Hi this is Brian Wiklendt. I want to talk a little bit about something that is of concern and interest to us at Garfinkel Schwartz and that is “where will civilian contractors be in 2016?” You can watch this video on our YouTube Channel.
Happy New Year to you, by the way, from all of here at Garfinkel Schwartz. I’m coming to you today from our main office in Florida. We also have an office on the Space Coast in Cocoa Beach Florida. But I travel everywhere across the country to help overseas contractors that get injured while they’re serving their duties overseas as civilian contractors
Follow World Conflicts
Global Conflict Tracker Website Updates
For this year, we’ve been tracking some potential conflicts through a website that I wanted to share with you that has a Global Conflict Tracker.
Global Conflict Tracker follows world wars, uprisings, political conflicts around the globe and ranks them in terms of critical, significant and limited levels of conflict.
This year could be the year of a lot of different conflicts all around the world. And what I would like to do is just recommend to you too, if you’re going go to one of these places that I mention and I want to make sure that I recommend to people who are going over there–for their own safety and for their own sanity–to give some tips for you because these places are pretty remote.
Where will civilian contractors be in 2016? According to Global Conflict Tracker the following are countries the U.S. military may become involved in escalating, existing wars, and conflicts. Where the U.S. military goes to serve, civilian and federal contractors may also have to go to work. The following countries were rated as critical or significant by the Global Conflict Tracker website:
- Afghanistan (Critical)
- China (Critical)
- India (Significant)
- Iraq (Critical)
- Egypt (Significant)
- Lebanon (Significant)
- Libya (Significant)
- Mexico (Significant)
- Nigeria (Significant)
- North Korea (Critical)
- Pakistan (Significant)
- The Philippines (Significant)
- Senkaku/Daioyu Islands (Significant)
- Syria (Critical)
- Turkey (Significant)
- Ukraine (Significant)
- Vietnam (Significant)
- Yemen (Significant)
You don’t know what kind of medical care they would be if you get injured. And there are certain precautions did you can take to make it a lot easier on you and your family if you do get injured especially when you have to deal with an insurance company under the Defense Base Act.
The conflicts that we’re tracking that could potentially become big requiring overseas contractors are in Pakistan. We’re already in Syria. I already have some clients that have been asked to go to Syria.
Lebanon, Egypt, the Ukraine, Turkey. Even the Philippines and China could come into play. Vietnam, North Korea, and of course potentially going back to Iraq.
We’ve been tracking these basic areas through Global Conflict Tracker and when conflicts do occur if they do and you’re a contractor and going over to one of these countries, you’re just not going to know what type of medical care there’s going to be in an emergency if you do get injured. Especially in a military combat zone where you could get bombed or things could happen that are very serious you don’t want to rely on insurance companies sending you these remote areas where the medical care may or may not be adequate.
My thoughts are, that under the Defense Base Act is that you’re allowed to have your First Choice of Physician. It’s in the Defense Base Act law. There’s a form you can fill out saying this is who I want to be my First Choice of Physician.
So my recommendation is before you go over there, before you go to a place like Pakistan or North Korea, have a family member earmark certain doctors in certain fields. Namely probably an orthopedic surgeon. You should try to find one from your primary care physician.
Potentially, respiratory issues could arise so you might want to ask your primary care physician if there is a pulmonary or pulmonologist that you might have a name for. Any other types of injuries you can think of that could happen that they could affect you in a negative way.
It’s always nice to have doctors names and phone numbers on hand so that you can present it directly to the insurance company immediately or your family member can on your behalf. And say look I’m injured I got injured on the job, want to get out of this country.
I want to go back home for my treatment and this is a person I want to go see. And even if you don’t necessarily know that doctor, that doctor isn’t as in your hometown and you know their specialty it’s always better to get back home as fast as you possibly can to get out of those countries and to get out of the hands of the insurance company.
Now we follow a Global Conflict Tracker that updates itself pretty much every day or every week or so. And we look at that every day to determine whether or not civilian contractors are going to be going over these countries that I just named.
Like I said we may or may not go back, but the global conflict tracker that we that we track is usually pretty accurate. And these countries continuously pop-up. My advice is two-fold.
First, List Your First Choice of Physician
Number one because you’re going to be going to these remote countries before you get there on your checklist you should have a first choice of physicians in your hometown that your family members know about. You have their phone number and their address. And what this does is if you get injured over say in Pakistan or North Korea you don’t want to rely on doctors that the insurance company or the company is going to provide for you in these countries.
You want to get home as fast as you can. You want to give them your first choice of physicians which you have the right to under the Defense Base Act.
First Choice of Physician Form
There’s a form that can be filled out that’s sent to the Department of Labor saying I want this person to be my First Choice Physician and they cannot refuse it. If you don’t know that you could be going, you may have to see some doctors in Pakistan or Vietnam and China that may or may not have credentials you prefer. You have no idea. You’re stuck in a foreign country listening to an insurance company who is trying to save money on you.
So get home as fast as you can. Before you go there put on your checklist to get an orthopedic surgeon a primary care physician maybe some other doctors of different specialties in your hometown that your family members know so if something happens to you immediately you have that First Choice of Physician that you’re asking for.
And they’ll get you home faster, safer and you get the adequate care that you need from the start before bad things start happening throughout the time and you’re not you’re not getting the care that you need.
No Charge to Monitor Medical Cases
Number two. We don’t charge anything to monitor medical cases. We don’t charge anything ever anyway under the law. We get paid separately only if we get benefits for you not a percentage.
Employer or Insurer Pays
It’s a separate hourly rate that we get that the insurance company or care or company has to pay us if we get benefits you been denied. With that in mind it would be good to have an attorney or attorney’s name–Garfinkel Schwartz preferably and my name Brian Wiklendt–before you even go there. This is so that if:
- Something happens to you
- If you’re treated unfairly
- If you get injured
Be Proactive, Protect Yourself
If anything happens you have an attorney on your side right off the bat. Before anything bad can happen, anytime any crazy denials happen, you have someone tracking your case on your side as your lawyer even before the conflicts may or may not arise. Even before court cases have to happen or informal conferences have to happen. Even before they deny anything it’s always nice to have an attorney on hand for free to make sure that you know that they’re not:
- Denying you what your benefits are
- What your average weekly wage is
- Where they’re short suiting you on care
- Whether or not the doctors that they’re providing are adequate
- Whether they’re going to try to send you back to work too early
Things like that we can also work with. For example, your first choice of physicians to make sure that you’re getting the proper care and the proper reports are being done on your behalf, so it’s easy to prove the case. That if something happens that we have to go to a judge and try to prove the case in the future.
So there’s a couple tidbits. Good luck out there. Again this is Bryan Wiklendt from the Maitland Florida office of Garfinkel Schwartz signing out. Thanks a lot. Bye.