I’m coming from our Maitland Florida office. We also have an office in Cocoa Beach Florida which is on the Space Coast. But I travel all across the country and wherever my clients tend to be is where I go.
Today I want to talk to you to people that are getting ready to be deployed as civilian contractors. Not necessarily injured yet hopefully never will be injured. You may watch a video on the Garfinkel Schwartz YouTube channel, “Injured Civilian Contractors Get to Pick Doctors.”
Message for Civilian Contractors
However I have a message for them that may be beneficial before they go over there as part of the checklist that a person should have that they don’t know to have unless they were already involved in this type of situation is to understand that if you get injured over there as a government contractor overseas you’re covered by what’s known as the Defense Base Act.
That’s a federal law that works like worker’s compensation but it’s federal. And what that means is there’s certain advantages under that law that you should be aware of.
And the one major one right off the bat is that you have the right to your first choice of physician.
That means that if you get injured and an insurance company is conversing with you and decides to send you to an emergency hospital in Germany, Dubai, or Kuwait or somewhere like that and you’re getting ready to go home.
You have the right to say, “hey when I get home, I want to go to by Dr. Blank.”
Get and Keep an LS-1 Form
And that’s called, that’s what’s called an LS-1 Form and it gets sent to the Department of Labor. Right off the bat when you get injured. They’re never going to give you that form you have to know to ask for it or you have to know what it is.
And what it is is that it says to the Department of Labor, “when I get home, I have a back injury I want to go to this orthopedic surgeon in my home town in Houston Texas. This is their name and this is their address and I want the insurance company to pay for it and I don’t want to go to go to the place that they want to send me to. I want to go to my place.”
LS-1 Form Should Be on Your Checklist
And that should just be simply part of the paperwork together and you getting all your gear together, getting ready to go over there. It should be one of your things on the checklist.
Is to pre-screen some doctors in your hometown whether that be your primary care physician that would refer you to someone.
And that should probably be at a minimum an orthopedic surgeon, maybe a neurologist, maybe a psychologist maybe just to have someone on hand at home that you’re comfortable with that’s going to treat you correctly based on your symptoms and not based on your situation.
When I say symptoms vs. situation sometimes insurance companies tend to try to get you treatment at the minimum amount possible in terms of costs and time to either get you back on the payroll back over there doing work when you’re not necessarily able to do it yet or getting cheap drugs. Doing testing that’s not necessarily the most expensive or the best testing.
Forgoing MRIs things like that where they may be considered little things to some. But they’re not little things when you’re the one getting injured.
So just keep that in mind. And again you can call me any time to discuss these things before you get deployed for free.
I’ll talk to you about anything that you’d like to talk about.
Protect Yourself in the Field and Now
But the most important thing that I’m telling you about today before you go over there is to get your ducks in a row. Make sure that you’re protected on your own, over there. Out in the field.
And you’re also protected when you’re injured and you’re basically vulnerable to people telling you “this is the treatment you’re going to get. This is what we’re going to do for you.”
Whereas no you say “Hey wait a minute I think I should file this form my lawyer has it.
I want to go home to my home state I want to go to California where I live and I want to go to these doctors to evaluate me.”
And they have to do it by law. And that’s something that a lot of people don’t know.
Call Brian Wiklendt at 800-393-2999
So if you need anymore information from me call me anytime. My number’s on the website. You can leave a message 24 hours a day. I’ll give you my cell phone number after we converse and we can take it from there.
Again, please protect yourself and protect yourself from the possibility of being vulnerable where you really don’t need to be. That’s what the law is for it’s there to protect you after you’ve been in harm’s way to protect you further even beyond that.
So again I’m here in Maitland Florida but I travel everywhere.
Garfinkel Schwartz specializes and deals with a lot of people that are involved with injuries under the Defense Base Act all across the world.
We’d be happy to talk to you. We thank you for serving your country and we really wish you best wishes and safety during your tour and look forward to having you back safely.
Thank you very much for your time. Again this is Brian Wiklendt with Garfinkel Schwartz, I’m lead counsel here in the Maitland Florida office. Thank you very much.