Choosing the Right Person to Handle Your Defense Base Act Case
There are many different people who can present your case in court; however, not all of them have equal weight. For instance, there are a few drawbacks when relying on:
Your Hometown Lawyer.
Lawyers can focus on many different areas of the law, making them well-versed in a variety of legal procedures. An attorney who primarily deals in divorce or family law may know very little about the protections of the Defense Base Act, leaving him open to surprises in court.
A Workers’ Comp Attorney.
While the Defense Base Act provides benefits for workers, it is very different from state workers’ compensation programs. It is not enough for your attorney to know how workers’ compensation works, they need to know how your workers’ compensation works under the specifications of the Defense Base Act.
Many injured workers figure they can save money on attorney fees by not hiring a Defense Base Act lawyer. It is an understandable point of view: why risk even more of the money you are trying to win by hiring an attorney? The truth is that a successful Defense Base Act claim is much more than filing paperwork and gathering evidence—it is about refuting the claims made by the insurance company.
None of these options are what you want. Plain and simple. You need a lawyer that knows how the Defense Base Act works, who the DBA insurance lawyers are, and how to beat them in court. You want the most experienced and skilled Defense Base Act Lawyer you can find. And finding this lawyer is going to require research. Lots of it.
Here is a list of questions you should be asking potential attorneys to see if they are a good fit for you:
1. How many Defense Base Act cases is their law firm currently handling?
You don’t want a law firm that is learning the DBA law with your case. You want a DBA law firm that has systems and procedures in place to handle your DBA case.
2. How many DBA cases does the law firm have with the DBA insurance company that you are up against?
Fact is, DBA insurance companies can’t take every case to trial. Your best chance at settling your case is by hiring a law firm that the DBA insurance company respects.
3. Does the DBA law firm actually take cases to trial?
You want and need a law firm that will take your case to trial. That is, actually taking DBA cases to trial. Ask about their current “Trial Calendar.”
4. Does the law firm publish information on the DBA?
If they write about the Defense Base Act, then they probably are specialists.
5. Does the law firm have any lawyers that have been elected to lead lawyer organizations?
It is simple, you want leaders, not followers.
6. How long has the law firm been handling Defense Base Act cases?
You don’t want a law firm that has no systems in place to handle your case.
7. Is a Lawyer running your Defense Base Act case or a paralegal going to run your case?
Trouble is, the lawyer you hired is hardly ever in the office. Instead, they live far away in some exotic location and they have a paralegal that is doing all of their day-to-day work. You want to be able to actually talk to a lawyer and ask them questions and get case updates.
The 2 Best Attorney Rating Sites
You can’t always believe what people say about themselves on the internet. That is just a known fact. So I always recommend relying on outside sources that have attorney reviews and ratings. And While there aren’t specific Defense Base Act Attorney review sites and ratings sites, there are two websites that I suggest you go to and check out in order to get ratings or reviews on ANY type of lawyer you are looking to hire:
On Avvo.com you will find reviews of any particular lawyer you may be considering. Avvo rates the lawyers using objective type information. Meaning this isn’t based upon what the particular lawyer says about themselves, but rather on their skills, accomplishments, accolades, publications, and experiences.
This website is pretty exclusive. Only the top lawyers in any particular practice area are chosen to be featured on it. Avvo.com rates all lawyers. But with SuperLawyers, you have to be nominated by other, already considered “Super Lawyers”, to be included.
This means that the best of the best nominates and accepts other respected, experienced and skilled lawyers onto this site. So, if you really are looking for the very best Defense Base Act attorney you are going to find one on this site. So, make sure that the DBA attorneys you’re considering are listed on SuperLawyers.
Want more info on how to find the right represenation for you, check out our book "Win Your Defense Base Act Case".