I can’t speak to your situation without knowing all the facts. But generally speaking 2-5 years is a common max range. That depends on a lot of factors.
One word of caution. Almost every person I meet believes they have a strong case – and I am often in disagreement with them over that. So make sure your lawyer agrees you have a strong case before opting to go to trial. And keep an open mind if they tell you your case isn’t as strong as you think it is. You need to view your case as the decision-maker (judge) will view it, not as you know it to be.
Being honest and legitimately unable to work – while obviously very important – is not enough to have a strong case. This is where many people misjudge their situation. Legal cases are about how the judge perceives you and what you can prove in court. As I say in my books – the truth is not enough.
If you check out my bio, you will see I wanted to be a lawyer after my grandfather lost a “sure thing” case at trial when I was ten. This case was supposed to be impossible to lose. It was a terrible situation for my family
I tell everyone to forget about punitive damages. They are awarded in only the rarest and most extreme situations. 99% of cases are not going to fall into that situation. I recommend never factoring punitive damages into your assessment of settlement, mediations, etc, unless you have a strong punitive damages case. In my entire career, I have had a total of 3 cases that could actually win (or won) punitive damages.
Mental distress damages are something difference and it is possible to win those at trial in a broader ranges of situations. However, you should not count on these types of damages at mediations or out of court settlements.
Courts cannot award future payments in long term disability case. They can only enforce the insurance policy as it is written. They can only require past payments to be paid and can say that you meet the requirements for payment as of the day of their decision. that means insurance companies will re-start month to month payments. But, it doesn’t prevent the insurance company from continuing to adjudicate the claim and from terminating benefits in the future again.
I hope this clarifies.