Defense Base Act Statute of Limitations
Many Defense Base Act workers aren't sure about how much time they have in order to file their DBA claim. In this article I will address the Defense Base Act Statute of Limitations. As always, if you are a seriously injured DBA worker, we strongly advise you consult with a seasoned Defense Base Act Attorney.
When handling your DBA case, nothing matters more than the honest truth. Nothing. You must be straightforward and honest about your case. I have seen many instances where a client will sugar coat their injury and the courts throw out the case. Why? All because they were not honest from the get-go.
The DBA insurance company is not on your side. They have traps laying around for you to fall in. And bet on it, if you do not follow the proper steps with your DBA case, you will fall right in.
Remember the DBA insurance company is not your friend. I strongly suggest you order a free copy of my book, Win Your Defense Base Act Case: The Ultimate Straight Talk Roadmap To The Medical Treatment and Money You and Your Family Deserve. The book has plenty of great 5 Star Reviews on Amazon, and it is a guide to only help you succeed in your case.
Trust me. My only goal here is to make sure honest hard working folks like you, do not get ripped off by these companies.
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What Is A Statute Of Limitations?
A statute of limitations puts a cap on the amount of time that can pass between the time of your Defense Base Act injury until when you file your Defense Base Act claim. In other words, you only have a certain amount of time to bring your DBA claim, or you may be barred from obtaining DBA benefits.
Defense Base Act Statute Of Limitations
While there are two statute's of limitations under the Longshore Act/ Defense Base Act; the one year statute of limitation is the one you really need to be concerned about. In order to protect your rights you need to file your claim within one year of your date of injury.
The Longshore Act states that the time for filing a claim shall not begin to run until you (or your beneficiary) are aware, or by the exercise of due diligence should have been aware, of the relationship between the injury or death and the employment.
A claim under the Act accrues if you know or should know that the injury is work related, and you know or should know that the injury will impair your earning power. This is the appropriate standard for measuring the timeliness of claims filed under the Defense Base Act.
The Presumption Is Powerful
Most Defense Base Act claims are presumed to be timely. This is very important. Because the 20(b) statutory presumption applies to the timeliness of a claim under the Defense Base Act.
Thus, only by producing substantial evidence, can the DBA insurance company successfully raise a statute of limitations defense under the Defense Base Act. Substantial evidence is evidence that a "reasonable mind" would find adequate to support a particular finding or conclusion. It might be more appropriate to refer to a "reasoning mind" rather than a "reasonable mind" because the inquiry requires evaluation of the judgment used arriving at a finding or conclusion, not the ultimate correctness-or "reasonableness" of that finding.
This is powerful. Again, understand the significance of this. If you are credible and the judge believes you, then you will get the 20(b) presumption in your favor. When you have this presumption, it is a rare case where the employer (read: Defense Base Act insurance company) will prevail. The take away point here is always tell the truth. Because if you do tell the truth, the Judge will presume your claim is valid and compensable.
What Does This Mean In Plain English?
If you don't file a claim within the one year statute of limitations, the Judge will excuse the lack of timely filing if the Judge concludes you did not have enough information - from your employer, the insurance company, your doctors or other sources - to realize you would have a permanent loss in earning capacity.
DBA IED Explosions
DBA jobs can be very, very dangerous. From explosions to snipers to back injuires to riding on the worst roads on earth.
Valley of the Shadow of Death
"The only way you can put on your body armor is to think that it won't happen to you. The only way you walk into the valley of the shadow of death is to think it won't happen to you. You have to think that injuries only happen to other DBA workers. When you are a seriously injured DBA worker, you probably don't know what to do or where to turn. Call us before you give a statement or sign any forms." Defense Base Act Lawyer - Bill Turley
Feeling Overwhelmed and Don't Know Where to Start? Get my free DBA Guide, it has the top ten common questions asked about the Defense Base Act, helpful references, what to say to your doctor/adjustor and much more. I created this guide as a great tool for you to get an overview of the Defense Base Act basics. Within the DBA Guide you will notice at the bottom of each section I mention which pages you can reference in my Win Your Defence Base Act Book if you would like to go into more depth on a certain topic.
This article is not intended to be legal advice. Your case, situation and/or evidence may differ from those described in this article. I am simplistic in order to achieve clarity. Always tell the truth. If the Judge sees you are not being honest, the Judge will deny your claim. Never exaggerate, fudge or lie.