Legal Services Insurance Benefits
Denial of insurance benefits is a common occurrence, as greedy insurance companies do their best to collect as much as they can in premiums, but pay out as little as possible in benefits. When you buy into an insurance policy, you’re entering into a contract, plain and simple: You agree to pay the premiums, the insurance company agrees to act in good faith and pay legitimate claims in the event of an injury, accident or death. The problem is, insurance policies are never plain … or simple. They’re filled with fine print, hard-to-interpret language, and loopholes that benefit the insurance company, never the policyholder.
“Deny, delay, defend” is the rallying cry of many insurance companies when it comes to claims. And when they can’t do that, they offer you a settlement far less than your case is really worth. In fact, there are employees at insurance companies whose only job is to find a way to deny claims. When an insurance company denies, delays, or underpays a legitimate claim, they are acting in “bad faith.” That’s against the law, and they can be held accountable. It’s no wonder their treatment of you changes when you tell them you’ve hired an attorney.
Cabaniss Law knows the tricks of the insurance trade, the tactics used in denial of an insurance claim in an attempt to hold on to your money. We understand insurance principles, practices and terminology, and how to read between the lines of every clause in your insurance policy. We know Wisconsin insurance law, and how to wield it in battle against the largest unscrupulous insurance giant. If we determine that your insurance company has acted in bad faith, we will fight to recover the damages you have coming. Because we work on a contingency basis, our fee is based entirely on the amount you recover.
People buy disability insurance for one thing: Security in the event that an accident or illness causes them to be unable to work. Finding yourself unable to work can be devastating. And even more so when the disability benefits you thought you could count on – and had been paying for – are withheld from you. You are forced to draw from your savings or the equity in your home to pay your household bills. You may find yourself faced with foreclosure or bankruptcy.
Insurance companies find many ways to deny disability claims. They may dispute the fact that you are unable to work, and use their doctors to disagree with your doctors. They will look for a misstatement made on your application or try to claim you had a preexisting condition or prior injury that negates your coverage. They’ll claim your disability is caused by a condition excluded from coverage in your policy, such as alcohol or drug use, or a mental disorder. They may try to prove that your disability is work-related.
In addition to denying disability claims, insurance companies often delay payment of disability claims, then offer to ‘buy out’ your claim because they know you’re desperate to pay your bills or support your family. If you have a legitimate disability insurance claim and your insurance company acts in bad faith regarding your disability claim, you may be entitled to recover damages for loss of policy benefits, any financial loss incurred, and emotional distress. In some cases, where the insurance company can be proven to have committed malicious or fraudulent acts, you may be entitled to punitive damages.
Cabaniss Law is experienced and knowledgeable in the area of wrongful denial of disability. We will help you to recover every dollar you have coming for a denied disability claim. When you can’t work, Cabaniss Law will work for you.
Cabaniss Law has successfully achieved settlements and favorable court rulings for the victims of disability benefit denials. Prudential agreed to pay $300,000 to settle one such lawsuit, and recently Judge Stadtmueller ruled that the Aurora Healthcare Long Term Disability Plan acted arbitrarily in wrongfully denying a Cabaniss client disability benefits.
People don’t buy life insurance for themselves, they buy it for the loved ones they leave behind. Leave it to the insurance company to find a way to deepen their loss through denial of life insurance benefits. They have people on staff devoted to exactly that, reviewing each claim closely to determine if there is a way to hang on to your money. They use a variety of tactics. The first line of defense for an uncaring insurance company is the life insurance application. They’ll look for a “misstatement” – which can be anything from a minor detail in health history or work background, to age, driving record, whether the applicant ever smoked, or even what hobbies they pursued. It doesn’t even matter if the “misstatement” had anything at all to do with the applicant’s death.
Life insurance comes in many flavors – whole life, variable life, universal life, along with other “products” the insurance companies may invent. But the bottom line is, when someone pays a life insurance premium – often for many, many years – they have a reasonable expectation that their beneficiaries will receive the amount due upon the death of the policyholder. If the insurance company plays the “deny, delay and defend” game in order to avoid paying a legitimate life insurance claim, they need to be held accountable. And their loved ones need to be paid.
Cabaniss Law is experienced in Wisconsin insurance law. We know the terminology, applications, “products” and practices the insurance companies employ to tip the scales in their favor, and to avoid paying life insurance claims whenever they can. We will pursue an insurance company which has denied or withheld a life insurance claim in bad faith, and work to recover all you are entitled to under the law as beneficiaries of that policy.
Among others, Cabaniss Law sued The Lafayette Life Insurance Company for its wrongful denial of life insurance benefits to the surviving wife and son of John Alloway. The trial court rejected Lafayette’s argument that it was entitled to decline to pay the $135,000 policy limit because Alloway was suspended from work at the time of his death. Following the court’s ruling, a hearing was set to establish bad faith damages, and the case was settled for $200.000.