“When I seek out professional advice, I don’t want 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.” -Bill Turley
Don't do ANYTHING related to your DBA case before you read these 10 Tips!
In this article, I explain how to file your Defense Base Act claim. This will help your win your DBA claim also.
Always tell the truth
When it comes to the in's and out's of filing a DBA claim, the first step you must take, is always tell the truth. Under no circumstances, never sugar coat anything.
Never tell a lie, and always tell the truth. Your credibility with the Defense Base Act insurance company and the Judge depend on it. The DBA insurance company is hoping that you will not tell the truth or try to hide something. They will use that in order to try and destroy your credibility. I strongly suggest that you read this article: How to Avoid the Five Worst Mistakes That Will Destroy Your Defense Base Act Case
The Next Step
Before you fill out any forms or start the process of your DBA claim, you need to do your research. Order my free book, Win Your Defense Base Act Case: The Ultimate Straight Talk Roadmap To The Medical Treatment and Money You and Your Family Deserve. It is full of helpful information that will help your win your Defense Base Act Claim.
Don't believe it?
I don't blame you.
Avoiding the DBA insurance company tricks and traps
I strongly suggest that you read my book - Win Your Defense Base Act case before you talk to the DBA insurance adjuster, sign any documents, give a recorded statement or even hire the wrong lawyer. My book covers all of these topics in depth. And most importantly, it will help you avoid all of the DBA insurance company tricks and traps that folks like you fall for every day that will tank your case.
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Call our office today at 619-304-1000. We are here to help. We are here to listen.
If you were injured working overseas, the first thing to remember is that your injury is covered by the Defense Base Act. With very few exceptions, any action at any time that takes place while you are overseas—including recreational activity—should be compensable. You do not have to be actively working at the time of your injury to qualify for DBA coverage.
Keep These Ten Tips in Mind When You File a Defense Base Act Claim
In order to protect your case, remember these pointers after you have been hurt…
- Report your injury immediately. The best thing you can do to help your case is to report your injury to someone in a position above you at your company as soon as possible. You can build a paper trail by confirming the report in an email, and saving the confirmation in your inbox.
- Don’t give a recorded statement. Spoken and written statements are only used to deny an injury claim. The same goes for medical or employment releases. If an insurance adjuster tells you he needs your statement or signed release before he can provide you with medical treatment or weekly compensation benefits, you must read my book Win Your Defense Base Act Case first. For more about not giving a recorded statement or a written statement go here.
- Choose your doctor wisely. You get one free choice physician under the DBA, so use it to your advantage. Explain the specifics of your job to your doctor, making sure he understands the rigors of Defense Base Act employment. Never choose a doctor suggested by the DBA insurance adjuster.
- Say “No” to the nurse case manager. Don’t allow the insurance company’s nurse case manager to go into the examination room with your doctor. The nurse case manager’s job is to save the insurance company money, so politely ask him or her to wait in the waiting room.
Even if Your Claim Isn't Being Denied Or Is In Dispute…
- Keep it short with the insurance adjuster. Remember: the insurance adjuster is not your friend—he’s trying to save his company money. Anything you say can and will be used against you, so keep your interactions polite but short.
- Collect evidence. Your compensation rate is based on your earnings, so make sure to document all of your wages, bonuses, and all of your pay stubs and W-2s. Your claim can be denied at any time. Be ready.
- Document medical treatment. Keep records of all medical treatment you received, both in the U.S. and overseas. Get copies of all your overseas medical records before you return to the United States.
- Gather witnesses. Before you leave for the U.S., make sure you have contact information of any witnesses who saw your accident happen.
When You’re Taking Your Case To Court…
- Hire the right attorney. No matter how helpful the insurance adjuster is, don’t take legal advice from him—and never hire a lawyer suggested to you by the DBA adjuster or nurse case manager. Don't make a mistake of hiring a lawyer because they are close to you. You need the best, honest DBA lawyer that will agree to take your case.
- Always tell the truth. Don’t lose your case by fudging the facts. Tell the truth about any previous injuries or potential involvement you had in the accident.
Bonus Tip No. 1
Bonus Tip No. 1: How do I file a Defense Base Act claim?
Bonus Tip No. 2: It's all about evidence
Here is a bonus tip.
Be sure you get all of the evidence (read: documents from your employer).
For example, in a recent court case the injured worker requested his personnel file from the DBA employer. The employer refused to provide the personnel file. No surprise here. The employer/ DBA insurance company will be the first to scream "foul" if you don't provide documents that they think they need. But when the injured worker asks for routine documents - like your personnel file - they won't give it up.
So in this case a Subpoena was served on the employer. Even though the case was before the Department of Labor, the OALJ Judge ordered the employer to produce the personnel file. The employer (read: the DBA insurance company) appealed the decision because they didn't want to produce the personnel file. The BRB (read: the appellate court) ruled that the DBA insurance company had no basis for appealing the Order to produce the personnel filed. So the personnel file was produced.
The bonus tip here: Make sure you request and then subpoena, if necessary, documents that pertain to you - such as the employer's personnel file. The DBA insurance company is going to try and use everything in your records against you. So you need to be proactive and go get it. The lesson here is to get a lawyer that is going to fight to help you win your DBA case.
Get good help!
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. Just because we have had great results in so many other DBA cases, doesn't guarantee any particular result in your Defense Base Act case.
Thanks, Bill Turley