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The majority of employee benefits plans that are offered in the United States are governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). This law establishes minimum requirements for these plans, while also creating a relatively standardized legal claims process.
However, while the law was meant to protect workers’ abilities to obtain their benefits, it has become so complex that many big insurance companies now have an upper hand. If you are having trouble obtaining your ERISA benefits in the San Francisco Bay Area, it is imperative that you reach out to an experienced California ERISA attorney for immediate legal assistance.
ERISA is a powerful federal law. If your employer sponsored benefits plan is regulated by ERISA, then ERISA will control in your case. This means that the law preempts any California state regulations that might otherwise be a factor in your claim. Your rights and remedies will be limited to those that are available to you under ERISA.
One of the most important ERISA rules is that applicants are required by law to exhaust all other legal remedies before they can file a lawsuit. Put another way, you cannot file a lawsuit until you have taken your claim all the way through the administrative appeals process. When you file an appeal, it is critically important that you ensure that it is well crafted. Not only does a good appeal increase your ultimate odds of success, but it will dramatically speed up the legal claims process.
One of the other key ERISA rules is that courts are limited only to the evidence that was submitted into the claim file (known as the Administrative Record). This means that you must submit all evidence that you wish to use in your case to the insurance company when you make your internal appeal. If you fail to do so, you will likely lose out on the use of the evidence in any future lawsuit. Please do not let this happen to you; it could seriously undermine your case. You should get an experienced ERISA attorney by your side as early on in the claims process as possible, as your attorney will make sure that your initial appeal is filed properly.
At Kantor & Kantor LLP, we have a proven track record of success handling all aspects of ERISA claims, including litigation and appeals. If you need assistance with your ERISA claim, please do not hesitate to contact our main office today at (510) 992-6130 to request a free review of your case. We serve employees who are seeking benefits throughout California, including in San Jose, Oakland, Fremont and Mountain View.
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