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Life Insurance and Disability Insurance

People buy life insurance and disability insurance to protect their families when they die or in the event that they become unable to work. Many times, these policies are honored by the insurance companies as a matter of course. However, problems often do arise, and the insurance company will deny payment to the grieving family or disabled person, leaving the family with no option but to seek an attorney. Sometimes, the insurance company will file a lawsuit (called a Declaratory Judgment Action), often in Federal Court, to get a judge to rule that the denial of coverage was valid. At other times, the insurance company will do nothing, and force the family or disabled person to sue.

People in this situation face a difficult and uphill battle. The law in this area is difficult and obscure.

At Erik D. Frye, PA, we have handled life insurance cases where the insurance company has denied payment for a variety of reasons. For example, a person who did not reveal that they smoked was later killed in a car accident. The insurance company denied the claim due to this misrepresentation. We have handled life insurance cases where the insurance company denied coverage because one question on a life insurance application may have been answered slightly incorrectly, despite the fact that the insured fully revealed the medical condition on their application.

When an answer on an application for insurance is in question, the issues are always:

  1. Was there a misrepresentation? And
  2. Was the misrepresentation material?

The facts and the caselaw on these issues are always complicated and obscure. It makes sense, therefore, to hire the attorney who has made the most recent law in this area — law that is favorable to the insured.

This firm has successfully handled multiple cases where the insured died overseas and the body was never recovered. These cases are very difficult; having experienced and aggressive legal representation is the only way to ensure the family gets the benefits they deserve.

Mr. Frye has recently been lead counsel in a major disability case against the oldest insurers in the world. In the case of Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's, London v. Cohen, 785 F.2d 886 (4th Cir.) 2015, Mr. Frye was able to get an unfavorable ruling in the U.S. District Court reversed by the Fourth Circuit and, further, received a landmark finding that the application used was ambiguous and therefore the answers could not be used against the insured.

Of course, the bulk of disability claims come down to the simple question: is the person disabled enough to qualify for the benefits under the policy, or through social security? Mr. Frye has successfully handled a large number of cases such as these.

Finding an attorney willing to handle these cases on behalf of the insured is difficult. The amount of work and expertise required far exceeds the typical auto accident or work related injury. If you have such a matter, please feel free to contact us.

The law offices of Erik D. Frye, P.A., represents clients in injury, workers' compensation and insurance litigation matters throughout southern Maryland and surrounding areas. This includes those in Prince George's County, Charles County, Calvert County and Montgomery County, as well as the cities of Upper Marlboro, Brandywine, Largo, Clinton, District Heights, Bowie, Crofton, Mitchellville, Greenbelt and Camp Springs.

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