That's a great question - it is something you should know about.
First, if you lose your ERISA long term disability case do you have to pay your attorney?
It is unusual that an insurance company will be awarded its attorney fees (meaning you would have to pay them) for successfully defending your long-term disability claim in federal court.
While ERISA allows your disability insurance company to petition the court to award its attorney fees if it wins your disability case, it is rare that a court will make you pay. If you filed your case in good faith, you should be OK, and courts usually recognize that there is limited ability to pay - the person who lost the case is probably disabled, can't work and doesn't have the money to pay big law firm rates.
A judge could certainly award fees if he or she thought the claimant was playing games, not adhering to court deadlines, or had filed a frivolous claim.
Let's face it, it's tough, nearly impossible to successfully handle your own federal court case against an insurance company.
You'll benefit by at least consulting with an attorney who handles ERISA long term disability denials, and hiring and relying on the advice of a good lawyer early in the process should improve your chances of successfully getting benefits and make the process a lot easier on you - so you and your family can focus on your rehab and treating your serious medical issues.
If you’re considering long term disability, have received a denial letter or are entering the ERISA appeals process, call us today at (202) 393 - 3320. But don't wait, all cases have time limits and the sooner you get to work, the better off you are.