim for disability insurance benefits. There is nothing that our lawyers have not seen in the disability insurance world.

What are your fees?

Since we represent disability insurance claimants at different stages of a disability insurance claim we offer a variety of different fee options. We understand that claimants living on disability insurance benefits have a limited source of income; therefore we always try to work with the claimant to make our attorney fees as affordable as possible.

The three available fee options are a contingency fee agreement (no attorney fee or cost unless we make a recovery), hourly fee or fixed flat rate.

In every case we provide each client with a written fee agreement detailing the terms and conditions. We always offer a free initial phone consultation and we appreciate the opportunity to work with you in obtaining payment of your disability insurance benefits.

Do I have to come to your office to work with your law firm?

No. For purposes of efficiency and to reduce expenses for our clients we have found that 99% of our clients prefer to communicate via telephone, e-mail, fax, GoToMeeting.com sessions, or Skype. If you prefer an initial in-person meeting please let us know. A disability company will never require you to come to their office and similarly we are set up so that we handle your entire claim without the need for you to come to our office.

How can I contact you?

When you call us during normal business hours you will immediately speak with a disability attorney. We can be reached at 800-682-8331 or by email. Lawyer and staff must return all client calls same day. Client emails are usually replied to within the same business day and seem to be the preferred and most efficient method of communication for most clients.

Reviews   *****

Meg N., MD

Working with Dell & Schaefer has been a consistently positive experience. My life changed precipitously as well as my career and ability to support my family. Over time, discussing simple issues with my disability insurer became more and more difficult. I reached a point of frustration one late afternoon from the west coast and decided to call and leave a message for the next day. Greg Dell actually picked up the phone ( it was 730 P his time) and was enormously helpful and thoughtful. That same thorough care has occurred in my ongoing relationship with Cesar Gavidia over the last 6+ years. He is organized, knowledgeable and accomplishes what needs to get done.

Most importantly, but still surprisingly, he has been incredibly thoughtful, kind and empathetic – all nice perks for those going through the torment of disability. I have come a long way in my ability to cope but knowing that I did not have to keep dealing and being demeaned with my disability insurer has meant the world. I know this seems overly enthusiastic, but it is all true.

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