Many employers offer life insurance options as benefits. When you need to claim life insurance benefits, you are going through a period of great stress and grief. Nevertheless, the life insurance company is a business, and it will require you to work through a difficult bureaucratic process to have your claim paid. It will not be easy. If your legitimate claim under an employer-sponsored insurance policy is denied, the process of appealing it is covered by a federal law called ERISA (Employee Retirement Security Income Act). This process is complicated and time consuming.
At Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos, we are here to help people throughout the San Francisco Bay Area after your ERISA life insurance claim has been denied. Call one of our San Mateo life insurance denial lawyers at (650) 345-8484 or e-mail us today to set up a free consultation to learn more about the appeal avenues and how we can help you.
ERISA Life Insurance Denial Attorneys in San Mateo
An ERISA life insurance appeal is complex and can seem overwhelming. As experienced ERISA attorneys, we at Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos can fight to recover the life insurance benefits you have used your hard earned money to secure — and hold insurance companies accountable for their actions.
We routinely help people through ERISA life insurance and ERISA long-term disability appeals. We also help people whose nonemployer-sponsored life insurance, disability insurance or extra-contractual claims have been denied.
Why Are ERISA Life Insurance Appeals Different?
Appeals of claims denied by employer-sponsored insurance are subject to the requirements of ERISA. Appeals in ERISA cases can take more than one step. First, it is mandatory to exhaust the internal appeals process offered by the insurance company. If you have been denied a life insurance claim, contact us online or call (650) 345-8484 to speak to one of our qualified San Mateo ERISA attorneys today.
During the internal insurance company appeal, it is essential to collect all available evidence and enter it into the administrative record in case that appeal is denied. If all the internal appeals are denied, the next step is to file a federal lawsuit under ERISA. The process in an ERISA appeal is somewhat different from that of other cases.
In an ERISA lawsuit, it is a federal judge who will hear your case — not a jury. The evidence that was gathered in the internal appeal and entered into the administrative record is generally the only evidence the judge will consider. Also, judges rarely take testimony in ERISA cases. For this reason, it is critical for the administrative record to be clear on any issue that could give the insurance company a legitimate reason to deny your claim.
Our ERISA attorneys in San Mateo prepare from the beginning with the requirements of the federal lawsuit in mind. Although we may win your claim at the internal appeal, we make sure your file is as comprehensive as possible so the judge will have the complete picture supporting your claim. We often work with experts to help clients obtain important evidence. We pride ourselves on working as a team with our clients, and on keeping them informed and actively involved in all aspects of the case.Attorneys’ Fees May Be Awarded in ERISA Life Insurance Appeals
Although extra-contractual claims are not available under ERISA, attorneys’ fees may be awarded at the court’s discretion. If the insurer acted unreasonably or in bad faith in denying your claim, we will incorporate a justification for fair attorneys’ fees into our argument.
Contact Us for a Free Initial Consultation
Contact Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos today for a free case evaluation and experienced representation; call (650) 345-8484 or e-mail an ERISA attorney today.