HAVE YOU BEEN DENIED SHORT-TERM OR LONG-TERM DISABILITY BENEFITS?
If you have received a denial letter from an insurance company or plan administrator stating that you do not meet the definition of disability for either your "own occupation" or "any occupation", you must appeal within 180 days under the ERISA regulations. There are limited exceptions but you must submit all relevant medical, vocational and other evidence in this administrative phase before filing a lawsuit in court.
Once you have appealed to the insurance company or plan administrator, you will receive a final denial letter stating that you have exhausted all administrative remedies under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act or ERISA. You may now file a lawsuit in federal court to seek judicial review of the insurance company's or plan administrator's refusal to pay your short-term and/or long-term disability benefits. Depending upon the policy and applicable statute of limitations, the time that you have to file a lawsuit in federal court must be reviewed specifically.
Contact us if you would like an evaluation of your potential case for short-term and/or long-term disability benefits. The first step is usually a review of the denial letter which is at no cost to you. Under ERISA, you or your representative have the right to request a complete copy of the administrative or claims file which contains the documents used to deny your claim. Once this file is requested, the plan administrator must send the administrative file within 30 days.
INJURY AND OCCUPATIONAL EXPOSURE TO CHEMICALS
We at Morgan & Paul, PLLC represent individuals and families in injuries under the Federal Employer's Liability Act and the Jones Act covering railroad and Maritime workers. Additionally, individuals and families may be entitled to compensation as a result of occupational exposure to carcinogen such as asbestos and benzene or defective products.
The Federal Employer's Liability Act (FELA), is a federal law that protects and compensates railroaders who are injured on the job or as a result of an occupational illness. Congress passed the Federal Employer's Liability Act in the early 1900's to protect employees and their families by providing the right to recover compensation when injured as a result of an accident or occupational illness. Such compensation under the statute provides for a juror trial right and to seek compensation for lost wages, future wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and additional damages for permanent disability. Mr. Morgan is a designated FELA attorney approved by the Transportation Communication Union. Mr. Paul is a panel attorney for the Union plus sponsored by the AFL-CIO.
The Jones Act is a federal law modeled after the Federal Employer's Liability Act that provides compensation to Maritime workers who work on both inland waterways and offshore vessels.
Occupational exposure to carcinogens such as asbestos and benzene may lead to illnesses that may be compensated through the above laws or various products liability laws. The inhalation of asbestos fibers can cause mesothelioma, a type of cancer strongly associated with asbestos exposure. Throughout the 1900's, manufacturing industries including ship building, welding, automobile industries, and construction industries required its workers to use asbestos.
Benzene is a chemical used for many industrial purposes that is known to cause cancer. Those exposed to benzene in the workplace and subsequently diagnosed with certain types of cancers, blood disorders, or other illnesses may have a right to compensation for the medical expenses, and pain and suffering. The type of benzene exposure can vary depending on whether the individual is inhaling air around hazardous sites or working with certain chemicals that contain benzene including certain Safety Kleen products.