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300 N Maitland Ave Maitland, FL 32751
8 N Brevard Ave Cocoa Beach, FL 32931
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What We Do

Camp Speicher Iraq Defense Base Act Attorney dust storm toxinsGarfinkel Schwartz, P.A., defends clients covered by the Defense Base Act and the Longshore and Harbor Worker’s Compensation Act.

These laws protect and defend employee rights to medical care and benefits owed to defense contract employees and federal waterway workers.

Garfinkel Schwartz pursues the defense contractors, businesses, employers and insurers who have denied an employee the legal rights to medical care and monetary benefits and brings the legal fight to the courts.

Our military heroes, some who have served one, two or three tours of duty, retire from the military. They’re later hired to work for defense contractors in foreign countries where U.S. troops have left after wars in countries including Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, and Africa and now, Syria.

You’re the brave men and women who are doing the toughest jobs in the most dangerous conditions. We truly respect our clients for their fearlessness and commitment.

So when you’re injured, you’re sent home to fight again for health care that is owed you by law from employers. It’s not fair that the Defense Base Act is not followed.

Your Rights Under the Defense Base Act

In 1941 the Defense Base Act was created to protect Federal employees working overseas in contracts for the U.S. government. This law is meant to help you pay legal fees, get the best medical care possible if you’re hurt or sick. And the law gives you the financial benefits to support yourself so that you can take care of your family.

The Defense Base Act (DBA) is like Federal worker’s compensation law that covers federal civilian contractors, civilian contractors, anyone working for a Department of Defense (DOD) contractor or as a sub-contractor for the DoD.

A contract approved by the U.S. government that takes place in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Syria. You may have worked on a military base, you may be handling security, you may be a translator, an engineer, a technology expert, a supply contractor. No matter what your job is, if you are being paid as an employee of the U.S. government in a war zone, and you get sick or you get hurt, you have a claim that is covered under the DBA. Call and tell us what’s going on with your claim, with your denial, with your loved one who’s suffering from PTSD, from TBI. We’re committed to helping one family at a time. 1-800-393-2999.

Medical Care Denials

Defense Base Act Attorney Iraq Burn PitInsurer’s WILL deny your medical care and compensation. If they don’t deny medical and financial claims, they don’t make money.

From the MOMENT that you are injured, the goal of the insurance company is to get the cheapest care, NOT the best care.

You’re vulnerable when you’re hurt. You’re flown to a hospital and you’re expecting the best possible care. But denials occur almost immediately. So you have to get a lawyer. Tell your wife, tell your husband, your son, your daughter to call a Defense Base lawyer right away.

Why? Because a good Defense Base lawyer monitors your care, your entire case. We call and so we know who your doctor is, what is the recommended plan for care? Are you seeing the doctor you asked for? Did you complete a First Choice Doctor form?

That’s OK, don’t worry about the details. You heal, let Garfinkel Schwartz help with everything else. You’re the hard-working men and women building, maintaining and working U.S. government military bases or places where there’s a war zone.

Longshoremen Need a Fighter on Their Side

An injury from a fall or from lifting may sideline longshoremen and can permanently prevent them from working. Yet the employer’s insurance company doesn’t want to deliver the care required by law. These employees are due benefits covered by the Longshore and Harbor Workers Act.

Garfinkel Schwartz has been a compassionate resource for families and individuals who have been hurt or who have gotten sick while working for defense contractors or longshoremen since 1987.

The incredibly skilled legal staff is committed to providing clients the right to health benefits and financial compensation. Additionally, clients gain access to the latest medical information and resources while searching for doctors who can treat their health problems.

“The reason this practice area is so personal for me is due to my son and the medical issues he’s had throughout his life,” founder and attorney Alan Garfinkel said. “The challenges in getting Bennett medical care that will help him have hit such a personal chord for me that I understand what families and clients are going through.”

Garfinkel Schwartz is a fourth generation law firm that carries on a tradition that began over 40 years ago by family attorneys who established themselves as Defense Base Act and Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act attorneys in Titusville, Fla.

“Schwartz” is John M. Schwartz, Alan Garfinkel’s father-in-law, Bennett Garfinkel’s grandfather. The firm name honors John M. Schwartz for the work he did defending clients fighting for compensation and medical care. Today, the offices are located in Cocoa Beach Fla., and Maitland, Fla.

Why This Area of Law?

Defense Base Act Attorney Iraq sand storm dustSince 1976, Garfinkel Schwartz has protected and defended employees who are covered under the Longshore Compensation and Defense Base laws.

These acts were created to protect civilians contracted to work overseas in dangerous countries or working on our nation’s rivers, coasts, ports and docks.

Longshore Act law and Defense Base Act law is a practice area incredibly specific to defending employees of defense contractors and maritime businesses and companies who do business on U.S. waterways. We know these areas and that’s all we do. It’s similar to having Federal Worker’s Compensation because you’re not on U.S. soil, but you’re working for the U.S. Government.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, “The Defense Base Act was created in the 1940s and provides workers’ compensation protection to civilian employees working outside the United States on US military bases or under a contract with the U.S. government for public works or for national defense.”

The acts were incepted and are governed by the U.S. Department of Labor which protects and ensures that longshoremen and harbor workers, and civilian contractors receive the care and financial support owed them according to the laws.

What Are the Laws?

Garfinkel Schwartz provides legal services in three areas of law:

The Defense Base Act is a far-reaching mandate that covers and protects medical care rights and compensation to injured employees who work overseas for defense contractors.

The Longshore and Harbor Worker’s Compensation Act ensures medical care, benefits and compensation to employees injured on U.S. docks, ports, shores, coasts, while working jobs located on federal bodies of water that are not on land or covered by worker’s compensation law within a U.S. state.

The Non-Appropriated Funds Act covers workers who are civilians hired to work on military bases, work for military staff, work with the military but who are not military personnel.

If you need a Defense Base Act or a Longshore Compensation Act lawyer, be certain that he or she knows these very specific practice areas and works only in this area of law. You’ll need an attorney who knows that if you are working on a boat that’s 60 feet long and you get injured, that you are not covered by the Longshore Act. But, if the boat is 65 feet or longer that you are covered.

It doesn’t have to be our law firm, but if it’s not Garfinkel Schwartz, just make us a promise that you’ll meet with another DBA or longshore and harbor worker act lawyer. Just having an attorney lets the insurance company and the employer know that you know what they’re doing.

The Truth About These Areas of Law

There is absolutely no downside to working with Garfinkel Schwartz because this is a very different practice of law where there is only an upside for you as a client. The Defense Base Act and the Long Shore and Harborworkers Compensation Act have provided that:

  • You don’t pay for your legal defense—ever
  • Our fees get paid by the employer separately from your compensation if we obtain benefits for you. If not we don’t get a fee
  • Lawyers research your case with you, for you, helping you
  • We will help you in any way that we can to regain medical care
  • We take all the risk and do not bill you
  • We will provide you access to medical resources to help you find the best care and the best doctors in the world

What Insurance Companies Will Do

And to be brutally honest with you, if you don’t have an attorney in this area of law there is pretty much an incredible chance that the insurance company is going to find some way to not pay you what you deserve. Whether that’s under valuing the claims in terms of settlement, or whether it’s underpaying you your average weekly wage.

Insurers have different ways of calculating your wages whether that’s bullying you into using their doctors or their nurse’s aides; they’ll try to do what they can to cut costs.

But just by having an attorney in the first place, who knows what they’re doing will stop them from trying to take advantage of you.

You’ll probably have a lot of questions about your situation. In order to get started, you may call us 24 hours a day to talk with us. You can find out more from us by providing the specifics of your situation. By sharing your details we will be able to determine if there are issues that Garfinkel Schwartz can address so that we may begin to get you the help that you need.

What Garfinkel Schwartz Will Do:

  • We will advance initial medical evaluation costs for you
  • We will come to you to meet with you in person
  • We will represent clients all over the world
  • We will take all the risks and never charge clients for legal fees
  • We will fight for lost wages and future money benefits and medical treatment
  • We will schedule informal conferences
  • We will attend mediations and depositions live
  • We will attend vocational evaluations
  • We will litigate formal hearings
  • We will help provide the best doctors and medical care
  • We will help one family at a time

Garfinkel Schwartz represents clients anywhere, for any DBA denied medical claim and any Longshore Compensation Act benefit. Stay where you are because we’ll come to you and work to get you the medical choices that you have a right to and the very best doctors.

We Advance Medical Evaluation Costs

top defense base act attorney New MexicoWe will advance your initial medical evaluations costs. Garfinkel Schwartz makes a promise that we will take care of our own. No one should have to pay with their lives or their health or well-being for a job, but many civilian contractors and longshoreman have been critically, fatally injured. Some of the worst and most common medical issues:

  • Loss of Life
  • PTSD
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries
  • Mystery Burn Pit Inhalation and Exposure Illnesses
  • Loss of Limb
  • Muscle and limb tears, cuts
  • Brain Trauma
  • Respiratory Failure
  • Permanent Back Pain
  • Crushed by Machinery
  • Falls from heights
  • Machine malfunction
  • Burns
  • Falling overboard
  • Hearing Loss
  • Drowning
  • IED Injuries
  • Gunfire Wounds
  • Chemical Exposure Damage
  • Work Related Stress