The Defense Base Act (DBA) allows coverage for employees in a number of off-duty situations, and for good reason. Employees who are employed under the DBA are required to work far away from their homes, often in locations where there are restricted social activities. Due to the special nature of his employment situation, a DBA worker may be extremely limited in his opportunities to engage in recreational activities, such as a person employed in a war zone who is unable to go for a walk on his off-duty hours without risking his life.
In order to provide fair compensation for injuries in the course of employment, the DBA allows employees who have been hurt due to “reasonable recreation” to be covered for their medical treatment and time away from work. However, many such injury claims will be denied if the insurer does not agree that the employee’s activities were of a reasonable nature.
Was the Action that Caused My Injury Reasonable?
Whether or not you were engaged in “reasonable” recreational activity will depend on the facts of your case, such as:
- Location. Although the DBA covers a worker whether he is on or off his worksite (such as a military base), some insurers may attempt to claim that the employee had gone a long distance from his living and working areas.
- Off-duty. A person filing a recreational injury claim does not have to be on duty to be compensated.
- Injury cause. The most clear-cut cases involve an injury that arose due to a common risk of the recreation you were involved in. For instance, if you suffered a cracked rib during a rugby game on the base, your injury should be covered.
- Injury type. As with most injury claims, it is often more difficult to get payment for a psychiatric injury than a physical one. If you suffered a broken leg due to a hard landing while skydiving, you will likely be covered. However, if you claim that you suffered psychological trauma due to a boating accident that caused no other injuries, your claim may be denied.
While not every injury caused by recreational activities is compensable, the majority of claims will be covered under the DBA. If your benefits were denied after a recreational injury, you should always seek the opinion of a maritime injury attorney before you accept the decision. Find out if your claim was unfairly denied by asking us a question, or order our free guide, Win Your Defense Base Act Case, to learn more.
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My Best Advice
Nothing is more important when handling your case, then speaking the truth. People who believe if they sugar coat their case, it will help them win their case. Wrong.
You have to be up-front, honest, and truthful to your attorney and the judge. If a judge suspects your not telling the truth, you can say goodbye to your case. Count on it. I have seen it time and time again.
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Take the time to research your case. The more homework you do, the better your case. Order my Free book, Win Your Defense Base Act Case: The Ultimate Straight Talk Roadmap To The Medical Treatment and Money You and Your Family Deserve.
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