Some car accidents can lead to long-term disabilities that leave victims with a lifetime of treatments, therapy, and pain. Other car accidents, however, can cause serious short-term injuries and illnesses that only last for several months.
Even car accident victims who face a short-term medical issue can lose out on income because they are unable to work. However, these individuals may be able to recover short-term disability benefits after an Ohio car accident.
If you or a loved one has suffered from a short-term disability that was caused by a car accident, you should consult our experienced Ohio car accident lawyers at Kisling, Nestico & Redick today. For a free and confidential consultation, contact us at 1-800-HURT-NOW.
What is a Short-Term Disability Policy?
A short-term disability policy is designed to provide an employee a percentage of their salary for a particular time frame if they are sick, injured, and unable to perform their job duties. In most cases, it pays approximately 40 to 60 percent of an employee’s weekly gross income.
Short-term disability coverage typically begins anywhere from one to 14 days after an employee sustains a condition that inhibits their ability to work. Although the time period for short-term disability varies, it is usually between nine and 52 weeks.
In most cases, employees must use sick days before their short-term disability kicks in if their conditions keep them out of work for an extended time frame. If an employee still cannot work after their coverage period is over, a long-term or permanent disability plan will take effect.
Car Accident Injuries That Warrant Short-Term Disability Claims
Even minor car accident injuries can interfere with your ability to work and make it challenging to support yourself and your family. Some common car accident injuries that may warrant short-term disability claims include:
- Back injuries
- Neck injuries
- Joint disorders
- Broken bone
Who Pays for Short-Term Disability?
A short-term disability policy can be a free benefit from an employer or one that is paid by an employee. It can also be obtained through a third party vendor such as Aflac. Regardless of whether you acquire short-term disability through your employer or a third party vendor, you must meet specific requirements to start receiving coverage.
Short-Term Disability ERISA Requirements
ERISA is a federal law that sets the minimum standards for voluntary, private pension and healthcare plans, including short-term disability. It requires employers to give their employees information on how to file a claim, what to do if the claim is denied, and what rights they have to file a lawsuit if it is rejected. Since the language in ERISA is written by lawyers, it can be challenging to understand without the help of one by your side.
How to File a Short-Term Disability Claim
The process of filing a short-term disability claim seems simple, but it can be complicated if you are not familiar with it and do not understand the requirements of your policy. Here is a brief overview of the process:
- Obtain the claim form: The claim form can be found in your company’s HR department or even online.
- Complete the form: You will have to provide the date you stopped working as well as details on your injury or medical condition and contact information.
- Ask your employer to complete their portion of the form: Your employer will need to provide information about your job responsibilities, salary, tenure, and more.
- Receive doctor validation: Your doctor will need to prove that you have a condition that prevents you from working for a short time period and sign the form.
- Submit the form: Once the form has been completed, it should be submitted according to the detailed instructions.
Failing to fill out the form correctly or missing essential deadlines can lead to a benefit denial, making legal representation imperative.
Why Seek Legal Representation
It can be challenging to collect the short-term disability benefits you may be entitled to without a highly skilled lawyer by your side. Just like most businesses, insurance companies who offer short-term disability are dedicated to making as much money as possible. They often do this by trying to find reasons to deny benefits.
To avoid being in a situation where you have applied for short-term disability after a car accident and denied coverage, it’s essential to work with a skilled lawyer. A car accident attorney can carefully review your particular policy and determine its specific deadlines and evidence requirements.
Furthermore, they can guide you through the process of filing a claim and help you collect all necessary evidence and documentation from your doctor to prove the disability your car accident caused. In the event you need to transition your short-term disability coverage to long-term disability, a skilled attorney can help this happen smoothly.
Contact Kisling, Nestico & Redick Right Away
If a car accident has taken away your ability to work for a short period of time, you should reach out to the Ohio car accident lawyers at KNR as soon as possible. For a free consultation and to learn more information about your legal options, contact us at 1-800-HURT-NOW today.