Unum Settles Lawsuit with Florida Chiropractor After Initially Denying Long-term Disability Claim

Dr. G’ s individual long-term disability insurance policy with National Life of Vermont (National Life), now owned and administered by Unum, were initially purchased shortly after his graduation from chiropractic college. Although after graduation, he initially worked and apprenticed under other chiropractors, his true desire was to one day open his own practice. With that aspiration in mind, he knew the importance of safeguarding his financial future and career from illness or injury and purchased his personal disability policy. The individual policy contained specific language, which provided that National Life would pay benefits if illness or injury prevented Dr. G from performing the substantial and material duties of his own occupation.

Torn Rotator Cuff and Arthritis Cause Total Disability from Own Occupation for Chiropractor

After a few years of apprenticing, Dr. G opened his private practice in Miami, Florida. Once he established his practice and developed his reputation as a skilled chiropractor, he found himself treating up to 40 patients a day performing manual chiropractic adjustments. Eventually, performing high velocity arm lever adjustment on over 200 patients per week took its toll, and Dr. G began experiencing pain in his right shoulder, as well as pain in his knees, wrists and hands. An MRI revealed that he had a torn rotator and x-rays revealed that he had developed degenerative osteoarthritis in his knees, wrists and hands.

Dr. G had surgery to repair his rotator cuff and did the only thing he could for his arthritis, which was to take prescribed and over the counter medication to control his pain and slow the progression. Unfortunately, despite his efforts, he continued to experience pain, stiffness and discomfort following his rotator cuff surgery, and his work adjusting patients only aggravated and worsened his arthritis.

Dr. G came to the difficult conclusion that he would have to discontinue treating patients with manual adjustments and file a claim for long-term disability benefits under his National Life policy.

Unum Pays Claim Under Reservation of Rights Without Accepting Liability Over Disability Claim

Soon after Dr. G submitted his claim application, Unum requested that he submit personal and corporate tax returns; profit and loss statements for his practice; medical records, amongst other items which he requested and submitted. While Unum reviewed the extensive documentation submitted by Dr. G, it agreed to pay several months of benefits under reservation of rights, without accepting any official liability for the claim pending its official decision. Ultimately, Unum concluded that Dr. G was not totally disabled from performing his chiropractic duties and discontinued paying monthly benefits.

Following Denial of Benefits Unum is Sued for Breach of Disability Insurance Contract

Immediately after receiving the letter from Unum informing him that his long-term disability claim was denied, Dr. G contacted the insurance agent that he purchased the policy through. Dr. G’s insurance agent was confident that he could speak with Unum and persuade the claim representative to reverse their decision. Unum agreed to review additional information pertinent to the claim, but ultimately refused to reverse its decision.

After failing to convince Unum to pay the claim, the agent recommended that Dr. G contact Cesar Gavidia with Attorneys Dell & Schaefer to discuss his legal options. Dr. G retained Cesar Gavidia and suit was filed against Unum for breach of contract. After months of litigation the parties agreed to meet to discuss settlement. Several weeks of negotiations ensued, with the parties zealously arguing their positions and points. Ultimately however, both Unum and Dr. G successfully reached a confidential settlement, where Dr. G agreed to accept a lump sum settlement in exchange for his policy, and the lawsuit against Unum was dismissed.

We are passionate about helping individuals that have been denied Unum disability insurance benefits and we have resolved more than 1,000 lawsuits against Unum.

DISABILITY INSURANCE COMPANY INFORMATION
Videos, Questions, Resolved Cases, Lawsuit Summaries & Company Reviews

disability insurance companies complaints

FAQ

Do you help Unum claimants nationwide?

We represent Unum 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 Unum disability insurance policy?

Our disability insurance lawyers help policy holders seeking short or long term disability insurance benefits from Unum. 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 Unum.

How do you help Unum claimants?

Our lawyers help individuals that have either purchased a Unum 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 Unum:

  • 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.

Reviews   *****

Leza A.

Extremely professional, knowledgeable, immediately responsive to all my calls and emails, always left comforted that my case is being given all that can be done to accomplish the best results after talking/emailing with Rachel Alters (my attorney) and her team. It has been the best decision I have ever made when I needed the best to help me at such a vulnerable time in my life of having to deal with being so ill and then the realization of the loss of my career that I loved so much, that I had given my all to, and was so successful at.

I can’t thank Dell & Schaefer (Rachel Alters & Team) enough for giving their all for me (my case).

Read 424 reviews

Speak With An Attorney Now

Request a free legal consultation: Call 800-682-8331 or Email Us