What would you do if you experienced an injury or illness that resulted in a short term or long term disability? What if the injury or illness prevented you from working and resulted in a loss of income for your family? What would you do?
Disability insurance can be one way to protect your family. When you purchase this type of insurance, you receive payments designed to replace a portion of your income if you become injured or face a serious illness. If you are concerned about what could happen if you are unable to work for an extended period of time, disability insurance might make sense.
Worker’s Compensation vs. Disability Insurance
It’s important to understand the difference between worker’s compensation and disability insurance. A good personal injury attorney can help you identify whether an injury or illness requires a worker’s comp claim, or whether you need to file a claim with your disability insurance company. (Your attorney can also help ensure that you get the money you deserve in situations of serious illness or injury.)
Worker’s compensation is designed to help you if you are injured on the job, or if your working conditions result in serious illness. Your company pays into a fund or insurance policy designed to pay out if you are hurt on the job. Your lawyer can help you enforce your worker’s compensation rights.
Disability insurance, on the other hand, is meant to help you cover costs when you are injured in settings that are unrelated to work, or if you end up with a serious illness. (If you are injured by someone else in a car accident, his or her auto insurance company should compensate you for your injuries and lost wages.)
Many employers offer the chance to purchase disability insurance as part of a benefits package; you might even get a small amount of coverage for free. Check with your human resources department for details. You can also purchase disability coverage from independent insurance agents. Short term coverage generally only replaces a portion of your income for a few months, while long term coverage can replace a portion of your income for years.
Using a Lawyer to Back You Up
When you are injured or experience a debilitating illness, it seems a matter of course that the disability insurance policy you purchased should pay out. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Like all insurance companies, a disability company might balk at paying your claim. A personal injury attorney can help back you up and ensure that you get what you deserve.
You can also use the help of an attorney before you purchase a policy. Your attorney can tell you whether the policy is reasonable, and help you understand any jargon or legalese in the fine print. And, of course, when you are ready to make a claim, your lawyer can help you take care of the details while you do your best to recover from your injuries or illness.
Any insurance company is far more likely to take you seriously if you are represented by a personal injury attorney. If you are injured, it makes sense to hire a lawyer that can help you determine which insurance companies should be paying out for you, as well as whether or not you should really be filing for other benefits.
This is a time when you are under enough stress. The right lawyer can help ensure that you get the benefits you need so that you are able to replace some the income lost due to injury or illness.