Hi my name is Brian Wiklendt I’m an attorney here at Garfinkel Schwartz, I’m in the Titusville office today. We also have an office in Maitland Florida. Titusville is located near the space coast and we cater to people that work at Port Canaveral and the other ports around Florida that get injured as longshoremen. We also represent Defense Base Act clients which are injured civilians overseas and I represent them all across the country.
You can see the video on the Garfinkel Schwartz YouTube channel called, “DBA Attorney, Longshore Attorney Protects You.”
DBA Federal Law is Complicated
So I travel a lot but I do it to help people and I love my job as a longshore attorney and I think that this area of law is very complicated and that people really need to be protected by attorneys. These are federal claims they are very complicated and not having an attorney even in you think the insurance company is doing the right thing is just not a smart move.
Insurance companies rarely pay people at the correct amount. There is a maximum that the Department of Labor allows them to pay so in certain instances it would be very difficult for them to not pay the correct amount. But it happens more often than you would suspect.
Now, the insurance company can cut off your benefits any time for any reason that they choose. Our job is to show that they have incorrectly cut you off and to find the proof that we need to get a claims examiner from the Department of Labor to make a recommendation in your favor to have your benefits reinstated. And if that doesn’t happen we will apply to the Office of Administrative Law to get a hearing set for your case to get your benefits reinstated that have been cut off.
Get Paid the Correct Amount
If you don’t have an attorney you may not be receiving the proper indemnity benefits. The insurance company may have your average weekly wage and your compensation rate at an incorrect rate and it would be our job to figure out if you are not being paid correctly. And if you’re not, then there are things that we can do to be sure that you do get paid the correct amount.
Have a Claim? Hire an Longshore Attorney
If you have a claim under the Defense Base Act or the Longshore Act and you don’t hire an attorney what happens is that your rights under the Act are under control of the insurance company and not you. The rights I’m talking about are rights to your own doctor, a doctor of your own choosing. The right to proper medical care and proper surgeries that will help you through your time and your injuries.
Proper is the key word here. If you allow the insurance companies to make those decisions and not you through your attorney, you’re not going to get adequate care. You’re going to get the cheapest care the insurance company can find. And also the insurance company then has control of saying, ‘OK, you’re better now, we don’t care what you say, you’re better so we’re going to cut off all your benefits and you’re going to have to go back to work now, even when you can’t.’
Your DBA Attorney Will Protect You From Tricks
What insurance companies do behind the scenes is the thing that you need to understand because they do these things and you don’t know about them. If you have an attorney, the attorney knows exactly all their tricks and what they do and what they’re doing to try to minimize your claim.
For instance the insurance company right now could be doing surveillance on you. They could be doing functional capacity evaluations on you through your history and your medical history to determine what jobs you can do and what you can’t do. Then they can unilaterally start cutting your benefits and starting cutting your medical benefits as well, based on their unilateral decision of what’s happening to you.
An Attorney Will Be Your Voice
You need to have a voice and with a firm like Garfinkel Schwartz as soon as they see that name on the letterhead they’re not going to play those games because they know that they’re going to have to pay for it sooner or later.