"No B.S. straight forward answers to your Defense Base Act questions in simple, easy to understand English," - Defense Base Act Lawyer Bill Turley
My best advice
My best advice to you is for you to always tell the truth. Always. When bringing a court case, nothing is more important than your credibility. Nothing else is even close. The DBA insurance company lawyer is going to try and make you look like you are not being truthful. If this happens, the Judge will rule against you and you will lose. Bank on it. I know I do.
My second best advice
Which brings me to my second best advice. The problem is that in many instances folks get caught in traps left for them by the DBA insurance company. In other words, they don’t know that they are messing up their case. Happens all the time. Well meaning honest folks get caught in one of the DBA insurance company traps.
Which is why I strongly suggest that you read my free book - Win Your Defense Base Act Case. You don’t have to believe what I say about it - the book has dozens of 5 Star reviews on Amazon.com.
Win Your Defense Base Act Case is the best investment you are going to make. You can order it free here on this website or you can pay for it by ordering it from Amazon.com.
Defense Base Act Psychological Claims - It’s The Little Things (and they aren’t so little sometimes)
I really can’t stress how important your credibility is in winning your DBA case. In this article I illustrate this concept.
Those of you that regularly read this website know that I try and read all the latest Defense Base Act decisions - both “published” and “unpublished” decisions. These aren’t my firms cases I am talking about. I know I don’t have to read these cases.
But doing “extra-credit” work really helps my clients. So, I try and keep up on these other DBA cases. I don’t want my clients to make the same mistakes when they can be easily avoided. Which is the what I am talking about here.
Defense Base Act Psychological Claim Case Study
In a recently unpublished Defense Base Act decision the Claimant - a security consultant in Bagram, Afghanistan - was claiming a back injury, knee injury and psychological injury. This article focuses on the psychological injury.
This case actually went up on appeal twice to the Benefits Review Board (BRB). The BRB is the first appeals court after the Administrative Trial Judge or trial judge. This article focuses on the psychological injury.
In essence the trial judge found the security officer did not establish that his psychological condition was related to his work injury. The point of this article is why. Why the trial judge and the BRB agreed, that the psychological condition was not related to his work injury.
It came down to two things. One “little” thing was that the Judge found that the Claimant had fudged on claiming mileage reimbursement. That’s right. The Judge found the claimant wasn’t credible because the Claimant had submitted false mileage reimbursements for going to medical appointments. Generally, in a DBA case, medical mileage reimbursements are not “big money.” Here, the Claimant was caught fudging, apparently.
The second thing was aided by the first thing. I call it, “Too many sorrys.” Meaning, you might get one “do over.” But you rarely get two. It seems the insurance company doctor had “opined that claimant’s psychological condition is not related to his employment and that claimant’s psychiatric complaints appear to be grossly exaggerated.”
So the Judge combined a medical report of exaggeration with fudged medical mileage reimbursements and found the claimant was not credible and thereby denied claimants psychological condition. And there you have it.
You need to know that the trial judge gets to call “balls and strikes.” If the trial judge finds you are not credible - you will lose and the court of appeals will usually not overrule the trial judge. It is well-established that an administrative law judge is entitled to evaluate the credibility of all witnesses, weigh the medical evidence, and draw his own inferences therefrom.
Which comes back to why I say that nothing is more important than your credibility. Know this, the DBA insurance company doctor is probably going to say that you are exaggerating your psychological condition. If the Judge sees you have lied about anything - then you will probably lose. It’s simple, always tell the truth. About everything.
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