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California employers frequently offer employees a number of benefits to assist them in the event of a sudden, unexpected illness or injury. Such benefits are governed by a particular federal law, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), which imposes a number of special requirements and restrictions on beneficiaries.
If you need help in understanding or dealing with your employer’s benefit plan, the experienced Walnut Creek ERISA attorneys at Kantor & Kantor, LLP are ready to assist. Our practice focuses on ERISA-related benefits claims. We understand all of the procedures involved, and we can guide you through the process step-by-step in order to ensure the best possible outcome.
The ERISA establishes certain minimum standards for administering employer-sponsored and other group long-term benefit plans. This includes health, disability, and life insurance, as well as 401k and other pension plans, and even severance pay agreements. Because the ERISA is a federal statute, it preempts any California state law that may be in conflict.
One consequence of this is that if you disagree with a decision to deny benefits under an ERISA-governed plan, you need to follow a certain set of procedures. You cannot simply sue your employer or its insurer in California state court. Rather, you must first pursue an internal appeals process with the insurer or plan. If you still do not obtain the benefits you are seeking, your next step is to file a lawsuit in federal court, where your claims will be decided solely by a judge. In other words, there is no right to a jury trial in ERISA cases, as there would be for a normal insurance dispute tried in a California state court.
Because of the particular requirements of the ERISA, you need an attorney at your side who can help you prepare the strongest case possible. At Kantor & Kantor, LLP), our legal team provides the following services:
ERISA cases are often quite complicated, as they involve not only developing an extensive evidentiary record but also understanding the intricacies of the law itself. This is often overwhelming for workers who are unfamiliar with the benefits process. It is generally in your best interest to seek advice from a qualified Walnut Creek ERISA attorney who can serve as a strong legal advocate for you and your family. If you would like to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible, contact Kantor & Kantor, LLP today to schedule a free initial consultation. Please note, you do not pay unless we win your claim.
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