Before I get into Scheduled Injuries and the DBA, there is one thing you should know. When handling your Defense Base Act case, nothing matters more then 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 only to have 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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Under the Defense Base Act?
On to Scheduled Injuries. The Defense Base Act provides workers' compensation benefits to civilian employees working outside the United States on US military bases or under a contract with the U.S. government for public works or for national defense. There are two basic types of injuries under The Defense Act: Scheduled Injuries and Unscheduled Injuries. This article concerns Scheduled Injuries under the Defense Base Act.
Injuries to the following body parts are considered Scheduled Injuries:
(1) Arm lost, three hundred and twelve weeks' compensation.
(2) Leg lost, two hundred and eighty-eight weeks' compensation.
(3) Hand lost, two hundred and forty-four weeks' compensation.
(4) Foot lost, two hundred and five weeks' compensation.
(5) Eye lost, one hundred and sixty weeks' compensation.
(6) Thumb lost, seventy-five weeks' compensation.
(7) First finger lost, forty-six weeks' compensation.
(8) Great toe lost, thirty-eight weeks' compensation.
(9) Second finger lost, thirty weeks' compensation.
(10) Third finger lost, twenty-five weeks' compensation.
(11) Toe other than great toe lost, sixteen weeks' compensation.
(12) Fourth finger lost, fifteen weeks' compensation.
(13) Loss of hearing:
(A) Compensation for loss of hearing in one ear, fifty-two weeks.
(B) Compensation for loss of hearing in both ears, two-hundred weeks.
Everything else is considered an Unscheduled Injury under the Defense Base Act.
Generally, you are entitled to a Scheduled Award if you have a Scheduled Injury. A formula is used to determine the amount of the award. The formula relies on an AMA Impairment.
The number of weeks of impairment under the AMA Guides to Evaluation of Permanent Impairment needs to be determined by a physician. Hopefully, your treating physician. This is a "must." You can not receive any monies for permanent disabilities for a scheduled injury under the LHWCA without such an AMA Guide Impairment Rating.
Here, we will discuss a Defense Base worker in Iraq. His left arm was seriously injured by shrapnel. He has a 65% AMA Impairment of his arm.
You first need to determine the number of weeks of compensation for the arm: An arm is 312 weeks.
65% x 312 weeks = 202.8 weeks
Assuming an Average Weekly Wage of $1,123.89 and a compensation rate of $749.25.
202.8 weeks x $749.25 = $151,947 in permanent disability.
This may sound straightforward. However, it is not. You are usually up against wily DBA insurance adjusters that may under calculate your AWW or send you to doctors that will give low permanent disability. Or the doctor will release you to early. Or try and deduct unsubstantiated permanent disability advances.
One thing you need to realize is the insurance company's adjusters and attorneys all know the law, the nuances and the ways to keep you from getting the DBA benefits you are entitled to under the law.
This article is not legal advice. Any resemblance to real persons or situations is purely coincidental. I am simple in order to achieve clarity. You should consult with a Defense Base Act Attorney if you have a Defense Base Act Claim.