PJKJ Law brings peace of mind and legal expertise to those facing a health crisis
Good health is taken for granted by most of us. Often, it’s not until we face the struggle of failing health that we realize the devastating effect it can have on our daily lives as well as the lives of those closest to us. These challenging circumstances are made worse when your ability to work to support your livelihood is no longer an option. For many people, their long-term disability (LTD) benefit offers a much-needed financial safety net. Yet, what happens when that coverage is denied?
The unfortunate truth is that many people don’t realize they can take legal action when coping with serious injury, illness and wrongful death. However, when someone is faced with denial of LTD coverage or is suffering as a result of a medical procedure gone wrong, legal representation may be the only way to ensure his or her rights are fairly represented.
Pheroze Jeejeebhoy, a practicing lawyer and owner of PJKJ Law in Hamilton, has more than 20 years of experience in defending clients in medical legal litigation. Over this time, he has developed an extensive knowledge of medicine and insurance health benefits as well as acquired a high level of comfort with medical practitioners.
“It’s a bit like going to medical school one disease at a time,” explains Jeejeebhoy. “You need to know the fine points of an illness and how it affects someone’s life, and in some instances be able to explain how the health got worse because of treatment.” A comfort level with complex health issues and access to the medical community are both crucial to providing clients with peace of mind during a time of crisis.
When to contact a lawyer
A person’s LTD coverage can be denied by insurance for a number of reasons. Unfortunately, most people don’t have the technical expertise to understand whether the denial of coverage is based on a fair assessment.
In some instances, a benefit is denied after two years of coverage when the definition of LTD changes from an entitlement based on the insured’s inability to perform aspects of the current job to an entitlement based on the insured’s ability to perform any job. While an appeal through the insurance company is often the first step in protecting one’s benefit, a more fruitful approach may be to contact a lawyer to determine if this is a case that can be won with legal representation.
“Long term disability is a contract of insurance,” says Jeejeebhoy. “It’s about wording of the contract and whether your medical records entitle you to coverage.”
Patients can feel just as overwhelmed when faced with the possibility of suing for medical malpractice. The doctor patient relationship is built on trust – so what happens when the person with whom you placed your life doesn’t perform their job properly? It can be a huge betrayal and the prospect of challenging healthcare professionals and the medical field that backs them, can be daunting. Especially when the patient is also dealing with a health crisis.
“Being able to turn to someone who can deal with this and confidently manage your concerns in a time of crisis is paramount,” says Jeejeebhoy.
When looking for legal representation, Jeejeebhoy offers the following advice: • Interview the lawyer to ensure you’re comfortable with him or her. • Consider how responsive the lawyer is to your enquiry. Are all your questions being answered in a timely manner? • Remember the lawyer works for you and your concerns need to be addressed.
Jeejeebhoy stresses that the most important reason for contacting a law firm like PJKJ Law is peace of mind. People’s lives have often been destroyed and cases, such as these, are defended very aggressively by both the insurance companies and the healthcare field. It’s important that one’s legal representation is prepared for this forum.
“When people come to us, they are in a state of crisis and we try to take that burden of crisis from them,” says Jeejeebhoy. “When they’re facing such uncertainty, we want to give them a sense of comfort that they have somebody looking out for them now.”
PJKJ Law business hours:
Mon. to Fri. 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Weekends by appointment only
Left to right: Marlene DeMelo, Sandra Perron, Zenobia Jeejeebhoy, Pheroze Jeejeebhoy, Tricia Doyle and Kim Jeejeebhoy.