Recently, while working on a claim for a disabled heavy equipment mechanic, he asked if it was possible to recover punitive damages because of his improper disability denial. My answer to him and now you follows:
I know that having your disability claim denied is very frustrating. The long-term disability insurance industry has a history of bending and twisting laws just to avoid paying benefits to people who need and deserve it. Unfortunately, the law governing Louisiana ERISA long-term disability claims simply does not have any way to hold these insurers accountable. The ERISA law does not provide for punitive damages or bad faith damages.
While my client was disappointed in the news, he knew there was nothing we could do.
However, if your plan is not an ERISA plan, you may be able to win other damages for the insurance company’s bad faith actions. This includes those with private disability insurance policies, those employed by federal, state and local governments, and those employed by churches or other religious organizations. Because these plans are not covered by ERISA, often they rely on state insurance laws that provide certain penalties for bad faith actions.
To discuss a plan of action for your denial, call disability attorney Loyd Bourgeois at 985-240-9773 for a free consultation.