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San Francisco Insurance Law Blog

How can I cope with a long-term disability?

Being disabled in California is more than just a physical issue for most people. Long-term disabilities also cause quite a few psychological effects, and these effects can persist long after the disability becomes apparent. Coping with these effects is a must to live a happy and fulfilled life, as explained by HelpGuide.org.

Set goals

False insurance fraud accusations add insult to injury

You purchase insurance policies to protect you and your family in California from the consequences of a life-changing disastrous event. All too often, however, we at Pillsbury and Coleman have seen insurance companies go to great lengths to protect their profits and pay as little as possible on insurance claims. Sometimes, insurance companies may even turn on the very people they are supposed to protect by making false accusations of insurance fraud. 

If you make an insurance claim, it means that you have already had some sort of difficulty or trouble that you are trying to overcome. A false accusation of insurance fraud to justify denying a valid insurance claim adds insult to injury. 

When problems arise with long-term care insurance claims

There are many concerns people may have about their retirement years. This includes worries about whether they will be able to afford long-term care should the need for such care arise.

One of the steps some take in their efforts to address this concern is taking out a long-term care insurance policy. It is estimated that around 8 million people here in the U.S. have some type of such policy. California leads the nation in number of people (over 634,500) with a traditional long-term care insurance policy.

Vedica Puri Appointed to San Francisco County Superior Court

Longtime partner at Pillsbury & Coleman tapped for judgeship

Pillsbury & Coleman, LLP, proudly announces that attorney Vedica Puri has been appointed to a judgeship on the San Francisco County Superior Court. She has been a partner at our law firm since 2005.

Vedica Puri, 47, of San Francisco, fills the seat vacated by Judge Tracie L. Brown, who was elevated to the 1st District Court of Appeal. Puri, a Democrat, is the first Indian-American judge ever appointed to the San Francisco County Superior Court.

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       Vedica Puri

UnitedHealthcare being sued yet again for bad faith underpayment

A Pennsylvania woman contends that her insurance company illegally underpaid her mental health counselor, increasing her out-of-pocket medical expenses and jeopardizing her care. Her legal team is seeking class action status on behalf of thousands of other patients and their providers who were hurt by the reimbursement practices.

The lawsuit names UnitedHealthcare, the nation's largest health insurer. The insurance company has long history of lowball reimbursements to medical professionals, which hurts patients as well.

New wildfires likely means new fire loss claim denials

Homeowners in wildfire country are often hit with a double tragedy. First their home is damaged or destroyed, and then in the aftermath the insurance company finds some reason to deny their property insurance claim.

Just as predictable as wildfire season, we tend to see a “fire loss denial season” months later when those property owners invoke their policies. Insurers who deny fire claims in bad faith can be held accountable for monetary damages.

Common reasons ERISA disability claims are denied

Short-term or long-term disability insurance through your employer is not the safety net you think it is. Employees who actually file ERISA disability claims are regularly turned down, often with little explanation and little recourse.

Why was your claim denied? It may have to do with the fine print of the policy or a mistake in filling out the paperwork. Whatever the reason, it is possible to appeal an adverse decision. New rules that are favorable to claimants may help to level the playing field, but you will still likely need an attorney who understands how to fight insurers of ERISA plans.

Cancer disability claims are frequently denied

Cancer is one of the most common causes of disability. But many cancer patients who invoke their long term disability insurance have their claims denied.

The stated reasons for denial vary, but typically the rationale is that the person is "not disabled enough." It is possible to fight back against a claim denial by documenting how the symptoms of the cancer and the side effects of treatment prevent a person from working.

When does insurance bad faith merit punitive damages?

If you successfully sue an insurance company for bad faith, you are entitled to monetary damages.

In addition to compensatory damages (your actual losses), you may be awarded punitive damages, which are meant to punish and deter the wrongdoing. When do punitive damages apply? How are they calculated?

Musculoskeletal disorders the most common long-term disability

The vast majority of disabilities arise from medical disorders rather than from an accident or injury.

Musculoskeletal disorders – such as back problems, arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome -- are the biggest category of long-term disability claims. These claims are also frequently denied. Unlike cancer or a broken bone, it it not always easy to quantify or document the pain and limitations of these conditions.

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