“An insider’s view of the DBA. I don’t sugar coat it for you. I give it to you straight.
No lawyer talk, no double talk. Just good old fashioned, unsweetened truth.”
Defense Base Act Lawyer - Bill Turley
“The DBA insurance adjuster told me that I don’t need a lawyer, So I’m good.”
That’s like the coach of the opposing football team telling you that your team doesn’t need a coach. Really? Did you ask the insurance adjuster why the DBA insurance company has so many lawyers?
Fact is, the DBA insurance company doesn’t want you to have a lawyer. Because they know that they’ll have to pay you a LOT more money if you get a lawyer.
Make no mistake about it. You now have a court case. You need a lawyer to win your court case.
Second, I suggest you check out this article on the Top 10 DBA Questions (see Questions 2, 3, 4, and 6....).
AWAC Allied World Assurance Co. and The DBA
Folks that read my website know that I don’t pull punches. I call it the way I see it and I am definitely not afraid to throw high, hard heat. So here I go again. Let’s talk about the relative new kid on the block - AWAC Allied World Assurance Company and that is providing insurance for overseas civilian contractors.
Those of you that are regular readers of this website know that I have been representing seriously injured overseas civilian contractors in Defense Base Act cases for a long time. I have one of the top three (if not top two) largest DBA law firms and the largest on the west coast. I wrote the book "Win Your Defense Base Act Case".
In some respects AWAC - Allied World Assurance Company can still be seen as sort of, the new kid on the block, because they haven’t been a serious player in DBA insurance until relatively recently. In the last few years though we have been seeing Allied World Assurance Company (or AWAC) more and more. They are certainly a major player in DBA insurance. According to the U.S. Department of Labor Case Summary by Insurance Company, AWAC is now the second largest DBA insurance provider.
While AWAC has certainly gone through "phases" in the last few years, they are still spending a lot of money and time denying claims and then making low-ball settlement offers. All no doubt in an effort to set a low settlement ceiling. In other words they were trying to force folks to take low settlements.
It's how they roll, it seems.
You should know this going in.
The Only Thing That Gets Them To Offer Half-Way Decent Money
What most folks don’t understand is that the insurance company doesn’t need a good reason or excuse to deny your DBA claim. Just file a Notice of Controversion (LS-207) and the insurance adjuster can put down the reason for controverting the claim anything from “under investigation” to “there is no medical evidence to support the claim” to “just because.” Controverting is the legal way of saying they are denying your claim. I tell folks that they should be trying to overcome whatever reason is listed on the LS-207. But that is not the point I am trying to make here.
They can put down whatever reason they want to deny your claim. And there is no “penalty” if they make up a flimsy reason to controvert your claim. So they deny legitimate claims left and right. With the flimsiest of reasons.
Now here is the irony of it all. There is only one thing that keeps the DBA insurance company from denying claims. A lot folks have a hard time with wrapping their heads around the concept though. Truth is the DBA insurance company has to pay attorney fees and costs to the attorney you hire. And they have to pay their own attorneys fees and costs.
And if you didn’t know it already - attorneys are expensive.(However, you need to realize that you should never have to pay attorney fees. The insurance company should be paying your lawyer's fees on top of what you get).
The first takeaway point that you need to the insurance company is always the enemy. They are in it to make a profit.
My strong advice is for you to immediately get my book - Win Your Defense Base Act Case. You can get a free copy here.
You can buy it from amazon.com (read the reviews here) or get a FREE copy from me by clicking this link. It is the best investment you are going to make in your case. I advise you to get the book before you speak to the adjuster, sign any forms or even hire a DBA attorney.
The AWAC Adjuster is Always Sizing You Up
Even though the adjuster is your enemy, you not must, ALWAYS be polite and nice to the adjuster. No matter what. This is another reason to hire the best honest DBA lawyer that will take your case. So you don't blow it with the adjuster.
The adjuster is trying to read you. To see if the Judge is going to like you or not. Because if the Judge does like you and believe you - you have a much better chance of prevailing at your trial.
It's all about the truth. You must always tell the truth. Nothing is more important to you and your case than your credibility. Nothing else is even close.
What's The Score?
You need to act and think that your benefits are going to be cut off at any time and that you will need to be able to economically sustain a long drawn our battle. You need to be ready for what I call the long haul. Because that is the only way that you are going to get fair value for your case. But for today, you need to know the score of the game.
What this means is that you need to prepare yourself today for the fact that AWAC is not going to make a fair settlement offer. So you need to be ready economically for the long haul (read: long amount of time); it is going to take to take your case to trial and get a Decision and Order.
Don't Be Owned By Anyone
One more thought. Insurance companies are all about profits. The folks working there are getting their marching orders from the stockholders, board of directors, and/or CEO. From the CEO on down, these folks are worried about losing their jobs if they don’t perform. It is all about quarterly profits in today’s corporate world.
I am not saying that the adjusters, supervisors and such are evil people. They are caught up in all of this. If you got a chance to talk to them confidentially - they would tell you that they don’t like any of this.
Even though what they are doing is screwing your life up royally, you don’t want to be owned by it. When you hate someone, they own you. I suggest that you don’t go there.
Today, your job is to do everything in your power to beat them in court. I cover all of this in my book. I know my firm can’t represent everyone. We are blessed to be able to only accept as clients people we want to work with. So even if we don’t take your case - my book is my way of giving back, so to speak.
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This article isn't legal advice
These discussions and/or examples are not legal advice. All legal situations are different. These testimonials, endorsements, photos and/or discussions do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter, or your particular case/ situation. Every case is different. There are any number of reasons why DBA cases are not won and/or are not as successful folks might have hoped for.
Just because we have gotten great results in so many other Defense Base Act cases, doesn't guarantee in particular result in other cases. Including, your DBA case. Every case is different.