Wounded warriors and hard-working men and women who have served our country and provided services on U.S. waterways or war zones overseas have to fight for medical care that is a right under laws.
Fortunately, the Defense Base Act and the Longshore Act give injured longshoremen and civilian contractors employee rights that includes:
- The right to choose their own doctor
- Attorney fees
- Medical care
Insurance companies, however, don’t always do what’s right this forces longshoremen and civilian contractors to get an attorney to fight for the benefits due to them when injured on the job.
Brian Will Fight When You Need a Fighter
This area of law is not an easy fight. If you’re injured at work overseas or on the docks or ports, you’ve endured unimaginable physical pain. By calling an attorney to fight for you, one who knows the laws, the tactics and the way that the insurers work to deny claims, you’re going to be able to focus on healing.
Insurers are not always forthcoming without an attorney asking for the information. Contacting the insurer, documenting the dates of injury, the requests for private medical paperwork can be very difficult for clients and their families. Attorneys know how to deal with the delayed response from uncooperative insurance companies when the process slows or doesn’t yield positive news.
We Work Every Case Knowing You Need Help
Brian’s skill as a Defense Base Act attorney is driven by the urgency with which he works. Brian is committed to helping those whose lives have been affected by terror, violence and danger. Few Americans really know what happens overseas while civilian contractors work for defense contractors. Brian has heard and seen what goes on. He is committed to working on behalf of civilian contractors and longshoremen to secure the medical and financial benefits that families rely on, that they deserve.
Brian listens and understands clients’ needs for the best medical care, for the monetary benefits that every client with posttraumatic stress disorder should have. Brian is working to change and to improve all clients’ circumstances which begins with education. Many clients are unaware of benefits that are required to be granted by employers’ insurance companies. Brian is happy to tell every client what they should be receiving and that there is legal help available without any cost to the client. Ever.
Brian approaches every Defense Base Act case and longshore compensation case with a commitment to clients. Brian continually calculates the legal tactics, the possible moves or actions by insurers and the best possible options to help clients. Brian realizes the force with which insurance companies oppose every client claim. But Brian is prepared for all of the arguments because he’s seen them and heard them, first hand.
Brian knows the rationale insurers will use in turning down a DBA or a longshore compensation claim. He knows how their computer system works. He knows how they value Longshore Harbor Workers Compensation Act claims. He knows what insurers will argue and what they will use against an injured defense base civilian contractor.
Brian knows all the ways insurers will try to evaluate injury claims or how they will under value PTSD claims. That knowledge helps him get through to the nuts and bolts of what Garfinkel Schwartz is going to try to do for each client. Brian will have a methodology for the arguments and for the stopgaps the insurance companies will try to put forth
A talented litigator, Brian Wiklendt had a trial under his belt before graduation from law school while under the mentorship of a current Fulton County Georgia Superior Court Judge
Brian’s first legal firm was a private practice where for three years he provided criminal and personal injury law in Atlanta, Georgia.
In 1996-99 Brian handled plaintiffs and claimants workers’ compensation and personal injury and state worker’s compensation claims. Then he and a partner left the insurance company to start their own firm. There, he worked on all phases of personal injury cases.
From 2000-02, Brian worked as in-house counsel for an insurance company where he led the Georgia subrogation department and handled all its subrogation cases.
Brian next joined a boutique law firm in Atlanta from 2002-06. It was here that Brian represented self-insured companies. His largest client was Wal-Mart, the number one company in the world. Brian worked for Nordstrom’s and for Whole Foods. He also represented AIG in insurance defense and workers’ compensation cases.
Brian’s experiences working on behalf of large corporations intent on profit and minimal losses prepared him for the side of insurance companies that clients will face in all of their claims.
Next, Brian did contract work for the second largest law firm in Georgia before moving to Florida in 2006. He defended a sexual and racial discrimination class-action lawsuit against Cracker Barrel. He also handled lengthy class-action lawsuits involving various dialysis companies that were pursued by the federal government.
After the hurricanes of Florida hit in 2006, Brian moved from Atlanta to Orlando to work with The Garfinkel Trial Group as a case manager. Brian began working with Alan Garfinkel. Today, Brian is an integral part and the lead practicing attorney for the Garfinkel Schwartz Defense Base Act and Longshore and Harbor Workers Act law firm in Maitland, Florida, and Cocoa Beach, Florida.
Georgia State University School of Law, Juris Doctor, Atlanta, Georgia, 1996
Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, B.A. Economics & Political Science
Defense Base Act Law
Longshore and Harbor Workers Act Law
Non-Appropriated Fund Act Law
Tort & Insurance Law
Associate Lead Articles Editor Law Review
Brian Wiklendt, the Attorney at the Top of Your List
You may visit the Garfinkel Schwartz law firm YouTube channel to watch the video, “Get to know Brian Wiklendt.”
We also have offices in Cocoa Beach Florida which is very near the port, Port Canaveral, which is very near the Eastern side of Florida.
However we travel everywhere clients may be across the country and even other countries. Helping longshoremen, and defense base act clients who are civilian contractors.
What I’d like to do is to tell you about myself which I don’t normally like to do however you should get to know a potential lawyer that you might hire in the future.
Get to Know Longshore and DBA Attorney Brian Wiklendt
The best way that I can tell a story would be looking back 20 years ago, which actually seems just like it was yesterday, when I was in law school.
I was in law school and I had a mentor and it turned out to be my mentor he’s now a Superior Court Judge, but back then we practiced law together while I was in law school and right when I got out.
He did come to me one day and he said, “I got to be appointed to be a magistrate judge in Atlanta and I can’t practice with you anymore.”
But he still gave me a piece of advice which I remember to this day. What he basically told me was, “how do you grade a lawyer? What do you look for in a lawyer, since you’re a new young lawyer?”
And I basically said, “well I was on the law review in law school.”
He said, “that’s boring. No one cares about that.”
And I said, “well, I get good grades and I might be able to join a very prestigious law firm.”
And he said, “well I don’t care about that.”
And I said, “well what can I tell you, I’m a good guy. I try hard.”
And he said, “that’s boring. What about anything else?”
And I said, “well I wrote a bunch of articles on different things, constitutional laws and stuff like that. And he said again, “completely and utterly boring.”
So I said, “I’m sorry judge, I don’t know what you’re getting at. I don’t know what you’re saying.”
And he said, “the way you judge a lawyer is if I’m in big trouble— and luckily for him, he was never in big trouble.
“But if you’re sitting in a jail cell and you’re a friend of mine, or a potential client of mine or a client and you’re running out of luck and let’s say your wife is going to divorce you and you think she’s going to take you to the cleaners. Or your kid got injured really badly and no one’s paying for his injuries.
He said the way he judges a lawyer is if something like that happened to me who would I call? I’m not going to represent myself because a person that represents himself has a fool for a client so you have to have a list somewhere. Who would you call?
More Than 18 Years Practicing Law
And you want to be that person in your career that is on everybody’s list of people to call when they get in a terrible jam. And I’ve tried to live my life that way throughout the last 18 years of practicing law.
I think I’m pretty successful at it and it’s primarily because when he told that the way you can get that kind of trust is that not only can you be a smart lawyer or to be on the law review, it’s to get to know your friends and their families and your clients and their families and get that type of respect that when something really really bad happens they’re going to have your phone number in their phone.
So if you don’t hire our firm, and you’re injured and you’re thinking that the insurance companies are not going to do the right thing, call somebody but I hope if we meet I’ll be the first person on your phone whether that be a murder charge or a divorce.
I get calls even though I only practice this type of law, defense base act and longshore act, I get calls all the time from my friends who are in jams who at least if I can’t help them, I have somebody in my phone that I would call. And I think that’s something I would provide as well.
So that’s me, that’s Brian Wiklendt. I love to play golf although I never get a chance to because I’m always too busy, but I always have my golf clubs on hand though just in case.
And the biggest thing I miss from Pittsburgh Pennsylvania where I’m from is I love to Trout fish with my dad and we fish for Walleyes and Muskies which I miss here.
Great fishing in Florida but not quite the same in Clearwater as in Northern Pennsylvania.
Otherwise, I played four sports in high school, I’m a huge Pittsburgh Steelers fan and you know if you want to talk about anything that doesn’t have to do with say, hockey or soccer, which they didn’t have back in high school in Pittsburgh, then, I’d love to talk to you about that.
And I just have to say, “go Steelers,” and they’re looking pretty good right now.
So signing out here from the Maitland office of Garfinkel Schwartz. This is Brian Wiklendt, lead counsel. I hope that if you ever need me, call me and I’ll help you.
Thank you very much for your time.