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Success Story: Ron Matthews

Medical Doctor Denied Disability Claim

Success Story - Ron MatthewsWith a proud family, a thriving practice in Family Medicine, and an active lifestyle, Ron Matthews had achieved many accomplishments. Until he discovered the cause of his sore back, he did not know that he had spent 52 years developing a longterm disability. His long-term disability insurance would only cover his needs short-term until Share Lawyers won a case against his insurance company.

Healthy and Successful

By his mid-thirties, Dr. Matthews had a busy medical practice and a busy family life. Still with stamina to spare, he continued his lifelong sport as a long distance runner. Around his 52nd birthday, however, he realized that years of pounding pavement as a runner and on his feet as a doctor was degenerating his lower back.

New Challenge

Changing his habits to soften the effects on his lower back would allow Dr. Matthews to continue practising medicine and family life. Yet, paring back would have other consequences. His high-performance lifestyle included a healthy six-figure income. Reducing time at work (from 50 to 30 hours per week) would cause a massive reduction in family income. Replacing lost income became his next challenge.

Insurance To Replace Lost Income

Fortunately, he had private disability insurance. It included residual disability benefits that would pay a proportion of his benefit based on actual loss of income. The policy’s top-up would mean that if he suffered a 50% loss of earnings and his monthly benefit was $7,000 then he would receive $3,500 as his monthly benefit. This would adjust to actual reported earnings. His claim was accepted and benefits were paid – for a while.

Medical Solution Triggers Legal Problem

After one year, the insurer began questioning both Dr. Matthews’ lifestyle choices and the accuracy of the financial information he was providing. They suggested that he wanted to use the insurance benefits as an early-retirement fund and questioned whether he really would earn as much money as he claimed. He was continuing to serve his patients and to be a good family man while taking care of himself. Yet, this questioning added unexpected demands and new stress.

Insurer Sued For Benefits + Punitive Damages

Though his lifestyle choices were sensible and his financial claims accurate, Dr. Matthews was not successful at resolving the challenges raised by his insurer. So, he retained Share Lawyers to help secure his rights under his disability insurance policy. After extensive document-gathering, securing expert reports, and lengthy legal proceedings, an agreement was negotiated. He received a lump-sum settlement.

Good Decision

Dr. Ron Matthews now finds satisfaction in continuing to serve his patients’ medical needs while living life with a new, moderate balance. He says, “I had many thoughts over many days about how to deal with the denial of benefits. Making that first call to Share Lawyers proved to be one of my best decisions. The results Share Lawyers got for me now enable a good life for me and my family. Thank you David Share.”

*Names have been fictionalized to protect the privacy of our clients.