Understanding The Difference Between ERISA And Non-ERISA Claims
Whether you have purchased disability insurance from a private insurer or are covered as part of an employer-sponsored group plan, it is important to know your rights. Policyholder rights under these two types of disability insurance plans are very different from one another, largely because of the federal government’s Employment Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) law.
At The Law Offices of Steven Gaechter, our New Jersey ERISA law lawyer is a 30-year veteran of New Jersey courts. Attorney Gaechter personally represents every client and performs most, if not all, of the substantial work on their cases.
The Significant Differences Between The Two Types Of Claims
Generally speaking, the claims process and the appeals process for ERISA and non-ERISA disability benefits are very similar. However, the differences that do exist are striking. For example, under the federal ERISA law:
- Your rights and remedies are severely limited.
- You may not file a lawsuit against the insurer until you file and exhaust an administrative appeal.
- There are tough restrictions on where and when evidence can be introduced — limited pretrial discovery.
- Claimants have no right to a jury trial.
- No punitive or extra-contractual damages are available.
With a non-ERISA claim:
- Policyholders can file a lawsuit seeking coverage benefits as well as consequential and punitive damages from their insurer for bad faith.
- Normal evidence and discovery rules apply.
- Jury trials are permitted.
Retaining legal help from our Bergen County law office is essential to successfully receiving the benefits you deserve, regardless of whether ERISA applies to your particular insurance policy.
Employee Benefits Attorney Serving You
For assistance with employee benefits and disability claims, speak with us. Contact our New Jersey ERISA lawyer online or call 201-546-5758 to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case. Our law offices are conveniently located in Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey. We make home visits when necessary and are also available for evening appointments.
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