One major area of my expertise is to help people whose long-term disability claims have been denied. It’s important to be aware of statute of limitations and how it could apply in your long-term disability case. Well, a statute of limitations is a period of time within which you have to file a federal lawsuit. Now in most cases, the insurance policy, the long-term disability insurance policy will specify what your statute of limitations is. Often in these cases, it’s three years and may be different in your case, because you have a different policy and the policy may say something different. So a lot of times what’ll happen is you’ll go through the insurance appeal process. Your claim is denied, you appeal the denial and then your final denial comes through. Then, you’ll get a letter saying all the reasons why they’ve denied your claim.
Why Statute of Limitations is Ideal to Have
At the very end they’ll tell you what that statute of limitations is, how long it is and what you have to do prior to that statute of limitations. In fact, the last one that I saw actually had a physical date on it and said, “This is your statute of limitations for this case.” — that’s good to have, and it’s good to have the insurance company actually calculating what that date is for you, because then there’s no question that they try to raise an argument that you’ve not filed within the statute of limitations. You can point back and say, “But judge, they agreed that this was the statute of limitations and we’ve filed before that.” But a statute of limitations is a limitation on when you can file your lawsuit. Now you can file your lawsuit whenever you want to. The question is whether the court will dismiss it when the other side files in motion to dismiss, because you didn’t file within the appropriate time.
What Happens if You File Outside of the Period?
On the other hand if you file outside of that period, then your case will be dismissed. Now don’t get this mistaken for how long you have to file your appeal. Now you have after the first denial, you have 180 days to file your denial appeal letter to the insurance company. That’s a lot shorter than three years. So please don’t mistake what I’m talking about here. Those are two very different things. So just to recap, your statute of limitations is the time within which you have to file an appeal after the final adverse decision is made from the insurance company, which is usually three years. It’s usually either three years from the date of that final decision, or three years from the date of when the proof of loss or continuing proof of loss was requested.
So make sure that you know what that statute of limitations is. It’s in your policy, and you can read it right there once you get your policy. Make sure you put a calendar deadline on that, because if you don’t file your federal court claim within that time period, it will be dismissed and you will never see another dime from that insurance company. I hope this information has been helpful for you. If it has been, please do us a favor. Share this blog on Facebook or Twitter, or Instagram, or wherever you are on social media. Send it to your family or friends, or whoever else you believe would benefit from this information. Of course, if you have questions about your statute of limitations, when it starts, when it stops, that sort of thing, we’d be happy to walk you through that process over telephone or video conferencing. Just give us a call, ask us questions over the phone, send us an email and we’d be happy to help you in any way we can.