Physicians — along with various other high-end professionals — are key purchasers of private disability insurance coverage, and for good reason. After all, physicians are highly paid professionals whose income is largely tied to their ability to actually do their job. Unlike many other professions, physicians must be active and on their feet for much of the day, interacting with patients and other staff members.
Given the challenging and labor-intensive nature of their profession, physicians are incentivized to purchase expensive disability coverage that is designed to protect them in the event that they cannot perform the demanding duties associated with their occupation. Still, despite the investment, physicians may find that their legitimate disability benefits claims are wrongfully denied or mishandled by their insurer.
If you have had your disability claim denied, delayed, undervalued, redefined as partial, or otherwise mishandled by your insurer, then you may be entitled to challenge the adverse decision of your insurance carrier and obtain the benefits to which you’re entitled (along with other damages, if applicable). We encourage you to get in contact with an experienced Chicago private disability attorney at Bryant Legal Group, P.C. for assistance with your benefits dispute.
Occupational Conflicts in Physician Disability Disputes
Generally speaking, most high-end disability insurance plans — such as those purchased by physicians — are likely to include an “own occupation” definition of disability and sometimes even a “specialty-specific” own occupation definition of disability. In other words, if you can show that your condition has impaired your ability to perform the primary duties of your current occupation and even your own occupation as related to your particular specialty, then you will qualify for disability benefits.
Physicians may struggle with this definition of disability, however, as insurers often misconstrue or misunderstand the nature of a physician’s particular occupation and the duties thereof. For example, an insurer might make assumptions about the “physicality” of your occupation that is not borne out in reality. With the aid of comprehensive documentary evidence and a vocational expert, however, you can introduce testimony that clearly lays out the nature of your occupation (and its duties).
Negotiating a Buyout May Be Worthwhile
Physicians are generally busy, and as is often the case, stressed and overworked. As such, many physicians — over the course of their careers — develop an aversion to administrative concerns. If you are uninterested in engaging with an insurer over the lifetime of your disabling condition (i.e., submitting to regular testing, updating forms, etc.), then negotiating a buyout of your insurance policy may be a worthwhile strategy.
Of course, an aversion to administrative headaches — like insurance forms — is not the only reason to consider a buyout. If your benefits claim is a “close” case, that is likely to be a source of conflict between you and your insurer long-term, then it may not be worth the cost and uncertainty of litigating if you can agree to a buyout compromise that is suitable for your purposes.
Contact Our Experienced Chicago Physician Disability Lawyers for Further Information and Assistance
Bryant Legal Group, P.C. is a boutique insurance litigation firm whose attorneys have decades of experience advocating on behalf of disability insurance insureds, including physicians and other high-end professionals. We understand the complexities and challenges typical of insurance disputes, from individual policies to group policies, and how best to approach a dispute so as to secure a favorable result — whether that involves a negotiated buyout or civil litigation.
Call (312) 561-3010 or submit an online message through our site to connect to an experienced Chicago physician disability lawyer at Bryant Legal Group, P.C. We look forward to helping you develop a winning strategy for obtaining the benefits you deserve.