Long-Term Disability Lawyer
in Seattle, Washington
The importance of choosing the right disability lawyer
When faced with the denial of long-term disability benefits in Seattle, choosing the right disability lawyer to represent you is probably the most important decision you can make.
The bottom line is big insurance companies deny legitimate disability claims on a daily basis – that’s how they make money. A Seattle lawyer specializing in long-term disability and ERISA law is the best way to take on these large insurers to beat them at their own game.
What to look for in a Seattle disability lawyer:
- Expert in both federal ERISA and Washington State disability laws
- Seasoned with experience in both the federal and state court system
- Knowledge of the local legal customs and practices
It’s the right combination of expertise and experience in these areas that will allow a lawyer to take on these big insurance companies –– and win. Our team at Roy Law Group knows ERISA and Washington State disability laws inside and out, and around half of our clients are based in the Seattle area.
I cannot say enough about the professional ethics and hard work of Chris Roy and his staff. I highly recommend his services to anyone seeking justice in the face of travesty when dealing with insurance/disability claims or any of the other services he provides for his clients.- Mick Flaaen
A long-term disability specialist is a necessity
While a lot of lawyers might dabble in long-term disability and ERISA law, few actually make this highly complex area of the law the sole focus of their practice.
Roy Law Group was founded with the sole purpose of practicing disability insurance law and taking on insurance companies. Our team has helped hundreds of disabled people in Seattle and throughout the state of Washington to overturn their denied disability claims.
Because disability law has been our sole focus for over a decade, Roy Law Group knows how to beat disability insurers at their own game.
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Federal ERISA vs. Washington State Law
When you appeal a denied long-term disability claim, how your case will be handled will depend on whether it is governed by ERISA. Approximately 75% of Roy Law Group’s cases are based on ERISA long-term disability insurance disputes.
Divisions of the Western District of WA
How ERISA may impact your case
ERISA (or the Employee Retirement Income Security Act) is a federal law that governs employee benefit plans.
If you have a disability plan that your employer provides as an employee benefit, then it is likely governed by ERISA. All of the major employers based in Seattle, such as Amazon, Boeing, and Microsoft, provide employee benefit packages that are governed by ERISA.
The law works in favor of insurance companies
When ERISA was enacted, it was meant to protect employees and ensure their rights to benefits. In reality, ERISA is complicated and continually changing, and it requires all denied claims to be appealed directly to the insurer who denies the claim. For these reasons, the law largely favors insurance companies.
All of the lawyers at Roy Law Group are experts in ERISA. We closely follow the continual changes to the law, and we know what to expect and how to overturn denied ERISA disability claims.
ERISA disability claims in the Seattle area
ERISA disability cases in the Greater Seattle Area are heard in either the Seattle or Tacoma Divisions of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. Washington State disability cases outside of these two Divisions are heard in the Eastern District of Washington.
If you live in any of these counties, then your case will be heard in the Seattle Division:
- San Juan
If you live in any of these counties, then your case will be heard in the Tacoma Division:
- Grays Harbor
Washington State disability laws
If you purchased your disability policy yourself (meaning it was not provided through your employer or union), then ERISA does not apply. In this case, the entire appeal process is covered by Washington State Insurance statutes and regulations.
What claims do you have under Washington State insurance law?
The basic claim available in a Seattle disability denial case is for contractual damages, which means the benefits you are entitled to under your insurance policy. These damages may include incidental and consequential damages (such as attorney fees), plus interest.
Bad faith claim
If your insurance company wrongfully denies, fails to investigate, or grossly undervalues your claim, then you may have a bad faith claim.
This may entitle you to extra-contractual damages like money to compensate you for emotional pain and suffering. A Washington State bad faith claim may also entitle you to an award of attorney fees.
Insurance Fair Conduct Act
Washington State has a unique statute called the Insurance Fair Conduct Act, or IFCA for short.
Under this law, a Washington State resident could be entitled to an award of three times the contractual damages of the wrongfully denied claim as well as attorney fees. In order to qualify, you must prove an unreasonable denial of long-term disability insurance benefits by your insurance company.
Washington State disability insurance law is complicated, and you shouldn’t have to become an expert if your claim is denied. That’s why you need an experienced legal team on your side. Roy Law Group can handle everything for you, so you can focus on taking care of yourself.
Talk to a Seattle disability lawyer today
With Roy Law Group, you get a dedicated team of experts in long-term disability and ERISA, and Washington State disability laws –– and we know what it takes to win. Contact us today for your free consultation.Get In Touch Now