“When I seek out professional advice, I want no B.S. I want it straight up, with no double talk. I figure you do also. I always use plain English, with no sugarcoating, no B.S. lawyer talk, and no double talk - just old fashioned, unsweetened, unvarnished truth - just the way that I want it.” Longshore Attorney / Defense Base Act Lawyer – Bill Turley
LS-203 Employee’s Claim For Compensation - How to start a Longshore Claim/ Defense Base Act Claim
Filing a LS-203 Employee’s Claim For Compensation is the first step in bringing a Longshore case and a Defense Base Act case. This step is sometimes overlooked. Make sure you don't. File your claim timely with the U.S. Department of Labor. Be sure to serve it (read: send with a proof of service) on your DBA employer. This is very important because you have to timely provide your employer with notice of your claim.
It is usually best to have your lawyer file an LS-203 “Employee’s Claim For Compensation.” You can find an LS-203 on-line here: LS-203
You should provide enough information for your employer and/or the insurance company to investigate your claim. Generally, if you answer the questions or prompts on the form you will be fine. You will very rarely actually need anymore response than will fit in th e space provided on inside the box. Simply answer the questions/ prompts and don’t editorialize.
U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL)
Your case will be assigned to a claims examiner from the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL), Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP), Division of Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation (DLHWC). Remember, the Defense Base Act is an extension of the Longshore Act. Thus, your DBA claim is administered through the USDOL OWCP Lonsghore Division.
You Need Recommendations
You need to gather the evidence needed to support your claim For example, medical reports and wage records at the minimum. Then you need to request a Telephonic Emergency Informal Conference. In order to get your case to trial you are going to need Recommendations issued by the claims examiner at the Department of Labor. The Department of Labor claims examiner isn't going to decide your DBA case for you. The best you can hope for is to have the Recommendations be issued in your favor. Either way, you need to jump through a few hoops in order to actually get your case to a trial where a Judge can issue a Decision and Order.
Click here for more information on the Longshore Act
Click here for more information on the Defense Base Act
Disclaimer: Please understand these discussions and/or examples are not legal advice. All legal situations are different. This testimonial, endorsement and/or discussion does not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter, your particular case/ situation and/or this particular case/ situation. Thanks, Bill Turley