If you’re faced with a long-term disability denial in Seattle, Washington, you and your family are likely dealing with a great deal of emotional and financial stress. This is no time to try to learn all the ins and outs of Washington State insurance law. That’s why you should consider hiring an attorney, and the sooner the better.
Here are three key things you should know before hiring legal representation to help with your appeal.
3 Things You Should Know About Fighting a Disability Denial in Seattle
1. Your lawyer should be an expert in Washington State long-term disability and ERISA law
In order to successfully appeal a long-term disability denial, it’s critical to know the Washington State laws that apply and how they affect your disability claim. If your policy is governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), then the appeal process can be even more complicated.
Washington State has its own specific insurance laws that set out what disability insurance companies can and cannot do. These laws are deeply complicated and apply to all Seattle disability claims, no matter if you have an Individual Disability Insurance (IDI) policy or you are a member of an ERISA long-term disability plan.
A disability lawyer with a thorough understanding of Washington State insurance law knows how to hold disability insurance companies accountable. This knowledge is a tremendous asset when appealing any disability denial in Seattle. When you layer in the subtleties of an ERISA disability claim on top, the help of an experienced long-term disability attorney is practically a necessity.
2. Your case is likely to be heard in federal court
For a variety of reasons, almost all Seattle long-term disability disputes are heard in federal court. For the rare case heard in state court, Seattle residents will have their case heard in King County Superior Court.
Although Seattle’s largest employers – such as Boeing, Walmart, Amazon, and Microsoft – are all located in the Seattle area, all ERISA disability claims must be heard in federal court.
For non-ERISA claims, the key thing to note is that all major long-term disability insurance companies are located outside of Washington State. Under federal law, if one of the parties in a long-term disability dispute is located in another state, the claim is almost always eligible to be heard in federal court.
Under federal law, if one of the parties in a long-term disability dispute is located in another state, the claim is almost always eligible to be heard in federal court.
This is important because the federal court system has its own specific civil and evidentiary rules that differ from the Washington State Courts. Any disability insurance lawyer you hire to represent you must be familiar with these federal court rules and how they work, not just in theory but in practice.
Moreover, within Washington State, the federal court system is further broken into Western and Eastern districts. If you live in Seattle, for example, your case would be heard in the Western District in the Seattle Division.
This is also very important because the Western District has its own local rules that differ from the Eastern District. Your attorney must also be familiar with the local court rules that govern your case.
3. Your lawyer doesn’t need to be based in Seattle
The world is online – and the law is no different. There’s no need for the disability law firm you hire to be physically based in Seattle.
Roy Law Group manages around 99% of our cases without actually ever being in the same room with our clients. Since our entire practice is dedicated to long-term disability law, all of our clients are disabled, and travel is generally arduous for them. That’s why we have set up our firm to take advantage of technology, which enables us to do everything remotely.
There’s no need for the disability law firm you hire to be physically based in Seattle.
Moreover, the court system has caught up with technology. Court filings are handled electronically, court hearings can be conducted on the telephone, and communication can be done by email, phone, or video chat.
Handling a case in Seattle is no different from any other jurisdiction that we represent. Even though Roy Law Group’s office is based in Portland, Oregon, around one-half of all of our clients are located in the Seattle area.
You deserve the best attorneys for your Seattle disability claim
Roy Law Group’s attorneys are all licensed in Washington State, and we have been taking on disability insurance companies in Seattle cases since 2009. After handling hundreds of disability denials in this region, we know Washington State disability insurance law inside and out.
In fact, Roy Law Group fought one of the most significant long-term disability cases to be decided in the last five years in Seattle. Our case set the precedence into law for protecting all long-term disability claimants that live anywhere in Washington State.
Read more on this groundbreaking case: Flaaen v. Principal Life.
Do you live in Seattle and have a long-term disability claim that has been wrongfully denied? It’s time to talk to Roy Law Group. Our compassionate team of expert lawyers knows Washington disability insurance law inside and out. We are here to fight on your behalf.
Contact Roy Law Group right away to set up your consultation.