Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Aug 13, 2020

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Disability benefits law provides several options to appeal a denied disability claim if settlement talks falter. While suing the company is always an option, before you go the route of a disability lawsuit, there are some alternative dispute resolution techniques that can successfully result in a disability insurance settlement. Disability benefits law encourages alternative resolution because it can be cheaper, faster, and provide a settlement without involving litigation.

TIP: Even if you would like to pursue settlement options before filing a disability lawsuit, it is a good idea to have an attorney. An attorney familiar with disability benefits law will level the playing field in any form of dispute resolution.

Disability Mediation

Mediation is a process used to avoid settling a dispute in court by providing an unbiased third party (the mediator) to stimulate discussion between the disputing parties and help the negotiation process move towards resolution. According to disability benefits law, mediation settlements are never legally binding unless both parties specifically request the process and agree that the outcome will settle the disability dispute. In order to make a disability mediation binding, the parties must reach a settlement agreement. A settlement agreement is a contract that enforces the decision made in the mediation.

TIP: Since disability benefits laws are different from state to state, have a disability attorney review your mediation agreement to make sure you are getting the best possible settlement that the company is required to honor.

Disability Arbitration

During arbitration, an arbitrator listens to and considers all relevant information and then makes the decision of which party should win. When an arbitrator makes a final decision on a disputed disability benefits claim, it is legally binding. Disability benefits law varies on how arbitration is carried out, when the parties are allowed to do it, and how the arbitrator is selected. Because of the binding nature of an arbitration decision, some companies will not enter into arbitration. Make sure you have a disability attorney on your side during any disability arbitration proceedings.

Disability Lawsuit

Disability lawsuits are filed by a disability attorney in court with the purpose of collecting benefits wrongfully denied. Disability lawsuits can be long and drawn out, involving several passes back and forth with your insurance company or the federal entities (i.e. social security administration) before you may actually see the court room. If you decide to file a lawsuit, it is best to see what a disability insurance attorney can do for you as soon as possible.

Which Option is Best for You?

Which option is best for you may not be your decision, but the decision of the insurance policy or federal entity that has denied your disability claim. Disability benefit laws vary greatly from state to state, employer to employer, and between federal entities. If you are considering exploring the legal remedies available to you under disability benefits law, contact an attorney right away! He or she will know immediately what direction to take, help you navigate any procedural requirements, and help level the playing field against the disability insurance company. If you would like to have a disability attorney review your case for free, click here and use the Free Advice attorney finder today.