Managing a Claim: What to Expect From a Defense Base Act Attorney

Managing a Claim: What to Expect From a Defense Base Act Attorney

Jul 13, 2023 | Defense Base Act

From 2001 to 2019, more defense contractors died in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan than military personnel. Contractors play a critical role in protecting U.S. interests around the world. They work in regions that can be dangerous and unstable.

If you were injured as a result of your work as a contractor, a Defense Base Act attorney can help you get the compensation you deserve. The Defense Base Act (DBA) covers workers on American military installations outside of the U.S. Filing your DBA claim correctly is essential.

Learn more about how a Defense Base Act lawyer can help you through the claims process.

The Importance of a Defense Base Act Attorney

Filing a Defense Base Act claim requires supporting documentation. To get the best outcome, you need a Defense Base Act attorney. A lawyer will help ensure you don’t accidentally do anything to jeopardize your claim.

You need to act quickly because you have a limited time window in which you can file your DBA claim.

You typically have up to a year to file a claim. However, you only have 30 days if the claim involves death benefits. Your Defense Base Act lawyer will guide you through the process.

Hire a Defense Base Act Lawyer Early in the Process

The first steps in filing a DBA claim are to report the injury and seek medical attention. You need to use Form LS-201 to give notice to your employer.

If your injuries are severe, get medical attention immediately. You can report the injury as soon as possible afterward. For less severe injuries, notify your supervisor first.

Reporting your injury right away makes you more likely to qualify for DBA compensation. You must report the injury within 30 days.

Hiring a DBA attorney at this stage of the process improves your chances of getting the best resolution to your claim. A lawyer will know what information to gather. They will prevent your insurance company from trying to intimidate you.

Fights for You Before the DLHWC

The Department of Labor’s Division of Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation (DLHWC) administers the Defense Base Act. The DLHWC will make an initial recommendation about whether you’re entitled to benefits.

There is often an informal conference with your employer, your insurance carrier, and your DBA lawyer. Your attorney will advocate for you at this conference.

If you disagree with the DLHWC’s recommendation, your DBA attorney can file your disagreement. The case is then referred to the Office of Administrative Law Judges.

Manages the Adjudication

Referring the case to the Office of Administrative Law Judges starts formal adjudication. Each side asks questions and requests documents from the other side. The opposing side will want to get a deposition from you and your doctor.

Your Defense Base Act attorney will guide you during the deposition. After each side has gathered evidence, the Administrative Law Judge holds a hearing. The judge will then issue an opinion.

You may have to wait up to a year to get a decision, though. If you disagree with the decision, your lawyer can appeal.

Negotiates a Fair Settlement

Many DBA claims are settled without the need for formal adjudication. Your DBA lawyer will fight for your rights with your insurance carrier.

Your attorney will present a detailed package to the carrier summarizing:

  • Your injuries
  • Medical expenses
  • Permanent restrictions on your ability to work
  • Ongoing medical expenses
  • Lost wages

Experienced Defense Base Act attorneys will help you get fair compensation.

Choosing the Right DBA Lawyer

An experienced Defense Base Act attorney is essential for your DBA claim. A lawyer will guide you through the claims process and help you get the compensation you deserve.

The Barnes Law Firm specializes in Defense Base Act claims. We have over 20 years of experience fighting for the rights of injured contractors and translators. We serve clients throughout the United States and abroad.

Contact Barnes Law Firm to schedule a free initial consultation. Let’s discuss how we can bring your case to the best possible resolution.