Hi. This is Brian Wiklendt with Garfinkel Schwartz. I’m here in my Maitland Florida office, which is a suburb of Orlando. I just got back from a bunch of travels and I grew my goatee out during the trips and now it’s officially pure gray. I’m not very happy about that. It kind of stinks getting old. I also have these reading glasses for the first time. Six months ago I had to get these to be able to see. So you know I understand my middle-aged comrades out there and what they’re going through.
Know Rights Before Going to 3rd World Countries
I’m here today to talk to you about a very important issue. There are a lot of people going overseas now – especially to different areas like Syria and South China, places that people really hadn’t been to very much before, other than the usual Iraq and Afghanistan. Contractors going overseas to 3rd world countries are covered and have rights under the Defense Base Act, if injured while overseas on a government contract. It is important you know your rights before going to 3rd world countries.
You Choose Your Own Doctor
If you’re a contractor that’s going overseas there’s one thing that’s really important and probably the best thing under the Defense Base Act, which is the law that you’re under if you get injured while you’re overseas under a government contract. The Defense Base Act allows you choose your own physician and your own medical treatment. There are a lot of laws out there, federal laws and state laws, that you’re not allowed to do that. The insurance company chooses them or the government chooses them for you.
Know Your Rights before You’re Injured
So, if you take advantage of the law before you get in harm’s way and before you actually go there or if you’re there now and have been injured, my advice is to call a Defense Base Act attorney. It could be me or it could be any anyone else. Just make sure you call someone so that you know what your rights are. Your employer may or may not ever tell you that you have rights under the Defense Base Act and that you have your right your first choice medical provider. You can choose.
Don’t Let Insurers Decide for You
What happens a lot of the time is that no one has any idea what I’m talking about. They get injured and the company or the insurance company steps in with an adjustor or a nurse case manager and send you where they want you to go. Obviously, it’s going to be the cheapest place they can find. It could be in a country that you’re not familiar with. So my advice to you is go on the website, the Department of Labor website, check out the different forms that there are. There’s a LS1 form that is your first choice of physician.
Choose Your Doctor before You Go
My advice for you and your family is to find people in case something happens. Whether that be an orthopedic surgeon if you get injured on your back or your neck or whether it be just a family doctor that can advise you as to where to go once you get home. Just someone you have in mind in case situations happen and you need to find someone so you’re not relying on a nurse case manager or an insurance adjuster to make decisions regarding your medical care. You have the right to choose otherwise and it’s very wise that you don’t just succumb to them and have them make choices that may or may not be good for you.
Before Going to 3rd World Countries
So I just wanted to let everyone know that’s what the law is. Please understand and know what the law is. Look at the forms on the website before you go or before you get in harm’s way. Again you can call me anytime for free. We’re here 24 hours a day. There are a lot of different time zones I deal with so we will call you back at some point in time if the office is closed but feel free to call any time.