"When I seek 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."
Defense Base Act Lawyer - Bill Turley
I’ve got this....
These are famous last words. These are usually last words attributed to a person before their death....
Here, we’re not talking about your literal death. More likely we’re talking about the death of your DBA case. Not good. On any level.
Before you think that you’ve got this - meaning, that you can represent yourself in your DBA case, I suggest that you check out this article on the Top 10 DBA Questions. (see Questions 2,4, and 6....)
Scheduled Injuries vs. Non-Scheduled Injuries
In this article I discuss DBA non-scheduled injuries. There are two different types of injuries under the Defense Base Act: scheduled disabilities and unscheduled disabilities. In order to determine whether you are entitled to permanent disability compensation under the DBA, you first need to determine whether you have a scheduled injury or an unscheduled injury. Simply put, any injury to a body part not listed on the schedule is an unscheduled injury. (Scheduled vs. Unscheduled Injuries).
Types of DBA non-scheduled injuries
The following are considered non-scheduled injuries under the DBA:
- Back injuries
- Neck injuries
- Head injuries
- Shoulder injuries
- Brain injuries
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Internal injuries
- Heart injuries
- Psychological injuries
Defense Base Act Non-Scheduled Injuries
In order to determine permanent disability for a non-scheduled injury, you must first determine whether you are medically able to return to your usual and customary employment without suffering any wage loss. In other words, are you able to perform your regular work? If you are able to return to your regular work without incurring any wage loss, then you are probably not entitled to any permanent disability under the Defense Base Act.
This is a hard concept for some folks to grasp at first. Simply stated, you can have a fairly serious non-scheduled injury and if you are able to return to your usual and customary Defense Base Act work – then you are probably not entitled to any permanent disability compensation. Conversely, you can have a not nearly as serious non-scheduled injury that prevents you from returning to usual and customary Defense Base Act work – then you may be entitled to significant lifetime disability benefits.
It's a wage loss concept
In order to grasp this concept you need to understand permanent disability under the DBA for unscheduled injuries is a wage loss concept. The Judge will be comparing your pre-injury earnings to your post-injury earnings. In other words, you need to compare your Average Weekly Wage (AWW) before your injury to your wage earning capacity after your injury.
You Are Presumed To Be Permanently Totally Disabled
Under the Defense Base Act, you are presumed to be permanently totally disabled when you establish an inability to return to your usual DBA employment. Your usual DBA employment is that which you were performing at the time of your injury. If you satisfy the requirements for this presumption, the burden shifts to the DBA insurance company to establish the availability of suitable alternate employment that you are capable of performing. Again, the focus here is on you - not some ordinary or reasonable person.
The DBA insurance company bears the burden of establishing that suitable alternate work is realistically and regularly available to you in the geographic area in which you reside and which you are capable of performing considering your age, education, work experience, and physical restrictions and/or psychological restrictions.
Labor Market Surveys
The way this works in a DBA case is that if you are not able to return to your usual and customary work and you have a non-scheduled injury, the DBA insurance company is going to get a Labor Market Survey. This is an important step in your case. Click here for more information on Labor Market Surveys.
Win Your Defense Base Act Case
I strongly suggest that you get a copy of my book - Win Your Defense Base Act Case. You can get a free copy from this website. Or, you can pay for it on amazon.com. Either way, I guarantee, this book is going to help you immensely. The book will help you avoid the DBA insurance company's tricks and traps. Every day good, honest people with legitimate DBA cases, screw their case up by making common and very avoidable mistakes. You don't want to be that guy.
Don't believe me?
I understand. Like most people, I try and check out reviews of things before I get them. You can too. There are dozens of 5 Star reviews for Win Your Defense Base Act Case on amazon.com. You can go to amazon.com and type "Defense Base Act" in the search bar. Or you can click on the link below.
You have to tell the truth
When you bring a DBA case, nothing matters more than the truth. Nothing else is even close. You have to be straightforward and honest about everything in your case.
The DBA insurance company is not on your side. They are hoping that you lie, fudge, exaggerate, embellish, etc. They know that if you lie, you will have fallen for one of their tricks or traps.
Your Next Step
I strongly suggest you order a free copy of my book, Win Your Defense Base Act Case: The Ultimate Straight Talk Roadmap To The Medical Treatment and Money You and Your Family Deserve.
The book has dozens of 5 Star reviews on Amazon.com.
Also you can check out my podcast at DBAradio.com where i cover important DBA issues.
Need help right now?
Call us today at 619-304-1000 or you can fill out the contact form on this web page.
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.
Thanks, Bill Turley