Hi, I’m Nick Ortiz. I’m a long term disability attorney in Florida. Today, I want to talk to you about why you would consider hiring an attorney during the appeal process, as opposed to just hiring an attorney when it comes time to file a lawsuit against the insurance company.
Hiring an attorney as early as possible in the process is important for several reasons. The most important reason is because an attorney can help you develop the evidence that will be critical down the road if and when a lawsuit needs to be filed. This is especially important because in a long term disability case, most of the time, there is a federal regulation called ERISA, the Employee Retirement and Income Securities Act of 1974. This act specifies that if you have a lawsuit that goes against an insurance company, then the court can only consider what’s in the administrative claim file at the time that the insurance company made its decision. Which means that you need to get in all the evidence that you potentially think that you might use in a lawsuit during the appeal process, because you will not be allowed to introduce any new evidence in the lawsuit.
So, an attorney can help you determine all the key evidence, including opinion evidence from your doctors, vocational expert evidence, statements from you, statements from your friends and family, all this type of evidence that might be necessary to put in now, so that we might be able to use it in a lawsuit down the road. And oftentimes when individuals handle their own appeals, they don’t put in the type of evidence that could be useful or important, or critical in the lawsuit when they handle the claim by themselves.
So, you should really consider hiring an attorney early on in the process to help you develop the record and evidence that will be critical to litigating the case against the insurance company effectively. So if you would like to talk to an attorney about your case, then I encourage you to give us a call at 850-898-9904, and if you would like some additional information in general about the long term disability process, I encourage you to download a free copy of a book that I wrote called the Top 10 Mistakes That Will Destroy Your Long Term Disability Claim. You can download a copy of that book at www.freeltdbook.com. We look forward to hearing from you.