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Washington State Trial Attorney Wins Disability Insurance Benefits from Unum Despite Unclear Diagnosis

A Washington state trial attorney won his long-term disability insurance benefits from Unum despite not having a clear diagnosis of his illness.

In early 2020, Attorney Abrams was working as a trial attorney on a big case, averaging about 11 hours per day working. When he wasn’t working, he was preparing for three international marathons.

But in April 2020, attorney Abrams began suffering from near daily fevers, severe fatigue and mental fogginess. He tried to work a little bit in spite of his symptoms, but it was clear to his colleagues he was not able. His colleagues said he was confused and didn’t understand the information being told to him. He was also unable to run in the marathons as he hoped.

Filing for LTD Benefits

In July 2020, Attorney Abrams filed for long term disability with his insurance carrier, Unum. After reviewing the medical evidence, Unum denied his claim. The basis for the denial included notes of being fever free and no neurological deficits or cognitive issues documented in the records.

To support his appeal of the denial of benefits, Attorney Abrams saw seven doctors who all agreed he could no longer work as a trial attorney. However, it was unclear what was causing his symptoms.

Three of the doctors diagnosed Abrams with chronic fatigue syndrome (“CFS”) and four of them diagnosed him with long-COVID. But, all seven doctors agreed he was disabled from working in his occupation. He also underwent neuropsychological testing which did not find any cognitive deficits.

He submitted an appeal with the seven doctors’ support as well as the neuropsychological evaluation. But Unum denied the appeal.

The Lawsuit

Following the denial of the claim and appeal, Attorney Abrams sued Unum in federal court. The noted that Attorney Abrams had to prove he was disabled from working in his job as a trial attorney, the type of work of which the court is very familiar. Trial lawyers require high cognitive function, the ability to appear in court, work long hours and travel often.

The court found that the evidence fully supported Abrams inability to work as a trial lawyer. It pointed out that:

  • Abrams went from training for marathons and working 12 hours days to being homebound,
  • the treating doctors all agree he is incapable of working full time or part time, and
  • he would have worked instead of selling his home and exhausting his savings.

Of importance, the court noted that just because the doctors could not agree on a diagnosis does not mean he is not sick. Based on the evidence presented, the court found Abrams was entitled to LTD benefits.

Help from a Lawyer with Expertise in Disability Insurance

This law firm was built to be a disability insurance law firm.

That focus means:

  1. All of our lawyers specialize in disability insurance claims;
  2. We have experience with every major disability insurance company;
  3. We have won important long term disability lawsuits.

Our disability lawyers can help you with:

  • Submitting a disability insurance claim;
  • Appealing a long-term disability denial;
  • Negotiating a lump-sum settlement; and/or
  • Filing a lawsuit against your disability insurance company.

Hiring an experienced disability attorney is important. Because federal law applies to most disability insurance claims, our lawyers do not have to be located in your state.

Dabdoub Law Firm has helped countless clients get the disability insurance they are entitled to. If you are in a similar situation, contact our team for a free consultation. You can reach us online or by phone at (800) 969-0488.

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