How to Start a DBA Claim
Hi, I’m Brian Wiklendt with Garfinkel Schwartz. I’d like to give you Defense Base Act Law 10 Tips on
how to start a Defense Base Act claim and what to watch out for.
Defense Base Act Law 10 Tips
1. Contact Your Employer
First, you should contact your employer. Basically if you’re injured mentally or physically and you’re overseas what you want to first do is to contact your employer immediately whoever that may be whether that’s a loss prevention person whether that’s a lead or direct boss someone with the authority to be able to file a claim on your behalf under the Defense Base Act.
2. Get a Form 201
Second, get a Form 201. If your employer doesn’t understand what you’re talking about and they don’t they don’t want to give you any information just ask for the Defense Base Act forms. If they don’t give those to you then go to the Department of Labor website US Department of Labor website and get what’s called a Form 201. A 201 Form is the first report of injury. That’s what you want to do right away to get the ball rolling.
3. Get Medical Treatment You Need
Third, get the medical treatment you need. In the meantime while you’re waiting to go home what you want to do is you get the treatment that they that they take you to and your goal is to get out of where you are and to get back to the United States to get adequate medical care.
4. You Have the Right to Choose Your Doctor
Fourth, you have the right to choose your doctor. You always have the right under this law–which people will not tell you about–to a first doctor of your own choosing. So you’re allowed to choose your own doctor when you get back home.
You don’t have to listen to the nurse case manager that’s going to be assigned to your file or the adjuster and they tell you to go here or there and this and that. You have a right to go to a doctor of your own choosing where you make your home in America. So that’s the first thing you do.
5. Don’t Let the Nurse Case Manager In
Fifth, don’t let the nurse case manager in. You want to make sure that if you do get assigned a nurse case manager that she or he doesn’t go into the doctor’s office with you? They’re not allowed to go into the doctor’s office while you’re being examined. They can stay out in the in the waiting room.
They’re going to want to try to push things and their job is to try to minimize your injury as best they can. So if it’s a he or a she whoever may that may be, you want to talk to them.
And the reason why you want to talk to them is you want to make sure that you talk to an attorney as well so that when she or he says, “I want to go in there and I want to talk to your doctor and I don’t think this is necessary and physical therapy’s not necessary,” blah, blah, blah, she’s just trying to save the insurance company money. And you don’t want that.
6. Get a DBA (Defense Base Act) Attorney
Get a DBA attorney. What I would do next is call an attorney preferably someone like me who does only Defense Base Act and Longshore Act cases for a living. You want someone that knows exactly what they’re doing in this federal law. I live in Florida and whoever calls me, I travel to everywhere and my clients are everywhere. Different countries and all across this country the U.S.
7. You Don’t Pay a Penny for a DBA Attorney
Under the Defense Base Act law you don’t pay a penny for a DBA attorney. I’m not limited to practicing law just in Florida in these types of cases. So find someone like me talk to them for free. If you can’t find if you can’t if you don’t want to talk to me then talk to somebody else and make sure you get your rights itemized for you and your family so that you know exactly what your rights are under this law.
8. You Receive Medical Care
You receive medical care under the Defense Base Act law. If you’re injured or ill on the job you will receive medical care benefits. This is one of the reasons we push clients to pursue their rights under this act is that the health care will be covered. You might be struggling right now alone and frustrated and angry, really angry at the insurance companies. And the rights to get your medical treatment and go forward with this case. We will help walk you through it.
9. Explain the Physical Demands of Your Job
Be sure to explain the physical demands of your job. A lot of people don’t understand or know the physicalities of your job. If you’re doing security and you’re doing other things in Afghanistan or Iraq and that job is a very physical job and I understand. I understand you have to carry ammunition you have to carry 60 pounds of body armor.
A lot of people don’t–especially even your doctors. If they clear you to go back to work what does that really mean? Okay you’re cleared to go back to work. Does that mean you can go back to work at Walmart? Does that mean you can go back to work at a computer store? Or does that mean you can go back to work in Afghanistan in the mountains lugging you know injured bodies everywhere or doing you know hundreds of pounds of leg work to do your physical the physical duties of your job?
So you want to make sure right up front that you talk to your doctors about what your physical requirements are in your job so they can understand when they release you to do certain things that may not be to release you to do certain things overseas with that type of physical rigor involved.
10. You WILL Be Denied at Some Point
You will be denied at some point by the insurance company. Once you get past that stage if they’re going to deny the claim controvert the claim which is what that’s called denying it or they’re going to start paying you one way or the other even if they start paying you.
The best thing to do is get an attorney whether that’s me or somebody else because sooner or later–regardless of what they say–sooner or later, two years from now, five years from now, whatever that is:
- They’re going to try to minimize your claim.
- They’re going to try to not pay.
- They’re going to try to deny later.
- They’re going to try to deny surgeries.
- They’re going to do everything they can do to minimize the value of your claim.
- Involve Your Family and Get a Plan
So it’s always good to start off on the right track. Get an attorney. Have your family talk to the attorney.
Talk With Us 24 Hours a Day
You can call me any time 24 hours a day. Go on my website. And I’m just here to help. That’s what we do for a living and that’s I try to help people that are hurt overseas doing their duties on behalf of the American government.
So thank you for listening. I’m always around. I can come to wherever you are located and that’s not a problem. Thank you very much for listening. Again, I’m lead counsel here in our Defense Base Act law practice. I just wanted to touch base and answer some questions