“The important thing isn't what other people think you are; it's who you are.” ― Shannon L. Alder
My Best Advice
The first rule is always tell the truth. You have to be able to win your case with the truth. If the judge thinks you are fibbing or telling half-truths, you will lose your case. I've seen it with many cases, which is why I say it like a mantra: Be honest about everything in your case.
My Second Best Advice
Right behind that is make sure that you have the right lawyer on your side. I strongly suggest that you claim your free copy of my book - Win Your Defense Base Act Case.
Also you can check out my podcast at DBAradio.com where i cover important DBA issues.
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What Does the Defense Base Act Pay for Eye Injuries, Ear Injuries and/or Disfigurement Injuries?
I don't need to tell you that overseas contractors are at risk of bodily harm nearly every day, and are especially at risk of damage to their senses. A lot of bad things can happen to security contractors. Including eye injuries, ear injuries and unfortunately - disfigurement injuries.
Construction contractors can suffer eye injures due to dust and debris, or hearing damage due to demolition. Translators and drivers may suffer accidents or combat-related injuries to their eyes and ears, permanently preventing them from performing their jobs in the future.
An injury to your eyes and ears can permanently affect the way you perform every activity of your life. For this reason, the Defense Base Act (DBA) provides special coverage to workers who have suffered blindness, hearing impairment, and other eye and ear injuries.
Compensation for a DBA eye and ear injury will depend on the amount of your:
- Average weekly wage. All payments in DBA cases are based upon the worker’s average weekly wage (AWW). This is generally calculated by taking the employee's total earnings (including overtime and bonuses) for the fifty-two-week period immediately before the accident occurred, and then dividing by fifty-two. If you worked less than 52 weeks, then the best way to calculate your AWW is to divide your earnings by the number of weeks that you worked.
- Temporary Total Disability (TTD). The employee is paid two-thirds of his average weekly wage during his injury recovery while he is under medical care and unable to work, until his condition is stable.
- Permanent Total Disability (PTD). If the employee’s condition has reached maximum medical improvement but he is still unable to work due to the injury, he will receive permanent total disability benefits at the rate of two-thirds of his average weekly wage (plus a cost-of-living adjustment on October 1 of each year).
- Permanent Partial Disability (PPD). Employees who are able to return to work but have suffered permanent injuries can be permanently compensated for loss of function in certain body parts.
- Hearing loss / ears. Ears are specifically listed under PPD scheduled disabilities, and injuries to these areas are paid up to certain amounts depending on the percentage of injury. For instance, hearing loss in one ear is compensable up to 52 weeks, hearing loss in both ears is compensable up to 200 weeks,
- Eye Loss. One eye is compensable up to 160 weeks.
- Disfigurement. The law states, "Proper and equitable compensation not to exceed $7,500 shall be awarded for serious disfigurement of the face, head, or neck or of other normally exposed areas likely to handicap the employee in securing or maintaining employment." Which, of course, is quite ludicrous to suggest that $7,500 is "proper and equitable compensation" for serious disfigurement. However, there are ways to increase this number. Having the right lawyer can and will mean all the difference when the law suggests $7,500 is "just."
What If My Employer Refuses to Pay My DBA Compensation?
The only way to make your employer pay for the costs of your injury is to ensure that you have all the facts in your case. Please use our website are your resource when dealing with your employer and insurance agent, and order our free guide, Win Your Defense Base Act Case, to make sure your rights are protected.
Disclaimer: Please understand these discussions and/or examples are not legal advice. All legal situations are different. This testimonial, endorsement and/or discussion does not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter, your particular case/ situation and/or this particular case/ situation. Thanks, Bill Turley