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Liberty Mutual Disability Claims Lawyer

CaveyLaw.com > Disability Insurance Companies > Liberty Mutual Disability Claims Lawyer

You bought your Liberty Mutual disability insurance policy with the promise that Liberty Mutual would be there for you and your family if you become disabled and unable to work.  You thought you were buying financial peace of mind!

 

The History of “Slippery Mutual” and Its Buyout by Lincoln National

 

The nickname for Liberty says it all! Just type into your browser the term “Slippery Mutual” and up comes Liberty Mutual. On May 1, 2018, Liberty Mutual was swallowed whole by Lincoln National. Unfortunately, Lincoln National did not fire the Liberty Mutual employees and I fully expect that it will take years for Lincoln National to understand it bought trouble.  Liberty policy holder’s claims will be handled the same despite the fact that Lincoln National owns the book of business.

 

Liberty Mutual got its start offering workers’ compensation insurance to employers and, as a workers’ compensation attorney, I have litigated hundreds of cases against them. It doesn’t matter if it is a workers’ compensation case or a disability claim, Liberty is as slippery as a bar of soap. Don’t let their TV ads fool you because Liberty Mutual’s claim handling methods are based on long-standing company policies that disregard the rights of injured employees who are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits and the rights of policyholders who are entitled to their disability insurance benefits.

 

Liberty Mutual plays games with initial applications and makes endless and multiple requests for medical, financial, and vocational information before it figures out a way to deny benefits. This delay and denial strategy drains your bank accounts as you try to stay financially afloat. Liberty Mutual uses “liar for hire” doctors who give Liberty Mutual the ammunition it needs to justify a claim’s denial or termination. Liberty Mutual rarely tells a denied policyholder, like you, the real reasons the claim was denied. Worse yet, Liberty Mutual fails to fully explain what you need to submit to successfully win an appeal. That’s why it is crucial that you be represented at both the initial application and appeal stages of a Liberty Mutual claim by an experienced lawyer, like me, who battles Liberty Mutual daily.

You Don’t Have to Face Liberty Mutual Alone

 

Some Liberty Mutual policyholders make the mistake of going it alone and they pay dearly for doing it themselves. Once the appeals process is exhausted (and that really means you are exhausted by the endless requests for information and battling with Liberty Mutual), the only recourse is to file a lawsuit.

 

If you purchased your insurance through your employer, the policy is most likely governed by the Employee Retirement Security Act or ERISA. Despite its name, the ERISA statute and regulations are NOT policyholder friendly.  You CANNOT add anything to the claims file after the last denial so all the Federal judge gets to see is what is in Liberty Mutual’s file which is stuffed with medical and vocational opinions that are favorable to Liberty Mutual. You didn’t know enough to get the claims file when you appealed, didn’t know enough to add medical, vocational or lay evidence to the file, or didn’t make the right arguments, you have all but destroyed your case.

 

An appeal of a denied Liberty Mutual claim is the trial of your case. Taking on a tough insurance company like Liberty Mutual is an endeavor for a specialist such as me. If and when you sue, a federal judge will give Liberty Mutual the benefit of the doubt because your Liberty Mutual policy requires you to prove they are wrong and not the other way around. You owe it to yourself and your family to have an experienced disability attorney, like me, take on Liberty Mutual. After all, this is about getting the disability benefits you deserve and you paid for.

Can I Sue My Employer or That Mean Nasty Adjuster Who Denied My Claim?

 

As Mr. Hocheiser learned, you can’t sue your employer or the adjuster. You can only sue the plan or the disability carrier, and no one else, regardless of how badly your disability claim was handled by Liberty Mutual.

In Hocheiser v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, Civ. Act. No. 17-6096 (FLW) (DEA), Mr. Hocheiser was represented by an inexperienced lawyer who made all sorts of mistakes. The lawyer improperly made state law claims that were excluded under ERISA, pled the wrong section of the ERISA statute, and improperly sued each of the adjusters who had handled his case.

The federal judge handed the lawyer his head and told him to start the lawsuit over. Ouch!

Some policyholders have bought their own disability policy through an agent and that is known as an individual disability insurance policy. The game is the same but the playing field is more level because any claims denial can be challenged in state court which is a friendlier place to be if you have to sue Liberty Mutual. Don’t think that Liberty Mutual isn’t playing the claims delay, denial, or termination game with individual disability policies. They are, and the policy benefits at stake are often high. There is much to lose if you aren’t represented by a Liberty Mutual individual disability claims attorney.

 

Disability Policies Offered By Liberty Mutual:

 

The type of policy that you have will determine your rights and whether you are playing on a level playing field.

 

Group ERISA Disability Insurance

 

Liberty Mutual offers disability policies through employers which are governed by ERISA. A Liberty Mutual ERISA policy generally has the following: strict definitions of disability and occupation, limitations on how long payment will be made for mental conditions or subjective conditions like headaches, pain, fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue, “other income” provisions that allow for a dollar for dollar reduction for the receipt of Social Security disability benefits, workers’ compensation benefits, and personal injury settlements, and A “golden handcuff” on a judge that only allows for a claims denial or termination reversal if Liberty Mutual’s decision is “arbitrary and capricious.”

 

Group Non-ERISA Disability Insurance  by Liberty Mutual

 

However, a group plan offered by a church plan, such as the Catholic Church, or by a municipal employer like the City of St. Petersburg, Pinellas County, or the State of Florida is NOT generally covered by ERISA. The policy terms are much like those of an ERISA plan but there is one CRUCIAL difference. A claim’s denial or termination can be challenged in state court and new evidence can be submitted at trial.

 

State law courts are a much friendlier place for a policyholder than Federal court. You are entitled to a jury trial in a state law claim and not some Federal judge just making a decision based on Liberty Mutual’s file stuffed full of things that are unfavorable for you!

 

Individual Disability (ID) Insurance by Liberty Mutual

 

Without a doubt, the best and most expensive policy is a private individual disability policy known as an ID policy. The policy terms and coverage are broader and more generous. But that means a high monthly premium and a lot of financial exposure that Liberty Mutual has if you become disabled.

 

It isn’t uncommon for Liberty Mutual to invoke a pre-existing exclusion or a medical condition policy rider right out of the box as a way to justify a denial of the claim from the beginning of the claim. That is just one reason why it is so important for a policyholder to contact me BEFORE they stop working and apply for benefits.

 

Let say, for example, you are a dentist who has a policy that excludes any claim for disability as a result of carpal tunnel but you now can’t work because of a herniated cervical disc. The symptoms of carpal tunnel can mimic those of a herniated cervical disc that causes tingling, numbness, and weakness of the hand.

 

You can bet that Liberty Mutual will be looking for a way to say that you are disabled as a result of carpal tunnel syndrome and not a herniated cervical disc. Do you know what your medical records say about your medical history, your carpal tunnel syndrome complaints, how your complaints are different because of the herniated cervical disc, or how the impact on your practice is different than your carpal tunnel symptoms? Liberty Mutual fights an individual disability claim as hard, if not harder than an ERISA claim and costly mistakes can be made at the initial application and appeal stages of a case.

Contact Our Liberty Mutual Disability Claims Attorney Today

 

If you are a Liberty Mutual Disability Policyholder whose Liberty Mutual LTD/ERISA claim has been denied contact, Nancy Cavey, a Tampa based Long Term Disability and ERISA attorney. Be sure to look at more information about the Long Term Disability Claims process on our website and request our free no-obligation book, Robbed of Your Peace of Mind.” You can also contact our office with any questions you may have.