Colorado ERISA Attorneys Represents Claimants in Benefit Cases
Lakewood firm advises on matters involving employer-provided plans
When you have a legal claim regarding a benefit provided by your employer, it is likely to fall under a federal statute known as the Employee Retirement and Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). It is therefore very important to structure your claim correctly in order to maximize the (limited) recovery possible under this law. The attorneys at Silvern & Bulger, P.C. in Lakewood have the knowledge and experience required to properly manage your claim from the beginning of the administrative process all the way through to 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. Our firm is experienced with all types of insurance benefit claims, including those that must be litigated consistent with the ERISA statute.
What is ERISA?
ERISA is a complex piece of federal legislation that governs most employee benefit plans and significantly affects how employers, insurance companies and financial institutions deliver benefits to workers. Most Coloradans rely on benefits provided through their employment for their medical coverage, retirement funding and financial support if they are unable to work due to disability. ERISA imposes various special rules on plan administrators and claimants who object to decisions made by plan administrators. As a firm listed in the ERISA category of the U.S. Directory of Boutique Law Firms, you can rely on us for sound counsel regardless of what your particular issue entails.
What benefits are included within ERISA plans?
Various types of employee benefit plans fall under ERISA, including:
- Health insurance
- Retirement plans, such as 401(k) accounts
- Vision and dental coverage
- Long term disability and short-term disability plans
- Life insurance
- Accidental death and dismemberment coverage
If you have a claim that you believe relates to one of these types of plans, it is critical to contact an experienced ERISA attorney promptly. These cases are governed by specific rules and strict deadlines might prevent you from taking action if you hesitate. There are also certain types of plans that are not covered under ERISA, such as programs provided by government employers and religious institutions.
How are ERISA cases decided?
ERISA cases are litigated before judges in federal court. Discovery is streamlined as judges are limited to reviewing if the Plan Administrator acted reasonably in their decision to deny the requested benefit. Remedies that are available in other types of lawsuits, such as punitive damages and compensation for pain and suffering, cannot be awarded in an ERISA claim. If you are unsure as to whether your case falls under ERISA, we will review the details and advise you on how to proceed.
What happens if your claim is denied?
Once you receive notice that your claim has been denied, you have 60 days to file an appeal. Your appeal rights must be stated in the summary plan description provided with your policy. By contacting our firm, you can be assured that we will request the pertinent documents from our insurer in order to prepare your appeal. The insurer has a timeframe in which they must respond. Sometimes, this is 120 days. If the decision is not reversed, we can file an ERISA claim in court. Though these matters are usually handled more quickly than other types of litigation, the process will likely last for several more months.
Contact a Colorado attorney to discuss your ERISA matter in a free initial consultation
Silvern & Bulger, P.C. in Lakewood advocates on behalf of Coloradans in ERISA cases and other matters relating to disability benefits. For a free consultation, please call 303-292-0044 or contact us online to learn about your legal options. Our firm represents claimants in Jefferson, Adams, Denver, Arapahoe, Douglas, Boulder and Broomfield counties.