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Recent blog posts

Posted by on in Law

Accidental Death & Dismemberment Plans: Construction-related deaths

In a recent case, a Missouri court held that a wife, the named beneficiary of her husband’s accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) plan, was entitled to receive accidental death benefits. The husband worked as a heavy equipment operator for a local construction company. The wife worked part-time as an occupational therapist at a local in-patient rehabilitation facility. The couple had three small children ranging from ages three to eight and the wife was pregnant with their fourth child. The husband had been working for the construction company for about three years when he decided to obtain an AD&D plan. He discussed the decision with his wife and they both agreed that due to the nature of the husband’s work, it made sense to obtain some extra protection just in case the unthinkable were to ever happen.

Six years after making timely payments on his AD&D plan, the husband was tragically killed while loading a bulldozer onto a flatbed trailer. The bulldozer overturned falling onto the husband, killing him instantly. After being notified of her husbands death, the wife filed a claim for accidental death benefits. The insurer initially denied her claim. However, the wife consulted an attorney who then sued the insurer for wrongful denial. The court held that the insurer had wrongfully denied the wife’s claim and awarded her accidental death benefits and punitive damages totaling in excess of $150,000.

If you have been denied your accidental death and dismemberment benefit, you should consult an experienced life insurance attorney to hear about your recovery options!

Hire an Experienced Insurance Claim Denial Attorney

Our results speak for themselves. Our experienced insurance claim denial attorneys have never lost a case. At Joseph & Eugene, LLC our lawyers handle cases throughout Missouri and Illinois. Don’t delay if you have been denied your insurance claim. Contact our knowledgeable lawyers today at (314) 881-8338 or send us an Insurance Denial question. We look forward to hearing from you. All communications are returned promptly.

Our Locations:

Joseph & Eugene, LLC

222 South Central Avenue, STE 1003

St. Louis, MO 63105

(o) 314.881.8338

(f) 314.863.6308

Get Directions.

Life Insurance Denial Attorneys at Joseph & Eugene, LLC have nearly 50 years combined experience handling insurance claims throughout Missouri and Illinois      

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Cause of Action for Accidental Death Benefits

To receive accidental death benefits under a life insurance or accidental death & dismemberment plan, a beneficiary must prove that the insured’s death was accidental. The proof of death by violent means raises a presumption of accidental death. Evidence of an insured’s cause of death can be shown through an autopsy report, medical examiner record, police report, or death certificate.

Where the accidental death policy contains both a condition that the injury sustained in an accident must result independently of all other causes and an exclusion for injuries caused directly or indirectly by a bodily or mental infirmity, it is not sufficient for the plaintiff to simply show a causal relationship between the accident and the death. In such cases, the plaintiff must also prove that the death was caused solely by the accident and that the illness, disease, or infirmity in question was not a contributory factor. On the other hand, for deaths involving intoxication, such as when the accidental death policy excludes "loss or injury resulting from the use of intoxicating liquors," it is the insurer, and not the beneficiary, that has the burden to show that the intoxicant was the direct cause of death. Insurers will often deny a valid claim for accidental death benefits.

If you were denied accidental death benefits, do not be discouraged, contact an experienced life insurance attorney who will fight to get you the compensation you deserve.

Hire an Experienced Insurance Claim Denial Attorney

Our results speak for themselves. Our experienced insurance claim denial attorneys have never lost a case. At Joseph & Eugene, LLC our lawyers handle cases throughout Missouri and Illinois. Don’t delay if you have been denied your insurance claim. Contact our knowledgeable lawyers today at (314) 881-8338 or send us an Insurance Denial question. We look forward to hearing from you. All communications are returned promptly.

Our Locations:

Joseph & Eugene, LLC

222 South Central Avenue, STE 1003

St. Louis, MO 63105

(o) 314.881.8338

(f) 314.863.6308

Get Directions.

Life Insurance Denial Attorneys at Joseph & Eugene, LLC have nearly 50 years combined experience handling insurance claims throughout Missouri and Illinois 

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Accidental Death Benefits and Prescription Drugs  

In a recent case, an insured woman was found dead in her home and an autopsy revealed that her death was from an overdose of Darvon, a commonly used opioid pain reliever. The woman was prescribed the drug to help her recover from a recent hip surgery. In the autopsy report, the insured's death was listed as accidental because the insured had a fairly low dosage of Darvon in her blood, and the doctor eliminated natural causes and suicide as other possible causes of death. Her husband, who was the beneficiary of the wife’s accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) plan, filed a claim for accidental death benefits with the insurance company. The insurance company denied the claim, citing that the wife’s death by drug overdose was not accidental and thus, not covered under the AD&D plan.

The husband sued the insurance company in federal court contesting that the insurer had wrongfully denied his claim for accidental death benefits. After reviewing the facts of the case and hearing the testimony of the physician who conducted the autopsy, the court determined that the wife did not expect or intend her final dose of Darvon to be fatal. The court concluded the wife simply made a fatal mistake, and her death was properly considered an accident. Therefore, the court held that the husband was entitled to accidental death benefits.

If you were denied on a claim for accidental death benefits, you should consult an attorney today who will fight to get you the compensation you deserve.

Hire an Experienced Insurance Claim Denial Attorney

Our results speak for themselves. Our experienced insurance claim denial attorneys have never lost a case. At Joseph & Eugene, LLC our lawyers handle cases throughout Missouri and Illinois. Don’t delay if you have been denied your insurance claim. Contact our knowledgeable lawyers today at (314) 881-8338 or send us an Insurance Denial question. We look forward to hearing from you. All communications are returned promptly.

Our Locations:

Joseph & Eugene, LLC

222 South Central Avenue, STE 1003

St. Louis, MO 63105

(o) 314.881.8338

(f) 314.863.6308

Get Directions.

Life Insurance Denial Attorneys at Joseph & Eugene, LLC have nearly 50 years combined experience handling insurance claims throughout Missouri and Illinois  

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Accidental Death Benefits: Denial and Delay

A husband and father of two was recently killed in a fatal car accident on his way home from work. The man hit a patch of ice and fishtailed into oncoming traffic. Two years prior to his death, the man obtained an accidental death life insurance policy with the hope of protecting his wife and kids should the unthinkable happen. Upon hearing of her husband’s tragic death, the wife filed a claim for accidental death benefits only to be denied by the life insurance company.

While the insurance company eventually paid out benefits, the wife had to fight for over a  year to receive the money she was entitled to. The insurer deployed a series of delay tactics in attempts to dissuade the wife from continuing her pursuit of benefits. The insurer repeatedly told the wife it did not have all of the husband’s medical records, even though the wife had sent all of said records. Further, it also alleged that the husband’s death certificate was missing. The insurer’s handling (or lack thereof) of the wife’s claim was not unique as life insurance companies frequently deny claims and delay payments on valid accidental death claims. Typically, insurers are required to pay benefits within 30 days, but they will often draw out the process, hoping claimants will eventually give up and go away.

If you have been denied on an accidental death benefit claim, you should consult an experienced life insurance denial attorney who will fight to get you the compensation you deserve.

Hire an Experienced Insurance Claim Denial Attorney

Our results speak for themselves. Our experienced insurance claim denial attorneys have never lost a case. At Joseph & Eugene, LLC our lawyers handle cases throughout Missouri and Illinois. Don’t delay if you have been denied your insurance claim. Contact our knowledgeable lawyers today at (314) 881-8338 or send us an Insurance Denial question. We look forward to hearing from you. All communications are returned promptly.

Our Locations:

Joseph & Eugene, LLC

222 South Central Avenue, STE 1003

St. Louis, MO 63105

(o) 314.881.8338

(f) 314.863.6308

Get Directions.

Life Insurance Denial Attorneys at Joseph & Eugene, LLC have nearly 50 years combined experience handling insurance claims throughout Missouri and Illinois

Continue reading
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Posted by on in Law

Accidental Death Benefits and the “Mutual Benefit Doctrine”

Under the “mutual benefit doctrine,” an injury suffered by an employee while performing an act for the mutual benefit of both the employer and the employee is compensable when some advantage to  the employer results from the employee’s conduct. The doctrine applies even when the advantage to the employee is slight. Missouri courts have applied the doctrine in cases involving employees who frequently travel on behalf of their employer. Upon a finding of a mutual benefit between employer and employee, a court will likely award death benefits to an employee’s survivors.

In a recent case, a court held that an employee’s survivors were eligible for death benefits when the employee was killed in a motorcycle accident while returning from his home to pick up his dirty uniforms for work. The uniforms were scheduled to be picked up by a cleaning service the following day. At trial, the employer admitted that having his employees wear uniforms on the job was beneficial for business because it “sets an image for the business” which is a “good one.” The court found that the employee’s trip arose out of and in the course of his employment under the mutual benefit doctrine.

If you are the beneficiary of an accidental death and dismemberment plan or the survivor of a loved one who was killed on the job, you should consult an attorney to hear about your recovery options.

Hire an Experienced Insurance Claim Denial Attorney

Our results speak for themselves. Our experienced insurance claim denial attorneys have never lost a case. At Joseph & Eugene, LLC our lawyers handle cases throughout Missouri and Illinois. Don’t delay if you have been denied your insurance claim. Contact our knowledgeable lawyers today at (314) 881-8338 or send us an Insurance Denial question. We look forward to hearing from you. All communications are returned promptly.

Our Locations:

Joseph & Eugene, LLC

222 South Central Avenue, STE 1003

St. Louis, MO 63105

(o) 314.881.8338

(f) 314.863.6308

Get Directions.

Life Insurance Denial Attorneys at Joseph & Eugene, LLC have nearly 50 years combined experience handling insurance claims throughout Missouri and Illinois

Continue reading
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