What Should I Do When There Are More Than One DBA Insurance Carriers?
Cumulative Trauma Injuries
Many DBA contractors work overseas for months or even years with an injury before the pain becomes too much and forces them to go home for treatment. Most commonly, these injuries include wear and tear on their back, hips, knees from all the physically demanding duties they have to perform, or mental strain caused by all the traumatic things they had to experience in a combat zone. These are called cumulative trauma injuries – injuries that weren’t caused by a specific incident but rather have been ongoing for a period of time.
Usually, this won’t have much of an effect on your claim. However, it’s very common for Employers to switch insurance companies every couple of years. When that happens, there may be a question of which insurance carrier will be responsible for paying for your compensation and medical treatment. Would it be the company who insured your Employer when you first got hurt? Or would it be the company who insured your Employer when the pain finally became too much?
Generally, the responsible carrier will be the one who was insuring your Employer when you were last injured. But there are times when it’s difficult to determine when exactly you were last injured.
Complications with Multiple Carriers
Say that you have a lower back claim caused by you being involved in a lifting incident in the gym. You went to the clinic and they were able to give you injections or pain medication to help you continue to work. After your contract ends, you go home to get treatment for your back. Sometime between the injury and when you go home, your Employer switched insurance companies.
In general, the last Carrier before you left will be responsible for your DBA compensation but it really depends on multiple factors. Were there any incidents that happened afterwards to aggravate your injury? Were you placed on modified work so that they could keep you in theater? Were you only able to keep working because of the pain meds?
One thing is for certain, though. Whoever the responsible carrier is, they won’t be stepping up to pay for your compensation willingly. Rather, it’s more likely that both insurance carriers will deny your claim and point the finger at one another. While they throw their hands up and say “not it,” you’re suffering from a back injury that is clearly work related, with no compensation and no treatment.
What Can You Do?
If this is happening to you, you need to prepare for the long haul. While you’re stuck, injured and alone, the insurance carriers’ shark attorneys are playing hot potato with your case. This game of theirs could last years while all you can do is sit back and suffer without any treatment or benefits. It’s not right and it’s not fair but this is how these ruthless insurance attorneys earn their keep with the Carriers.
The answer is always the truth (as usual)
So what’re your options? Well, my motto is always to hope for the best and prepare for the worst. The best way to prepare for the worst is to ALWAYS tell the truth and find the best, honest DBA lawyer that you can find as soon as possible. Your attorney can help you develop your evidence correctly so that it clarifies when your last injury happened, and mediate between both insurance companies.
While it won’t solve the question of which Carrier is responsible immediately, hopefully your attorney can help you get one Carrier to pick up the tab while your claim is stuck in this endless loop.
Time to lawyer-up
But know this. It IS time to lawyer-up. You need to spend your energy in finding the best honest DBA lawyer that will agree to take your case.
Your best bet
Make sure you claim your free copy of Bill Turley's book Win Your Defense Base Act Case. There is good reason why it has dozens of great 5 star reviews on Amazon.com. It is MUST reading for everyone with a DBA claim.