Dentist Claims & Resources
Our law firm’s disability insurance attorneys regularly represent dentists filing “own occupation” disability claims. We are located in Phoenix, Arizona, but our attorneys work with dentists nationwide.
As a dentist, you’re likely no stranger to hand, neck and back pain and you probably have your own personal remedies for when things get particularly bad. Maybe you ice your hands at the end of each day, see a chiropractor or get a massage on a weekly basis. Or maybe you go back to your office to stretch between patients and/or lie down to rest your legs and lower back.
The majority of our clients are dentists, and most of them come to us with the same initial question: should I stop practicing and file a disability claim, or should I just push through the pain? Many of them feel pressure to keep working, in spite of their conditions, because their income is production-based, or they own their practice and cannot afford to spend several months away from it recovering from surgery.
At the same time, continuing to work places your patients at risk and exposes you to malpractice and licensing issues. And if you have a condition like carpal tunnel or degenerative disc disease, the demands of dentistry likely caused your condition in the first place and continuing to practice will likely only cause further problems, and result in the need for more procedures and surgeries down the road.
If you have found yourself in this unfortunate predicament, you probably have a lot of questions. Should I have surgery, or just try conservative treatment? If I file a claim, will my disability insurer force me to have surgery? Will surgery fix the numbness? Will I be able to go back to work? How will my practice survive while I recover? Should I sell my practice? Or should I hire on a temporary associate to keep things afloat?
Ultimately, the answers to these questions largely depend on several factors, including whether you own your practice, the nature of your condition, your insurer, when your policies were issued, and what the key definitions in your policy say, among other things. Regardless of where you are in the disability claims process, our firm is here to help. We’ve compiled the resources below for dentists who are interested in learning more about the disability claims process.
- When Do I Need to File a Disability Insurance Claim?
- When Should I Contact an Attorney About My Claim?
- What Should I Expect if I File a Disability Claim?
- Do I Have a True “Own Occupation” Policy?
- Should I Just Take a Break From Practicing to See If I Feel Better?
- Why Does the Disability Insurance Company Want My CDT Codes?
- How Long Does it Take to Get Disability Benefits? – Part 1
- How Long Does it Take to Get Disability Benefits? – Part 2
- Can My Disability Insurer Require Me to Have Surgery?
- What if Surgery Doesn’t Work?
- I’ve Been Paid Benefits for Years, Why Is My Insurer Asking for More Information?
- Questions to Ask When Choosing a Disability Attorney
- Disability Insurance – Do I Really Need It? A Disability Insurance Attorney’s Perspective
- Do You Have a True “Own Occupation” Policy? – Dentaltown (March 2019)
- What Every Dentist Needs to Know About Disability Insurance
- Disability Insurance and the Dentist: Can You Collect on Your Policy?
- A Stiff Upper Lip Can Lead To Getting Stiffed By Your Insurer: Chronic Pain and Your Ability to Collect Disability Insurance Benefits
- Working Through Pain: How Chronic Conditions Affect Dentists – Dentaltown (September 2015)
- The Injured Dentist: Is Your Work Ethic Hurting You and Your Patients?
- Dealing With the Demands of Dentistry: It’s Ok to Ask for Help
- Dentistry Tops List of Most Dangerous Jobs
- Unique Risk Factors In Dentistry
- Unum Study Shows Increase in Musculoskeletal Claims
- Degenerative Disc Disease and the Dentist
- Musculoskeletal Conditions in Dentistry: The Most Common Disability, The Most Difficult Disability Claim
- Non-Medication Treatments for Chronic Pain
- Carpal Tunnel Surgery – What if It Doesn’t Work?
- Hartford Study Shows Increase in Mental Health Issues in the Workplace
- Anxiety & Panic Disorder
Dentist Blog Series
Top 10 Legal Mistakes Series
- Mistake #1: Failing to Consult with a Disability Lawyer
- Mistake #2: Misunderstanding the Definitions of “Disability” and “Occupation”
- Mistake #3: Inadequate Documentation
- Mistake #4: Blindly Attending an Independent Medical Exam
- Mistake #5: Believing All Mental Conditions Are Excluded or Subject to Limitations
- Mistake #6: Engaging in Inadequate Communication with Treating Physician
- Mistake #7: Quantifying Time
- Mistake #8: Ignoring the Possibility of Surveillance
- Mistake #9: Blindly Accepting that Subjectively Diagnosed Conditions are Not Covered
- Mistake #10: Tossing Out Application, Policy and Claim Documents
10 More Legal Mistakes Series
- Mistake #1: Blindly Relying on an Insurance Agent
- Mistake #2: Failing to Carefully Review Policy Applications
- Mistake #3: Failing to Understand the Limitations in Newer Disability Policies
- Mistake #4: Mistakenly Believing that They Have a True “Own Occupation” Policy
- Mistake #5: Misunderstanding the New Definition of “Occupation”
- Mistake #6: Reducing Work Hours Prior to Filing a Claim
- Mistake #7: Being Caught Off-Guard by the Aggressiveness of the Claim Investigation
- Mistake #8: Misunderstanding the Scope of the Investigation
- Mistake #9: Allowing the Insurance Company to Dictate the Terms of Your Care
- Mistake #10: Replacing Your Old Policy With a New One
Insurance Company Tactics Series
- The “Dual Occupation” Defense
- Conducting Multiple Paper Reviews
- Selectively Reviewing Claim Files
- Ignoring Evidence
- Misidentifying Claims
- Ignoring Treating Physician Evidence
- IMEs, Rushed Exams & Piecemeal Testing
- Overemphasizing Daily Activities
- Questioning Medical Decisions
Key Policy Provision Series
- Care Requirements
- Interviews & Examinations
- Medical Examinations
- Definition of Occupation
- Financial Examinations
Major Disability Insurer Profiles
- Mutual of Omaha
Practice Transition Planning
Can My Insurer Dictate My Treatment?
- What Is a Care Provision?
- “Regular Care” Provisions
- “Appropriate Care” and “Most Appropriate Care”
- Care Dictation Provisions
Musculoskeletal Conditions Series
- Spinal Osteoarthritis
- Disc Bulge, Disc Herniation, and Disc Protrusion
- Degenerative Disc Disease
Arizona Disability Blog Series
- What Can I Do If My Insurer Misrepresents My Policy? Do I Have a Remedy Under Arizona Law?
- Why Was My Claim Denied? Can I Sue for Bad Faith in Arizona?
- Can You Collect On Your Specialty Specific Policy? An Arizona Case Study
- Sickness or Injury? Does it Matter Under Arizona Law?
- What is an Incontestability Clause? An Arizona Case Study
- Disability Insurance Bad Faith: Different States – Part 1 (Arizona)
- Disability Claim Investigation: What Can My Insurer Do in Arizona?
- Are Disability Insurance Benefits Marital Property in Arizona?
- Has My Disability Insurer Acted in Bad Faith Under Arizona Law?