NATIONWIDE Here Are 15 Tips That Will Help You Win Your Defense Base Act Claim
- You are covered by the Defense Base Act almost all the time you are overseas You don’t have to be actually working in order for your Defense Base Act claim to be compensable. In fact, we have personally seen accidents that occurred while playing soccer and basketball found to be compensable. A DBA worker who accidentally overdosed after getting a tattoo was found to be compensable under the Defense Base Act.
- Report your injury immediately Be sure to report it to someone in a supervisory or managerial position, or the HR department, at the company. Confirm the reporting with an e-mail and send a copy to yourself. Be sure to keep the email copy.
- Don’t give a recorded statement or a written statement It will only be used to deny your claim. If the adjuster tells you they need your statement in order to provide you with medical treatment or weekly compensation benefits, call a Defense Base Act lawyer. Immediately. But don’t give a statement.
- Don’t sign any medical releases or employment releases If the DBA adjuster tells you they need you to sign authorizations in order to provide your DBA benefits, call a DBA attorney.
- Wage evidence Document all your Defense Base Act wages, bonuses, etc. Keep all pay stubs and W-2’s. Your earning determine your compensation rate.
- The DBA insurance adjuster Don’t blow your relationship with the DBA insurance adjuster. Be polite, but cautious. Be honest, but don’t give more information than is absolutely necessary. Better yet, have your attorney deal with the adjuster. Our experienced DBA lawyers understand the laws and know all the tricks adjusters might use to undermine your case.
- Document medical treatment Keep records of all overseas medical treatment. Get names, addresses and e-mail address for all medical providers. Get copies of all your medical records before you leave to return to the U.S. Get copies of all imaging studies (MRI’s, x-rays, CT scans, etc.).
- Witness information Get names, addresses, telephone numbers and e-mail address of all witnesses to your injury incident.
- Always tell the truth Never, ever lie in court. Not only will it derail your case, but perjury is against the law. Don’t lose your case by fudging, exaggerating or lying.
- Don’t lie about or hide previous injuries or conditions There is no apportionment under the Defense Base Act; this means if 95 percent of your issue is from a pre-existing condition and 5 percent is caused by the DBA injury, it is all compensable. With computer data bases available to the insurance companies today, you will get nailed if you try and hide a prior claim or injury.
- Free choice of physician You get one free choice physician under the DBA, so make sure you choose someone who you can trust and feel will be on your side. Never, ever chose a doctor suggested by the DBA insurance adjuster.
- Tell your doctor about your job Be sure to explain to your stateside doctor the work you did. Explain you had to wear body armor or explain the road conditions, etc. Show your doctor photographs if need be. It is important for your doctor to understand the rigors of Defense Base Act employment.
- Say “No” to the nurse case manager Don’t allow the insurance company nurse case manager to go into the examination room with your physician. Politely ask them to wait in the waiting room. The nurse case manager’s job is to save the insurance company money—not help you.
- Product defects If a defective product was involved in your injury, get photographs of the product. Write down and document with photos, the make, model, serial number of the defective product. Try and find our who owns or leases the product. Get any government identifying numbers for the product.
- Don’t take legal advice from the Defense Base Act adjuster The adjuster works for the insurance company, not you. It is their job to protect the profit margin and as such, will typically try to low-ball your claim. If they refer you to a specific lawyer, you are well within your rights to be wary. Do your own investigation. Work with an attorney who is independent of the insurance company, who has experience, and with whom you feel comfortable.
Most Importantly, Contact One Of The Skilled DBA Attorneys At Mara Law Firm As Soon As Possible
There is a timetable associated with any workers’ compensation claim, including those under the DBA. You must report your incident to your employer within 30 days of its occurrence (although it should really be reported immediately). You also have only one year to file a formal DBA claim. The sooner you act, the better your chances are of getting full and fair compensation. Over time, witnesses may forget details and records may be lost. If you’ve suffered an injury, contact us immediately. All consultations are free and confidential and you only pay if we obtain relief for you. To schedule a time to discuss your situation, please call us at (619) 486-1739 or complete and send the online contact form.
Contact The Mara Law Firm about Your DBA Claim
Contact us today to schedule a free confidential consultation with our Defense Base Act Lawyers. Our dedicated staff will provide you with the attention and consideration that you deserve in your time of need. Our Defense Base Act attorneys at the Mara Law Firm will devote ourselves to protecting your interests and obtaining the maximum benefits that your case merits.