Hi this is Brian Wiklendt with Garfinkel Schwartz. I’m here at my Maitland Florida office I just wanted to talk to you about what is the value of a defense base act case because there are some things that happened with some cases recently that I’d like to discuss.
What is the Value of a Defense Base Act Case?
I just want to give people out there just some information on the value of a Defense Base Act case.
This usually arises when an event happens such as a bombing or a mortar fire attack or a car accident in which there are multiple parties injured and they all know each other and they discuss and they talk about certain things amongst each other.
It is kind of a close-knit community in the defense industry I understand that. A lot of people know a lot of other people in the same industry. And what I’ve been getting a lot more recently than I’ve gotten in the past is people coming in and they say, “well my coworker just got $400,000 and someone else got $350,000 and how much what should I do to get that? Or what should I get? I was in the same incident and I have PTSD just like them.”
Every Case, Every Person Varies
But no one in that room has the same education, job, level or has the same experience with PTSD. Some cases are worse, some people are on medication. But the real difference is that everyone has a different job and a different education.
And this area of law, Defense Base Act, it’s very different than state worker’s comp cases. DBA law is very different than personal injury cases. I know that in some areas of law like when I used to practice other types of law a knee injury would be a $30,000 injury and in a personal injury context if you slipped and fell at the Kmart or Walmart or something like that there’s a formula.
There is No Formula for DBA Cases
In this area of law there’s no formula it’s simply a totally individual thing. And when I say that I mean your lack of earning capacity for your future is what you can and can’t do both physically and mentally.
Ability + Education + Job + Geography + Injury= Your Situation
So the story that I usually like to give my clients just as an example is if I wanted to go overseas as an attorney and I got a job doing something that I’m qualified to do. Let’s say I get hurt in an IED and so was another person working in the building. I got my legs chopped off in a bomb and that same person was in another room, and in another job and he got his leg legs chopped off too. Same explosion.
The difference is that while I was a lawyer, he was doing some mechanical type of work. Well yes, the injuries are the same and the treatment is the same. But we are different people with different education and different skill sets and different jobs. He may have gotten injured the same time, same place and gotten the same medical treatment as well.
It All Comes Down to Education, Jobs, Ability
So if we are both blown up in an IED overseas and we both lose our legs. I get prosthetic legs. He gets prosthetic legs. Then it comes to a lack of earning capacity.
Well my claim for my lack of earning capacity would be zero—as a lawyer. And the reason for that is because the insurance company will rightfully argue and do what’s called a Labor Market Survey on me. They’ll say, “Brian even though you don’t have any legs you can work for a large law firm or you continue working in your firm. For what you do, you can wheel yourself into court anywhere and you can use your brain and your experience as a lawyer to make a lot of money so we don’t owe you a dime.”
Whereas the other person the mechanic who can’t do mechanical work anymore for the rest of his life who maybe he has no other skills necessarily. Maybe in terms of he didn’t graduate from high school necessarily, or has the education and has only been a mechanic all of his life. That person might have a very large lack of earning capacity.
He could’ve made say $120,000 working at a U.S. embassy overseas as a mechanic but now he can’t make anything. Now he can’t do much of anything other than maybe deliver pizzas or something. Mechanic overseas vs. what can he do now in the U.S. near where he lives.
So his Lack of Earning capacity will be very large and his claim will be very large for the rest of his life whereas mine would be zero!
So every case is individualized that the person that got $400,000 may or may not have skills. They may live in a certain area where the insurance company cannot find them a job that pays any decent money whereas it can be completely the opposite for somebody else.
That’s just something to take note of and to understand that it’s very difficult to evaluate these claims and the insurance company evaluates them completely the opposite way that I that I do. And so it’s always it’s always safe and it’s always good to have an attorney on these things.
If you don’t hire me and you don’t touch base with me you have to find someone that knows this area of law that can help you. And even if it’s in the process and the insurance company’s paying you right now, at some point in time–either you’re going to have to value your case because you don’t want the insurance company valuing your case for you.
So that’s a little tidbit of advice. Again we’re always here to touch base with at any time for free. I can help you evaluate your case if necessary and I can come to remediation with you for that stage. And we’re always here to help. That’s what we like to do. We don’t want you to short suit yourself here. This is the rest of your life that you’re talking about.
So again Brian Wiklendt from the Maitland Florida office of Garfinkel Schwartz signing off. Talk to you later. Thanks.