Hi, I’m Nick Ortiz. I’m a board certified disability insurance attorney. Today I’m here to answer the question, what are my chances of winning a lawsuit in a long-term disability claim?
The first thing we need to do is clarify what we mean by the term, “Winning a law suit.” What I mean by that is, oftentimes when a case goes to court, the vast majority of long-term disability claims settle, and by that I mean settle for a lump sum, where the claimant is not necessarily put on claim where they’re getting monthly benefits again, and those benefits are reinstated, but instead they accept a lump sum payment and they go their separate ways from the insurance company.
So if you define that as the win, as getting a recovery, a settlement in the case, then the vast majority of claims that do go to court do end up settling. In fact in our own firm’s experience, about 95% of our cases settle for a lump sum payment. In our own firm’s experience we do have a couple cases that are going to go to what we call cross motions for summary judgment, where we are going to let the court decide which side wins, and it becomes an all or nothing. Either the claimant wins benefits, and their benefits are reinstated, or the insurance company wins and the claimant receives nothing. So far there hasn’t been a final decision issued by the court in those cases, but again most of our cases have settled before then.
But now let’s talk about cases more generally, and more nationally. When you look at decisions that are issued by the court on cross motions for summary judgment, you’ll see that the insurance company wins those cases that do not settle about anywhere from 80-85% of the time. As I tell people, I don’t think it’s because we have bad lawyers on our side of the fence, in fact I think we have a lot of good lawyers fighting for plaintiffs, on the plaintiff’s side.
However it goes to show that the law is so heavily favored in favor of the insurance companies that they win 80-85% of the time. So when you turn that around, the insurance companies understand that they might have a 15 or 20% chance of losing, so they multiply that 15 or 20% chance against the total value of the claim, and that’s oftentimes where they want to settle the cases, for about 15 or 20% of the total value of the case.
Our goal in representing claimants is the exact opposite of the insurance companies’ goal. We want to obtain the largest settlement possible for our clients. It is possible to settle LTD cases that have gone to court for 20-50% of the total present value of the claim. Some may settle for an even larger percentage if the case is well supported by the medical and opinion evidence, and the insurance company’s decision is without any reasonable basis.
Because every case is so unique and so different, I do encourage you to give a call to an experienced attorney to discuss your individual case. Our office does handle long-term disability insurance claims, we have two attorneys in our office at this point in time. I encourage you to give us a call at 850-898-9904 to discuss your case.
Or, if you want to download additional information about the long-term disability process, I encourage you to go to www.freeltdbook.com, and download a free e-book that I wrote, called “The Top 10 Mistakes That Will Destroy Your Long-Term Disability Claim.” Thanks for watching, look forward to hearing from you.