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How DBA Attorney Fees Work

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Should I pay DBA attorney fees? How much should I pay for an attorney for my Defense Base act case? - Defense Base Act Lawyer - Bill Turley

“I give you answers to your Defense Base Act questions in simple, easy to understand English. No legal mumbo-jumbo, lawyer talk.”
Defense Base Act Lawyer - Bill Turley

Don’t Pay Defense Base Act Attorney Fees

One question that goes through folks minds when they are first filing a Defense Base Act claim is “Who Should Pay DBA Attorney Fees?”  And it's a good question. The short answer: Not You. 

Some folks think that they don’t need or shouldn't get a DBA attorney because they don’t want to pay attorney fees or have attorney fees taken out of their weekly compensation.  What they need to understand is that the DBA insurance company are the ones that should be paying their attorney fees. Not you. 

How much should I pay for an attorney for my Defense Base Act case? 

A related question that folks ask is: How much should I pay for an attorney for my Defense Base Act case?  The short answer: You shouldn't ever pay an attorney to represent you on a Defense Base Act case. 

If a lawyer tells you that you must pay them money for them to represent you for a Defense Base Act case, you need to find a different attorney.  Truth is, you should never pay a lawyer for a Defense Base Act case out of your own pocket. Keep this in mind when you are researching the right Defense Base Act lawyer for you. 


The DBA insurance companies having to pay your attorney fees is one of the only things that makes DBA insurance companies pay claims timely. In essence, having to pay our attorney fees helps get your case settled faster.  I know, it seems screwy, but that is how the system works. 

Let me explain. Suppose that you have a permanent disability and you are owed $1,100 in weekly disability benefits. As long as the DBA insurance company files a Notice of Controversion - they can make up just about any excuse to not pay you your weekly compensation benefits. By filing the Notice of Controversion timely, there is no penalty or added amount that the insurance company must pay if they don't pay you compensation that they may owe you. 

If there is a Award by the Judge in your case, the Judge will Award interest. 

As long as the DBA insurance company makes more money investing the money they owe you, then they pay you in interest, they make money on not paying you your money they owe you. 

However, if you hire a lawyer, they not only have to pay your lawyer's fee, they also have to pay their own lawyer fees. 

So the reality here is that the fees that the DBA insurance company has to pay your attorney (and their own attorney); is the best incentive for DBA insurance companies to pay benefits that they owe. Otherwise, they will have to pay what they owe for the claim (for example, $1,100 a week) and, in addition, 

LS-207 Notice of Controversion

All the DBA insurance company has to do is file an LS-207 Notice of Controversion and they can deny your claim.  Again, the system is really screwed up.  This is the worst part of the DBA. That is, there is nothing to “make” DBA insurance companies to pay you your weekly compensation and medical treatment in a timely manner.  The only one that can “make” the DBA insurance company pay you is the Judge. You will need what is called a “Decision and Order Awarding Benefits.”  And this is a get in line and wait system.

Which is why, so many folks choose to settle their DBA cases.  So they won’t have to always be worried about having their benefits be cut off by the DBA insurance company.


Win Your Defense Base Act Case

Win Your Defense Base Act Case is a great  book on the Defense Base Act. The whole book is designed to help keep you from making one of the common case-ending mistakes that  honest people with legitimate DBA cases make all the time.  Claim your free copy here

Win Your Defense Base Act Case - Bill Turley

It’s how they roll

One of the key and important parts of this book is helping you to navigate the minefield that the DBA insurance company is going to lay out to destroy your case. What you probably don't know is that the DBA insurance company has tricks and traps that folks just like fall for every day.  You might be thinking, "I have a legitimate case, I'm telling the truth, I'm good." However, that isn't the case. Not even close.

Using these tricks and traps is how they get out of paying money to folks with legitimate claims. It’s how they roll.

My book Win Your Defense Base Act Case is designed to help you avoid these case killing mistakes.


There are dozens and dozens of great 5 Star reviews of the book on amazon.com. Click here to check them out:  5 Star Reviews 

The Bottom Line

My best advice is that if you are seriously injured and have a DBA case, you need to hire the best DBA lawyer you can find.  How much they cost doesn't matter because that money should never be coming out of your pocket. The only people that should be paying any fees are the DBA insurance company. It's really that simple. 


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.

William Turley
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“When I seek out professional advice, I don’t want B.S., I want it straight up. I figure you do also.”
My husband works for private contractor over seas, he got hurt a day before he was due to fly home for leave. While here, the "strained" muscle the VA said he had was actually a really bad herniated disc on c4/c5 and c5/c6 that nearly paralyzed him. DbA called the day he was released from hospital and still on pain medications then proceeded to confuse to the point he was in tears. We are have surgery today to correct his discs but DBA is saying not looking good. Need advice and help.
Posted by Nicole Pettigrew on May 21, 2019 at 03:10 PM

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