When people are hurt due to medical malpractice, car accidents, slip and fall injuries, or any other form of accident or injury, there are a lot of sweeping concerns about how money will be recovered to take care of essential needs. Whether it is a fear of being stuck with medical bills, getting reimbursed for lost income, or keeping eligibility for government programs, there are a lot of concerns to deal with. For those with a long-term disability (LTD) insurance policy, there is yet another concern – set-offs.
At Burke Harvey, LLC, our attorneys have decades of experience helping families recover the LTD benefits they deserve, even in the face of overwhelming obstacles. For help fighting for your rightful benefits, give us a call today. In the meantime, here are some things you should know about personal injury set-offs and how they may affect your right to LTD benefits.
What is a Personal Injury Set-Off?
Some people call them set-offs, while others call them offsets. Either way, it is the same thing. Most states – Alabama included – do not permit a double recovery. This means if someone hurts you and you incur medical bills or lost wages, you have a right to pursue compensation. However, if you happen to be successful in recovering compensation, you may have to pay back anyone else who has advanced money to help with your expenses. The most common example of an offset against a personal injury recovery is health insurance.
How a Health Insurance Lien Works
The best way to explain an offset is through an example. Say you are permanently injured in a tragic auto accident in Alabama. The injuries render you unable to work. You go to the hospital and receive a lot of medical care, all of which is billed to your group health insurance. Your health insurance policy pays the bill, but you later sue the at-fault driver and recover a sizeable award. Because the injury was someone else’s fault, your health insurance company will probably assert a lien against your auto accident case, seeking to be reimbursed the money that was paid for your healthcare.
An experienced attorney handling your injury claim should keep this in mind while negotiating a settlement so that any applicable liens are protected and included in discussions.
What About a Long-Term Disability Insurance Lien?
Much like the health insurance lien described above, an LTD policy is designed to replace a portion of your income if you are ever unable to work due to a disability. Because most of these plans are governed by federal law under the Employee Retirement and Security Act (ERISA), there is an almost absolute right to reimbursement. If someone else is responsible for the injury and you recover monetary compensation through a civil action or insurance claim, your LTD policy may be able to seek reimbursement of any funds paid toward covering your lost income.
It all really depends on whether any portion of your personal injury case was paid as a settlement due to lost wages. If you do not seek lost wages, then there is likely no applicable lien from your LTD insurance plan. If, however, a significant portion of your personal injury settlement or verdict was based on your loss of income and wages and you have been receiving long-term disability payments to offset that loss of income, you can expect to have to pay back a portion of your personal injury funds to the LTD insurance company.
How to Reduce the Impact of an LTD Lien on a Personal Injury Case
First, by hiring an experienced team of LTD benefits lawyers, you are in a better position than most people who are going through this situation. If the attorneys of Burke Harvey, LLC have assisted you in recovering LTD benefits after a life-changing permanent injury, then you can rest assured we are here to help if the LTD insurance company attempts to assert an unlawful lien or claims more than is legally permitted.
Likewise, if you need help with a personal injury matter, our firm can help with that, as well. Given our many years of experience and successful representation of injured and disabled clients, we can help with just about any issue that comes up along the way.
Getting the Help You Need is Easy
For those who are suffering from serious or permanent injuries and disabilities in Alabama, getting help is as easy as calling Burke Harvey, LLC. We do not collect a retainer from our clients, and we do not charge you for a phone call or in-person consultation. Instead, we get paid out of the final proceeds of any settlement or verdict we recover for our clients. This gives our clients the comfort and peace of mind they need to pursue their case. Give us a call today to learn more, and schedule a free consultation with one of our skilled LTD disability or personal injury lawyers now.
Just do not wait too long. When it comes to appealing negative LTD benefits decisions, you may only have a month or two to respond.