As a civilian contractor working under the Defense Base Act, you face danger everyday while on the job. From working in war zones to areas affected by natural disasters to humanitarian crises, you are confronted with many risks. Whether you’re working at United States military bases or out in the country working under the Foreign Assistance Act, you can face a myriad of dangers that average individuals do not face while working at home.
This is specifically why the U.S. government promulgated the Defense Base Act, which is an extension of the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act. Civilian contractors working overseas and covered under the Defense Base Actwould have the same rights to compensation as any workers’ compensation program under the Department of Labor. Yet, this does not mean that you will get the compensation you deserve should you become injured. In fact, many insurance companies might try to convince you to settle for unreasonably low amounts in comparison to what you are entitled to receive. They do this to save money. As a contractor that aids our national defense and foreign interests, this is not what you deserve.
You deserve to have your rights protected. Moreover, you deserve the compensation necessary to recover fully from your injury. If you get injured while working contracts included under the Defense Base Act, such as public works contracts and contracts for military purposes, then you should be able to focus on recovering from your injury without worry that you will receive fair compensation for your injuries. In other words, you should recover medical expenses and lost wages while recuperating from your injury. This is what you’re entitled to, and a Defense Base Act lawyer is going to fight for your rights.
Why do I need a Defense Base Act Attorney?
When it comes to workers’ compensation and injury claims, many people think that they can turn to any type of personal injury lawyer or workers’ compensation lawyer. However, when it comes to Defense Base Act claims, you don’t want to go with just any lawyer.
The Defense Base Act and associated laws that administer it are complicated and difficult to navigate and understand. An attorney that specializes in the Defense Base Act is going to know:
· The history of Defense Base Act cases, using the precedents of past successful claims to strengthen your case;
· The laws that protect your specific rights as a Defense Base Act contractor;
· The rules and laws that regulate your contract and employer;
· The technicalities that can result in denials or disputes over your claim;
· Know the entire process of filing and prosecuting a DBA claim, which is very different than filing a normal workers’ compensation claim.
Also, a DBA lawyer with specific experience fighting DBA insurance companies and employers is going to know how to assert and defend your rights. They are going to know how the insurance companies approach your case – with an eye towards denying or disputing your claim, or how they’ll pressure you to settle for unreasonable low amounts. Having a DBA attorney on your side that knows how the other side fights will give you the best chance in receiving the compensation you deserve.
What will a Defense Base Act Lawyer do?
In short, a Defense Base Act Lawyer is going to walk with you through the entire claim and litigation process. If you contact a DBA lawyer immediately, they will help make sure your claim is filed correctly, making sure all paperwork is accurate, etc. More importantly, they are going to make sure that you don’t do anything that could jeopardize your case.
Through the entire process, a DBA attorney is going to:
1. Help you file your claim on time and correctly, adhering to all applicable deadlines. DBA claim deadlines are strict. Not adhering to these deadlines could jeopardize your chances of getting compensation due to you.
2. Make sure all supporting documentation and paperwork is reviewed, in order, and easily accessible. Should your claim be disputed, you will need to have any and all supporting documents about your injury to present to the U.S Department of Labor. The more evidence you have usually equates to a stronger case. However, quality is more important that quantity.
3. Walk you through the initial administrative proceedings. Not knowing the rules and regulations governing a DBA claim and litigation could result in a denial or delay in your compensation. These procedures shouldn’t be taken lightly, as not following them could result in your claim being denied because of a simple technicality.
4. Make sure you do not sign anything that you don’t understand or that puts you in a vulnerable position. Insurance companies and employers may pressure you to sign lengthy paperwork full of legal jargon that is designed to confuse you and that ultimately is more beneficial to them than you. This could mean signing something that says you won’t seek full compensation or otherwise limits your rights. An experienced DBA lawyer should receive all documents and communications regarding your injury and case. They will review these documents carefully to ensure that you’re not signing anything that will harm you in the long run.
5. Represent you in every step of the process.
When you get injured in a foreign country, you feel isolated and alone. You may even feel like your employer did not do everything in its power to protect you. Getting in contact with a DBA lawyer means not dealing with your claim alone. You’ll receive the support you need while you recover from your injury, and hopefully get back to work.
Searching for a DBA Attorney
Just like you don’t want to go with just any lawyer to handle your claim, you also don’t want to go with just any DBA attorney. Here is what you want to look for when searching for a DBA lawyer:
· Have they handled many successful DBA cases;
· Amount of experience dealing specifically with DBA claims;
· Win/loss ratio – how many times have they won or lost DBA claims.
At Moschetta Law, our attorneys focus on the Defense Base Act and have years of experience winning DBA claims. Based on our experience, we know and will anticipate the defenses that the insurance carrier is going to raise so we can build a stronger case for you. Contact us today if you want the best chance possible and winning the compensation you deserve.