My disability claim is governed by ERISA …. what does that mean?
ERISA, or the Employee Retirement & Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”), is a complex piece of Federal legislation that covers most employee benefit plans and how employers and their contractors (usually an insurance company) deliver those benefits to employees. For most Coloradans, their insurance benefits (life, medical, disability, vision, dental) are earned through our employment. In most cases, these benefits fall under the ERISA statute.
Do you really need an ERISA lawyer? In many cases you do. In many cases, having representation early in the claim process can be the difference between winning and losing because ERISA dramatically alters your common law rights. Most of these claims (including Long Term Disability, Short Term Disability, and medical and other benefits have very short deadlines. If you do not know and protect your rights early, you may lose your ability to effectively protect your claim. Click here for more information about ERISA, and our ERISA Disability and benefit claim practice, and how ERISA may affect your rights.
However, and in some cases (employees of the government, non-profits and in other unique circumstances) employee benefits fall outside of ERISA. It is important for you to determine early on what type of employee benefit claims you have (as they may be treated very differently, and may involve very different damages).
Do not wait to seek experienced counsel until it is too late! ERISA drastically affects your rights. Under ERISA, you have no right to a trial, or trial by jury. Your case will most likely be decided based on how the claim was handled before suit is even filed.
Under ERISA, you also lose your right to claim compensatory and other damages. It is therefore very important to structure your claim correctly in order to maximize the (limited) recovery possible. The attorneys at Silvern & Bulger, P.C. have the knowledge and experience required to properly manage your claim from the beginning of the administrative process; through litigation. This is critical because, on most cases, if the administrative process is not handled correctly the litigation will not likely succeed. The sooner you consult with an attorney, the more likely your chances for success.