What to look for when searching for the right long-term disability lawyer
Insurance companies are known for being challenging to deal with. If your long-term disability (LTD) claim is denied, your next step could be to hire an LTD lawyer. Insurance companies are in the business of making money and will try to pay out as few claims as possible. You could be fighting a losing battle by taking on these companies by yourself, bringing a lawyer on to your team will help you level the playing field. Finding the right LTD lawyer can be an overwhelming process, especially if you’ve never needed one or hired one before.
How to find an LTD lawyer
Where should you start your search for an LTD lawyer? Most people nowadays would search for local disability lawyers online. The downside to searching for lawyers online is that the top results will likely be the lawyers or firms with a large marketing budget to get their ads on the front page. A good marketing budget does not directly correlate to a firm or lawyer’s quality or experience, so it is best to dig a bit deeper when searching online.
You can also ask family, friends, your doctor or other treatment providers, or a local legal aid clinic for lawyer recommendations and suggestions.
Your personal ‘non-negotiables’
Before you begin your search for an LTD lawyer, it’s good to establish your personal ‘non-negotiables’ in a lawyer. Once you know what is essential to you in a lawyer, it’ll be easier to know when you’ve found the right one because they will check all of your boxes.
Some questions you can ask yourself to figure out your ‘non-negotiables’:
- Do I need a lawyer who is highly experienced, or am I ok with someone less qualified?
- Would I prefer to work with a small or large law firm?
- What (if any) interpersonal characteristics do I require from a lawyer? (i.e., compassion, patience, reassurance, etc.)
- Are there particular values that I would like my law firm to have? (i.e., inclusivity, diversity)
What to consider when looking for an LTD lawyer
After you’ve established what’s important to you when looking for an LTD lawyer, you can then consider what qualities will make your lawyer the right one.
Many law firms and lawyers will claim they can handle all types of cases. It’s important that you seek out a lawyer or firm that specializes in long-term disability claims. A lawyer specializing in disability claims will better understand your case and have more experience in this area, which will significantly benefit your case.
The level of experience you need from a lawyer will depend on your case. Virtually any lawyer is competent and skilled enough to handle small, simple cases. If you have a more complicated case on your hands, it may be best to look for a more experienced lawyer.
If you decide to hire an online lawyer, then location won’t be of importance. If not, you should try your hardest to find a lawyer close to you or your area. Having a local lawyer will ensure that they are familiar with your specific jurisdiction’s laws and regulations. Additionally, if you plan on spending a lot of time with your lawyer face-to-face, a long commute may not be ideal.
4. Your budget, and the lawyer’s fees/other costs
Firstly, you must be aware of how much you’re willing to spend on a lawyer. Knowing your budget will narrow down your search significantly. A good attorney will have a fee structure that is transparent, straightforward and easy to understand.
You may find it helpful to do a bit of research on how legal fees work before contacting a lawyer. You should always ask your LTD lawyer if they bill by the hour or a flat fee, and whether they work on a “no fees unless we win” basis.
Don’t be afraid to ask your attorney lots of questions regarding additional fees and other costs. You want to know exactly where your money is going and prevent any surprises when you the bill.
Finding the best LTD lawyer
Your health and wellness should always be of the utmost importance, and you need a lawyer who understands that. When it comes to looking for an LTD lawyer, take your time and do your research. Try to get a referral from someone you know if possible; if not, look for a lawyer with credible experience and reviews.
Once you have taken the time and found the right lawyer, you will be confident and comfortable leaving your case in their hands. You will feel a sense of relief knowing that your lawyer has your best interests in mind, and you can focus all of your energy on your health and happiness.