“No B.S. straight forward answers with no legal mumbo-jumbo, lawyer talk.”
Defense Base Act Lawyer Bill Turley
Let's start with this. I'm not going to tell you that you should hire me. I'm not about to tell you that I am the only Defense Base Act Lawyer that can win your case.
What I am going to tell you is that there are a whole lot of poseurs on the Internet. That is, fancy, impressive websites proclaiming attorneys to be Defense Base Act lawyers. The problem is, many - if not most of them - are lawyers that really don't know much about the Defense Base Act and/or have not had very many DBA cases.
Your problem is telling the poseurs from the real Defense Base Act lawyers. It's not as easy as it may first appear.
Don’t try this at home....
You hear this on TV or on Youtube when some dude is about to set himself on fire, jump off a bridge, get eaten by sharks, stand on a moving motorcycle or do something else that can cause injury or death....
You don’t want to be that gal or guy. Similarly, you don’t want to jack up your DBA case by trying to represent yourself. Seriously. Before you do that, you should 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. 4 and 6, which are also about hiring a DBA lawyer).
Choosing the Right Person to Handle Your Defense Base Act Case
There are many different people who can present your case in court; however, not all of them have equal weight. For instance, there are a few drawbacks when relying on:
Your Hometown Lawyer
Lawyers can focus on many different areas of the law, making them well-versed in a variety of legal procedures. An attorney who primarily deals in divorce or family law may know very little about the protections of the Defense Base Act, leaving them open to surprises in court.
A State Workers’ Comp Attorney
While the Defense Base Act provides benefits for workers, it is very different from state workers’ compensation programs. It is not enough for your attorney to know how workers’ compensation works, they need to know how your workers’ compensation works under the specifications of the Defense Base Act.
Many injured workers figure they can save money on attorney fees by not hiring a Defense Base Act lawyer. It is an understandable point of view: why risk even more of the money you are trying to win by hiring an attorney? The truth is that a successful Defense Base Act claim is much more than filing paperwork and gathering evidence—it is about refuting the claims made by the insurance company.
None of these options are what you want. Plain and simple. You need a lawyer that knows how the Defense Base Act works, who the DBA insurance lawyers are, and how to beat them in court. You want the most experienced and skilled Defense Base Act Lawyer you can find. And finding this lawyer is going to require research. Lots of it.
Here is a list of questions you should be asking potential attorneys to see if they are a good fit for you:
1. How many Defense Base Act cases have they handled?
You don’t want a law firm that is learning the DBA law with your case. You want a DBA law firm that has systems and procedures in place to handle your DBA case.
For example, law firms that I've been with have handled hundreds and hundreds of DBA cases over the years. While I don't think you need to have handled that many cases to have the experience needed for your lawyer, you certainly want the voice of experience on your side.
2. How many DBA cases has the law firm had with the DBA insurance company that you are up against?
Fact is, DBA insurance companies can’t take every case to trial. Your best chance at settling your case is by hiring a law firm that the DBA insurance company respects.
3. Does the DBA law firm actually take cases to trial?
You want and need a law firm that will take your case to trial. That is, actually taking DBA cases to trial. Ask about their current “Trial Calendar.”
4. Does the law firm publish information on the DBA?
If they write about the Defense Base Act, then they probably are specialists.
5. Does the law firm have any lawyers that have been elected to lead lawyer organizations?
It is simple, you want leaders, not followers.
6. How long has the law firm been handling Defense Base Act cases?
You don’t want a law firm that has no systems in place to handle your case.
7. Is a Lawyer running your Defense Base Act case or a paralegal going to run your case?
Trouble is, the lawyer you hired is hardly ever in the office. Instead, they live far away in some exotic location and they have a paralegal that is doing all of their day-to-day work. You want to be able to actually talk to a lawyer and ask them questions and get case updates.
8. What are the lawyer's Avvo.com rating?
Just head over to www.avvo.com and take a look at the reviews and ratings.
9. Have they been nominated to SuperLawyers?
10. Do they have any online-reviews?
I don't know about you, but I will usually check online reviews before I buy something. My wife won't eat at a new restaurant unless she first looks at their online reviews. You may be the same way.
I will give you an example. There are dozens and dozens of 5 Star online reviews of my book Win Your Defense Base Act Case on amazon.com. Although the reviews are on the book, many of the amazon.com reviews also talk about me or my law firm. You can check them out yourself by going to amazon.com and putting "Defense Base Act" into the search bar.
You'll see the amazon.com reviews of Win Your Defense Base Act are a great place to start if you want to know what people are saying about me.
The 2 Best Attorney Rating Sites
You can’t always believe what people say about themselves on the internet. That is just a known fact. So I always recommend relying on outside sources that have attorney reviews and ratings. And while there aren’t specific Defense Base Act Attorney review sites and ratings sites, there are two websites that I suggest you go to and check out in order to get ratings or reviews on ANY type of lawyer you are looking to hire:
On Avvo.com you will find reviews of any particular lawyer you may be considering. Avvo rates the lawyers using objective type information. Meaning this isn’t based upon what the particular lawyer says about themselves, but rather on their skills, accomplishments, accolades, publications, and experiences.
This website is pretty exclusive. Only the top lawyers in any particular practice area are chosen to be featured on it. Avvo.com rates all lawyers. But with SuperLawyers, you have to be nominated by other, already considered “Super Lawyers”, to be included.
This means that the best of the best nominates and accepts other respected, experienced and skilled lawyers onto this site. So, if you really are looking for the very best Defense Base Act attorney you are going to find one on this site. So, make sure that the DBA attorneys you’re considering are listed on SuperLawyers.
Want more info on how to find the right representation for you, check out our book "Win Your Defense Base Act Case".
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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.