• Principal Disability Lawsuit & Benefit Denial Tips To Get PaidPrincipal Disability Lawsuit & Benefit Denial Tips To Get Paid

Principal Disability Lawsuit and Benefit Denial Tips To Get Paid

Whether you’ve just appealed a disability insurance denial or are ready to file a disability insurance lawsuit against your long term disability insurance carrier, you may be wondering what to expect from the process. Each disability insurance carrier has different policies and procedures, and Principal is no different. Learn more about what to expect when you sue Principal for disability insurance benefits, whether you have a group or an individual long term disability insurance policy.

The Litigation of a Group Disability Policy Governed by ERISA Differs from a Private Policy

Many disability insurance carriers tend to primarily offer either group or individual long term disability insurance policies, although Principal offers a good mix of both policy types. Group disability policies that are litigated under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) are very different from private individual policies litigated under state contract law, and the path your disability insurance claim will take during litigation depends on the type of policy you have.

ERISA or group disability claims require claimants whose claims are denied to take one mandatory appeal, asking the disability insurance carrier to look over the case again. Once an appeal has been decided, the claimant may sue – but the case will be referred to mediation before it’s brought to a judge.

On the other hand, individual long term disability policies are litigated in state law, with jury trials available, and without internal appeal and mediation requirements. This can allow these claims to resolve themselves more quickly, often in the form of an out-of-court settlement.

How Long Will a Disability Lawsuit Against Principal Financial Take?

The answer to this question again depends on whether a claimant has an individual or group disability insurance policy. Because ERISA policies are litigated under federal law, their timelines are a bit more predictable; it generally takes about a year to get to trial. And this trial isn’t like the ones you often see on television. These cases are generally decided on a paper record, with no direct witness testimony or oral argument available. This is the reason it’s important to get your ducks in a row early, as the strength of your claim depends entirely on how good it looks on paper.

Individual insurance policy lawsuits can take a year or longer to resolve themselves as well. Because the standard of review is more generous than in ERISA cases, individual lawsuits tend to settle well before trial, shortening the timeline a bit. Individual long term disability policies are litigated under state contract law, not federal law like ERISA claims. Jury trials are available, and to recover benefits, the claimant needs only to show that they’re too disabled to work (according to the policy’s definition of disability). In most cases, this is an easier standard to meet than the standard applied to ERISA claims.

Why Do 95% of Disability Lawsuits Resolve in a One Time Lump Sum Settlement?

The vast majority of long term disability claims we see resolve themselves well before any trial can be scheduled. In most cases, these settlements involve a lump sum payment intended to buy out the long term disability insurance policy. This essentially allows the insurance carrier to sever legal and financial ties with the claimant. Claimants have some cash in the bank and no longer have to worry about being suddenly cut off from benefits, while Principal has a way to quantify its losses and move on. Because insurance companies always have a vested interest in settling a claim for as little as possible, it’s important to seek legal advice before accepting any settlement offer. Even if a dollar amount sounds generous to you, it may not be enough to fairly compensate you based on the strength of your disability claim and the language of your long term disability policy.

There are no Legal Fees or Costs Unless We Make a Recovery of Benefits

At Dell & Schaefer, we know how tough it can be to go up against these major disability insurance carriers alone. When we represent long term disability claimants in a lawsuit against their insurance carrier, we don’t charge any fees or costs unless we recover benefits on your behalf. This provides us an incentive to win and settle cases – if we don’t, we don’t get paid. If you’re ready to get started with your long term disability lawsuit, give us a call today to set up your FREE consultation.

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Do you help Principal claimants nationwide?

We represent Principal clients nationwide and we encourage you to contact us for a FREE immediate phone consultation with one of our experienced disability insurance attorneys.

Can you help with a Principal disability insurance policy?

Our disability insurance lawyers help policy holders seeking short or long term disability insurance benefits from Principal. We have helped thousands of disability insurance claimants nationwide with monthly disability benefits. With more than 40 years of disability insurance experience we have helped individuals in almost every occupation and we are familiar with the disability income policies offered by Principal.

How do you help Principal claimants?

Our lawyers help individuals that have either purchased a Principal long term disability insurance policy from an insurance company or obtained short or long term disability insurance coverage as a benefit from their employer.

Our experienced lawyers can assist with Principal:

  • ERISA and Non-ERISA Appeals of Disability Benefit Denials
  • ERISA and Non-ERISA Disability Benefit Lawsuits
  • Applying For Short or Long Term Disability Benefits
  • Daily Handling & Management of Your Disability Claim
  • Disability Insurance Lump-Sum Buyout or Settlement Negotiations

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.

Dell & Schaefer Client Reviews   *****

H. W.

When I first called Dell & Schaefer from half way across the country, Steven Dell called me backed and he took my case very seriously and acted quickly to help me apply for benefits. His work got me the benefits I deserved. When I stopped getting benefits because the insurance company thought they no longer had to pay them, Steven Dell appealed the decision in a timely fashion all the while reassuring me as I panicked. His knowledge of the law and of my policy made my appeal very strong.

When they denied my appeal he was immediately on the phone with the attorneys for the insurance company and with very strong arguments, he negotiated a significant settlement for me. All during this time he responded to my emails and phone calls in a timely fashion and he was able to reassure me regarding the time that the process took. His staff was also very pleasant and helpful, especially Merlin.

I have really come to respect Steven Dell’s abilities and his integrity. My only regret is that I have never met him in person and have not been able to shake his hand and thank him for all he has done for me.

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