“When I seek out professional advice, I want honesty, I want frankness, I want advice straight-up, with no B.S. So should you.”
Why should I hire a DBA lawyer?
This is a really good question. I strongly suggest that you check out this article on the Top 10 Defense Base Act questions. (Question No. 2, on the list, and be sure to check Out Questions No. 3, 4 and 6, which are also about hiring a DBA lawyer).
How do I get attendant care services from the Defense Base Act insurance company?
When an overseas civilian contractor suffers a catastrophic injury and/or very serious injury they are entitled to Defense Base Act benefits. One of the benefits you are entitled to under the DBA is medical care. If you or a family member require assistance with your daily living it is oftentimes a battle in order to get the DBA insurance company to step up to the plate and provide the attendant care services that are needed.
Too often I have seen Defense Base Act insurance companies putting these needed services off on family members to perform. If you are in situation, you need to know about attendant care and the Defense Base Act. You need to know how to get the DBA insurance company to provide attendant care services.
What is attendant care?
Attendant care services are provided to assist a person to manage their essential and regular personal care needs. It is hands on assistance for the functional needs of someone that needs assistance with their activities of daily living.
What are examples of attendant care services?
These activities of daily living include:
Dressing and changing clothes
Toileting (Bladder and bowel requirements, bed pan routines, movement to and from the bathroom)
Mobility - getting from bed to the bathroom and around the house and in and out of the wheelchair
Safety - preventing injury to themselves or others
Attendant care services and Defense Base Act law
Under the Defense Base Act, medical expenses may also include an attendant, where such services are necessary because the employee is totally blind, has lost the use of both hands or both feet, is paralyzed and unable to walk, or is otherwise requires constant attendance. See 20 C.F.R. Section 702.412(b).
The need for attendant care services can be due to physical injuries and/or traumatic brain injuries.
If the care is medically required claimants are entitled to receive attendant care services and the DBA insurance company must pay for the services.
I strongly suggest that you don't do anything until you read my book!!!
Before you do anything related to your DBA case - including, but not limited to - talking to the insurance adjuster, signing any forms (do not sign any forms, releases, etc.!!), giving a statement (don't give a statement!!!), going to your next medical appointment, attending an informal conference, attending a Labor Market Survey meeting, giving a deposition, attending a defense medical exam (also called an IME)... or anything else related to your DBA case - - you MUST first read my 5 Star book - Win Your Defense Base Act Case.
Seeing is believing
If you are a family member and you are taking care of a family member that has a Defense Base Act claim - you may be entitled to reimbursement (to be paid money)
If a claimant’s (a claimant is the person bringing the DBA claim) injuries are so severe as to require domestic services, the DBA insurance company must provide them, even to the extent of reimbursing a family member who performs them. Gilliam, 8 BRBS at 279-80; Timmons v. Jacksonville Shipyards, 2 BRBS 125 (1975).
The Benefits Review Board (the first Appeals court for a DBA case) found that the judge had properly held the employer (read: insurance company) responsible for paying for home health care services where the claimant would be "better off" remaining with his family than being cared for in a nursing home. Falcone v. General Dynamics Corp., 21 BRBS 145, 147 (1988).
We have been successful in getting DBA insurance companies to provide attendant care services and having family members getting paid for providing the services. We have successfully gotten the DBA insurance company to pay the claimant’s wife and children for helping to take care of their injured family member.
We have also had cases where professional services were paid for by the DBA insurance company.
What you are going to need in order to get the DBA insurance company to provide attendant care services (and/or pay for you providing attendant care)
In order to get the DBA insurance carrier to provide attendant care services you are going to need medical evidence that attendant care services are reasonable and necessary for you or your family member.
What we are talking about is a report or note from the injured person’s doctor explaining what attendant care services are needed, why they are needed and how these services are related to the injuries sustained in the DBA case.
Then you must provide the report or note to the DBA insurance company. Be sure to make a request that the DBA insurance company provide the attendant care services. Meaning, that they provide them and pay for the services.
A family member or a professional?
In some instances a professional attendant care provider will be necessary. This is usually an agency employed Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA).
We have had situations where the CNA started administering the attendant care services and family members took over the services after being assisted and/or trained by the CNA. This is not always feasible.
You should not have to take care or your loved one
You know that you love your family member. But the reality is that often takes a huge time commitment and/or emotional commitment in order to provide home care to a family member.
It can take an emotional toll when a relationship changes into a caregiver relationship. This has to be considered also.
The DBA insurance company can’t force you to be the caregiver. And if the DBA insurance carrier is forcing this role on you or a family member, it’s time to lawyer up.
If you want to be the caregiver, then you deserve to be paid for performing these services.
You always have to tell the truth
The DBA insurance company is hoping you will lie, fib, exaggerate, embellish, and/or distort about things. Anything. Because when you do they will try and destroy your credibility. When that happens successfully - you lose.
The DBA insurance company is going to try and trick you and trap you. Honest folks with legitimate DBA claims fall for these tricks and traps all the time. A large part of my book is teaching you how to avoid these tricks and traps. If you fall for one of these tricks or traps it will seriously harm your DBA case. Maybe even end it.
What you are going to see is that the book Win Your Defense Base Act Case is packed with insider information that will help you win your case. The big picture here is that now that you are injured you have a court case. You can depend on the DBA insurance company attacking you, your character and credibility. It's how they roll. They will do all of that in order to keep from paying you the money benefits that you are entitled to under the law.
I suggest you check out these two articles
Need help right now?
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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 as 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.