The idea of filing a lawsuit against a big insurance company — especially when you may already feel overwhelmed by your situation — can be intimidating. Even if you believe you have a strong case, the truth is that insurance companies work very hard to pay out as little as possible. That is, after all, how they remain profitable.
I know what to expect from disability insurance companies because I have experience working for them. For over a decade, I successfully defended insurance companies’ interests, learning their systems and how they think and act. Now, as a personal injury lawyer, I work to defend those who have been injured, striving to help my clients access the best that our system has to offer — rather than the worst.
If your long-term disability benefits have been denied and you are thinking about proceeding with a disability insurance lawsuit, here are some pointers on what you can expect from suing a long-term disability insurance company.
What Are Some Common Reasons for Filing A Disability Insurance Lawsuit?
In Ontario, private disability insurance may be available through employer-provided plans, or it may be something that people have purchased on their own. When you are injured, whether in a car accident, work accident, or some other event, you need time to heal and a way to get the care you need. The kinds of injuries that impact who qualify for disability benefits vary, but all have the potential to be devastating.
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injuries
- Motor vehicle accident injuries
- Psychological injury
- Mental illness
- Slips and falls
- Bicycle accidents
- Pedestrian injuries
- Sports and recreation injuries
Disability benefits are absolutely necessary for many Canadians who live with disabilities, especially if their disability is long-term or even lifelong. According to the 2018 Canadian Survey on Disability Reports, only 31% of people with severe disabilities are employed. Even then, people with severe disabilities are more likely to need additional medical care, caregiving and support, and even accessible technologies to help them get by.
Anyone can go from financial independence to needing disability benefits in the blink of an eye, and that’s why the help of an experienced lawyer is invaluable when it comes to suing a disability insurance company.
What Should I Look for in a Disability Insurance Lawsuit Attorney?
At Derek Wilson Personal Injury Law, we hope that you have decided to consult with us because you trust that our team has your best interests at heart. Still, we want you to feel comfortable in making the decision to hire the lawyer you are going to spend the next year or two working closely with on your case — these cases often do not move quickly!
Generally speaking, there are some red flags you can keep watch for when it comes to choosing who you want representing your case:
- They make promises about outcomes: No matter how confident I am that I can support you and help you to see a better outcome than you would without experienced representation, no ethical lawyer makes promises about the results of a case. Any promise or guarantee of high dollar amounts or timelines is simply irresponsible.
- They ignore reasonable requests for communication: Some law firms take on way more cases than they can handle, or they expect their employees to do the brunt of the work and communication. While it may not be reasonable to expect to be on your lawyer’s speed dial, you should feel like you are receiving regular updates and communication and that your lawyer is actively managing your case while providing you with timely and relevant information.
- They are not transparent about fee structures: Many personal injury attorneys charge on a contingency basis, but if they have not been clear about how much their percentage of your recovery amount or is otherwise avoiding committing to being transparent with you, it should definitely arouse your suspicions. Not to mention, the Law Society of Ontario holds very specific regulations around contingency fees and the disclosure of fees, including having an agreement in place. Additional information about contingency fees can be found in the Law Society’s Contingency fees: What you need to know information guide.
- They charge you for the first conversation: Charging a fee for short conversations with potential clients is one way to rack up a steady income, but it is likely not an encouraging sign that the lawyer you are speaking with is going to represent you only if they are fairly confident they can help you reach a successful outcome.
Ultimately, you want to feel you can expect honesty, compassion, and integrity from the personal injury law firm you are entrusting your case to. Will they advocate strongly on your behalf? Will they help you navigate through the legal process and make sure you understand everything, including the inevitable sophisticated legal jargon?
While there are certainly some cautions you should take when you move forward with a disability lawsuit, if you have concerns about accessing your disability benefits, it is usually best to consult with an attorney about your options.
How can disability insurance lawyers help ensure the best possible outcomes?
Every case is unique, and I never guarantee my clients with a certain outcome because no lawyer can forecast the future. However, I can use my experience in both sides of personal injury law — plaintiff and insurance defense — to provide clients with information so they can make educated decisions about what is best for their lives.
One of the benefits of hiring a disability insurance lawyer, especially one who has seen both sides of the courtroom in these kinds of cases, is knowing what tactics to expect from the insurance company.
Once your disability insurance benefits have been denied and you have made the decision to hire a lawyer, they are your first line of protection against some of the many obstacles or roadblocks that will be put up on the part of insurance adjusters. This is why insurance companies will almost always try to convince you not to hire a personal injury lawyer. According to a study done by the Insurance Research Council in the U.S., settlements with insurance companies were 40% higher when lawyers represented people making insurance claims.
By equipping clients with the tools they need to feel empowered and like their voices are being heard, I want to help clients walk away from helplessness and toward hopefulness.
How Can Derek Wilson Personal Injury Law Help?
I founded this firm in order to focus on being able to offer my personal attention and experienced legal representation to people who need it most. I represent a relatively small number of clients annually so that I can continue to give each my personal attention.
When you reach out to Derek Wilson Law, your intake will be conducted by one of my law clerks, who will pass on the more specific details of your case to me. If your intake indicates that your situation might benefit from legal representation, we will ask you to schedule a longer consultation with me. I’ll ask you to share more of your story with me, and together we can talk about your options. Call us at 855-769-0418 to schedule your free consultation, or get in touch online.