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Arizona Social Security Disability Blog

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

The Consequences of a “Bad Faith” Disability Insurance Claim Denial

Q: What happens if a disability insurance claim is denied in “bad faith”?

Sometimes, karma happens.

In a perfect world, a person with long term disability insurance (“LTD”) would submit a valid claim with sufficient medical documentation in support and it would be approved. The financially-vulnerable (and now-disabled) insured would benefit from having had the good fortune and/or foresight of obtaining LTD insurance in healthier days either through an employer plan or a private policy.

While long-term disability insurance won't undo the physical or mental disability that prompted its activation, having it can be the difference between financial security and financial ruin for the insured and their family.

With so much riding on approval, hiring a skilled Arizona disability insurance benefits attorney may help expedite the process and increase the chances of a claim being approved or appeal of a denial being successful. In addition, some long-term disability insurance policies make applying for social security disability benefits a prerequisite to getting LTD benefits.

Arizona disability insurance claims lawsuits against insurance companies that act in "bad faith" can be brought based on the improper denial of a valid claim or the unexpected and unjustified termination of a previously-approved claim.

Arizona juries have recently cracked down on insurance companies that they felt acted in “bad faith”, awarding not only substantial compensatory damages, but slapping insurers with devastatingly-large, multimillion dollar punitive damages awards designed to punish the insurance company and deter them from such reprehensible actions in the future.

One jury found an insurance company acted with an "evil mind" in its "conscious disregard of the harm" its insured would likely suffer by its wrongful termination of previously-approved disability benefits for a young man who suffered a traumatic brain injury and subsequent suicidal mental health issues stemming from severe depression that followed his accident. The blatant termination of disability insurance benefits—which the insurer should have known could cause additional harm to the insured’s fragile health and financial situation-- was reportedly based on the insurer’s alleged review of the insured’s medical records. However, it was allegedly established that the records had never even been requested much less reviewed.

It is noteworthy that the same company was also reportedly sanctioned by another Arizona court in separate case for “withholding evidence, falsely asserting the attorney-client privilege, and manipulating the record to intentionally create a false narrative”. A ruling of “bad faith” was also found therein.

The motto: Fight back against insurers that act in “bad faith” by engaging a skilled attorney with the experience and resources to level the playing field and fight for your rights.

If you need help applying for long term disability insurance benefits or appealing a denial of disability benefits, the disability attorneys at Roeschke Law can help you get the benefits to which you are entitled. Contact us today to request a consultation.

From our offices in Phoenix, Tempe, and Tucson, we’ve been helping disabled people and their families from all over Arizona get the benefits they deserve.

 


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