ERISA Disability Lawyers
Handling ERISA Claims Nationwide
The Employment Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 was originally passed in an effort to address issues regarding the administration of pension funds. However, due to a number of federal judicial decisions, it has evolved into a far-reaching law which governs all private employee benefits including employer-sponsored health insurance and private disability insurance. ERISA provides protection for employees by setting minimum standards for pension and insurance plans, and assigning fiduciary duties to insurers. However, ERISA also provides immunity for insurance companies from legal repercussions pertaining to wrongfully denied claims.
Once an employee files a disability claim with his or her employer-sponsored disability insurance company, the insurance company will either approve or deny the claim. If a claim is denied, ERISA requires that a full and fair review of the denial be conducted. If the denial is upheld after an internal review, a claimant can file a lawsuit against an insurance company which denied his or her claim.
ERISA limits the damages a claimant can recover in a civil lawsuit. Under ERISA, no punitive damages can be imposed on employer-sponsored insurance companies for wrongfully denying claims. Due to the absence of significant repercussions, unscrupulous insurance companies often deny valid claims. ERISA limits a plaintiff’s damages to the amount that would have been paid if the claim was initially approved, interest, costs and attorney fees.
Claims governed by ERISA bear the highest burden of proof in civil cases. In order to convince the court to reverse an insurance company’s decision regarding a disability claim, the claimant must prove that the insurance company’s denial was arbitrary and capricious or abuse of discretion.
ERISA nationwide disability lawyers at Edelstein Martin & Nelson, LLP have extensive experience successfully recovering disability benefits for clients whose claims have been wrongfully denied. Because ERISA protected insurance plans are exempt from state regulations, we are able to represent clients in ERSIA matters nationwide. Our ERISA lawyers have achieved favorable outcomes for clients in Florida, Arizona, Nebraska, California and other states, including a $450K settlement for a client in Colorado. Call Edelstein Martin & Nelson toll free at 1-866-532-2504 or contact us online for a free case evaluation.