Being denied long term disability benefits can be a life changing event. You need the best long term disability lawyer possible. But where do you start? Is the best long term disability lawyer the one with the biggest ad campaign? The one you see most on TV? Or are other factors more important? Ultimately you have to choose an LTD lawyer that you are confident will achieve the best possible result. Consider the following when making that decision.
High Volume or High Quality
Advertising on TV and radio generates a lot of clients. Some firms have multi-million dollar annual ad budgets! Of course these firms can be both good lawyers and good marketers, but keep in mind a high volume firm may not be able to devote as much time and attention to your file, especially if their objective is to bring in as many cases as possible. Some of these firms rely heavily on law clerks, junior lawyers, and students to keep up with the high volume.
Jack of All Trades
Long term disability law has some similarities with personal injury and employment law. Many personal injury and employment lawyers do some LTD work, but it may not be their area of expertise. If the firm website prominently features car accidents, slip and falls, dog bites, and wrongful dismissal claims, ask yourself if they are the best choice.
Verified Third Party Ratings
We live in an age of social proof. Anyone can make a slick website. Look the lawyer up on Google reviews. The best long term disability lawyers should have many excellent Google reviews that specifically relate to LTD, not just other areas of the law.
Litigating with a multi-billion dollar insurance company requires extensive legal knowledge, a detailed understanding of the policy, a network of experts available to build your case, and resources to fund the litigation. Look for an LTD lawyer with at least 10-15 years experience.
The insurance companies know who the best long term disability lawyers are, and they also know the lawyers who are willing to take shortcuts and settle for less. You need an LTD lawyer who has a strong reputation for getting top results.
Does the long term disability lawyer get referrals from other lawyers, doctors, health care professionals, and past clients? Or do they rely heavily on TV and radio ads?
Most long term disability lawyers will offer a contingency fee retainer agreement, which means you do not pay any costs unless and until your case is resolved in your favour, with the fees being a fixed percentage of the total recovery. Some LTD lawyers have different fee structures depending on whether the insurance company resumes or starts making benefit payments, versus a full and final settlement. Carefully review the contingency fee agreement.
When you call the firm, are you able to speak with a lawyer right away, or do you have to schedule an appointment? Is the first consultation with a law clerk, who is unable to give advice and just takes notes for a lawyer to review later? If the firm does take on your case, is your file then passed on to someone else? Can you call the lawyer’s cell phone anytime? You should expect a high level of service.
There are many factors that go into choosing the best long term disability lawyer, so do your research and find someone you are confident will secure the best possible result.
About The Author
Michael Jordan is a long term disability lawyer with more than 17 years experience litigating all types of insurance claims. He is a founding partner of the Bay Street firm Jordan Honickman Barristers. Michael represents clients across all of Ontario, with satellite offices in Ottawa and London.
Direct Cell: 416-460-6823