5 Factors That Determine the Value of a Defense Base Act Claim

5 Factors That Determine the Value of a Defense Base Act Claim

Jul 3, 2020 | Defense Base Act

The Defense Base Act is an overarching law that can have many different outcomes depending on the case. But most people find these variations confusing and shrouded in legal jargon. 

These variations don’t have to be confusing. The legal ins-and-outs can be straightforward, so you understand your entitled compensation. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Find out where your DBA case stands today.

Read on to discover what can affect a Defense Base Act claim.

What Determines My Settlement? 

The DBA, unfortunately, cannot take away the trauma you experience from a work-related accident. But it can reimburse you for your financial losses.

Insurance companies fight you on the losses you suffer so they don’t have to pay you. That’s why it’s crucial to understand how the insurance companies are trying to fight, and what weapons they’re looking to use. 

What determines your Defense Base Act claim amount? 

  1. Medical expenses, paid and unpaid
  2. Future medical expenses (will you require further treatment?)
  3. Lost wages – past and future
  4. Prolonged or total disability and your ability to work

Medical Reimbursement 

Your past and current health status determine your medical expense reimbursement. Your health status is a composite of physical, emotional, and mental health.

The amount of reimbursement you’re entitled to depends on the nature of your health problems. For example, you can recover from a broken leg. But it’s more challenging to gauge PTSD recovery.

Fair settlement must also include life-long disabilities caused by accidents such as the loss of feeling in your left hand or loss of vision in your right eye. All of these factors are considered in a work environment. In other words, the court takes into account whether your work will be affected by the injury. 

Future Medical Expenses 

Future medical expenses should include both paid and unpaid medical costs. Future medical expenses take into account what sort of treatment you need in the future.

If the accident affected you physically, emotionally, and psychologically, your settlement should reflect those damages. Will you need prescriptions, physical or physiological therapy? It’s up to you to bring these questions to the table when it comes time to settle. 

Lost Wages 

With any Defense Base Act claim, you’re entitled to 2/3 your AWW or average weekly wage. Miscalculating your average weekly wage can result in significant financial losses.

Your AWW determines how much you should expect from a Defense Base Act claim and your DBA claim value. There are many legal nuances involved in calculating your AWW, so it’s essential to find an attorney whose expertise you trust.

Skilled DBA attorneys understand the current procedures for calculating AWW and won’t let insurance companies off the hook. 

It’s important to note the DBA and Department of Labor impose a maximum on the weekly compensation rate of any Defense Base Act claim. But you are entitled to your weekly compensation rate for as long as you are disabled from work. 

Prolonged or Total Disability 

Your period of disability determines how long you receive your weekly compensation. After calculating your weekly compensation rate, you, your attorney, and the insurance company reach an agreement on the duration of payment. This agreement determines the settlement amount on your Defense Base Act claim. 

Don’t Let the Insurance Company Take Advantage of Your Defense Base Act Claim 

Barnes Law Firm is committed to getting you the right amount of compensation for your losses. Don’t let the insurance company minimize your hardships by manipulating your Defense Base Act claim. Click here to learn more about your options!