Filing a Lawsuit: Taking your Insurance Company to Court
Is It Time to Take my Life Insurer, my Disability Insurance Company or my Health Plan to Court?
If your health, life or disability insurance claim has been denied, and your internal appeals and other efforts at settling your claim have been rejected, you may have no other choice but to file a lawsuit against your insurance company or employee benefit plan. Similarly, if the decision on your life, health insurance or disability claim is taking an unreasonable amount of time, or your insurance company or employee benefit plan seems to be giving you the run around or otherwise violating your rights, you may be wondering whether it’s time to commence litigation.
Our lawyers have broad experience in New York state and federal courts and are well-versed in both New York insurance law (which generally governs private insurance policies purchased or delivered in New York) and the federal law called the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, or ERISA (which governs most life, health insurance, and disability claims that arise out of employer-provided plans). We have handled lawsuits challenging decisions by employee benefit plans (including disputed medical claims and short and long term disability claims), as well as those enforcing our clients’ rights with regard to privately purchased individual life, medical and disability income insurance policies. Some of these cases have resulted in full, reported decisions (a list of some of those cases is included in the biography pages for our life, health, and disability insurance lawyers, Mark P. Scherzer and A. Christopher Wieber.
In many cases, however, the dispute is settled before a judge or jury is asked to render a decision. Sometimes filing a lawsuit is enough to break the logjam, or the process of discovery (in which the parties are required to disclose information and documents in their possession) reveals facts which make the insurance company willing to approve or settle a disputed claim. Many such claims are settled or reinstated without ever going to a full trial or briefing.
Fighting your insurance company or employee benefit plan in court can seem like a daunting prospect, emotionally, physically, and financially. We try to minimize the strain by giving you honest advice, keeping you informed about the developments in your lawsuit, and working out a reasonable compensation agreement. In some cases, we may be able to handle your lawsuit on contingency, meaning that we will earn our fee only if we are successful in winning your benefits. In other cases, we can request that the court force your insurance company or employee benefit plan to reimburse you for your attorneys’ fees and costs. In all cases, we will try to provide you efficient services which balance a reasonable cost to you while zealously protecting your rights.
ERISA Disability and Health Insurance Lawyers in New York (including Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island, Albany, Amherst, Buffalo, Cheektowaga, Hempstead, Levittown, Mount Vernon, New Rochelle, Rochester, Schenectady, Syracuse, Troy, Utica, White Plains, and Yonkers)