Defense Base Act Lawyer Bill Turley on Strength vs. Weakness
"Here is 'truth' with your Defense Base Act case. If you want to get what you are entitled to under the DBA - you have to be ready and able to take your case to court. You have to be prepared to win. Hoping for a good settlement is a fool's errand. You want to and need to negotiate from a position of strength. You don't do that unless you are prepared to win in court."
My best advice
My best advice to you is for you to always tell the truth. Always. When bringing a court case, nothing is more important than your credibility. Nothing else is even close. The DBA insurance company lawyer is going to try to destroy your credibility. Depend on that. It's as true as the sun rising in the East and setting in the West.
If they are successful in making you look like your lying, the Judge will rule against you and you will lose. Bank on it. I know I do. More on this in a minute.
The problem is that in many instances folks get caught in traps left for them by the DBA insurance company. In other words, they don’t know that they are messing up their case. Happens all the time. Well meaning honest folks get caught in one of the DBA insurance company traps.
My second best advice
I strongly suggest that you read my free book - Win Your Defense Base Act Case. This book is the best investment you are going to make.
You can order it free here on this website or you can pay for it by ordering it from Amazon.com.
Here are some of the 5 Star reviews of the book Win Your Defense Base Act Case on amazon.com:
5.0 out of 5 stars
Must read book for contractors.
August 2, 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
This Book was a great read from beginning to end
April 22, 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
This book is awesome, he tells you about the whole process
December 11, 2015
Need help right now?
You can call us at 619-304-1000 or you can fill out the contact form on this webpage.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
PTSD, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, is a psychiatric disorder that can occur following the experience or witnessing of life-threatening events such as being under enemy fire, driving in enemy territory with IED threats, the threat of suicide bombers, rocket attacks, mortars, gunfire, casualties and the like.
You have stress reactions that do not go away on their own, or may even get worse over time. You may develop PTSD. You may relive the experience through nightmares and flashbacks, have difficulty sleeping, and feel detached or estranged. These symptoms can be severe enough and last long enough to significantly impair your daily life.
Defense Base Act Law & PTSD: What You Need To Prove In Order To Win Your Defense Base Act PTSD Case
What do I need to prove in order to win my Defense Base Act court case?
You will recover future compensation when show your PTSD is related to your deployment overseas and that you can not or should not return to working overseas due to PTSD.
You will need to show that as a DBA employee you were exposed to events that could cause PTSD. Such as: such as being under enemy fire, driving in enemy territory due, being outside the wire, the threat of suicide bombers, rocket attacks, mortars, gun fire, casualties, death of friends, or any number of traumatic events or circumstances.
Your doctor recommending or saying you can’t go back to your DBA employment due to your PTSD will help win your case. The key here is to have your doctor write a well reasoned medical report that is supported by your being exposed to bad stuff while in theater (or it's usually in theater) and relating that to your current symptoms.
What kind of evidence is helpful for my PTSD case?
First, evidence of stressors (events that could cause PTSD - see above); is always helpful. This can be news articles, emails, photos, co-workers that will corroborate what you were exposed to, diaries, incident reports, etc.
Second, medical evidence. Doctors that diagnose your PTSD and link it to your being overseas. It is always best to get narrative reports that are not stated in conclusions. The medical reports should lay out the DSM-V factors and explain your symptoms in relation to the DSM-V factors.
What should I do?
First, you need to get medical treatment so you start to get better. If you don't know where to start first with this, then hire the best, honest DBA lawyer that will agree to take your case. Discuss getting medical treatment with your lawyer.
Second, it is important that you discuss your PTSD symptoms with your doctors. They should be documented in your medical records.
Third, you need to get a claim filed. I suggest that you read my book - Win Your Defense Base Act Case BEFORE you hire a lawyer. You should consult with a lawyer before you file your claim. Your lawyer can and should file for you.
Fourth, you need to start getting the evidence needed in order to win your DBA case. That is what your lawyer can help with.
It’s a Wage Loss Concept
The DBA is based upon a wage loss concept. You will only get future compensation if you can show that you are unable to return to your DBA work due to your injuries. Your future compensation will be the difference between what you were earning as a DBA worker and what you are able to earn now, in light of your injuries, disability, education, training and what jobs are available to you in your geographic location. This is up to the maximum compensation rate.
The Judge will look at your "usual work" as an overseas civilian contractor. It doesn't matter if your PTSD manifests years later. It's not your job when your PTSD symptoms appear or when you're diagnosed with PTSD. The court will determine your "usual work" based upon your usual and customary job when you worked overseas. If you worked overseas at several jobs, it will usually be the one that you worked last where there were events that caused or contributed to your PTSD.
The DBA insurance company will get what is called a Labor Market Survey. Which is a report stating jobs that are allegedly open, available and suitable for you considering injuries, disability, education, training and such.
You MUST actually apply for each of the jobs and be ready to prove you applied for each of the jobs. This will be the key evidence to winning your case. Not that you will actually get one of these jobs - that would be almost unheard of. Because when you apply for the jobs you will see that the “jobs” either were never available to being with, are not real jobs, or you are not qualified to perform the jobs. Nevertheless, you can’t prove that unless and until you actually contact the employer and apply for the job.
PTSD and the Defense Base Act Judges
Know this, DBA Judges have seen it all. They know. They have heard first hand about the terror. The absolute horror. This is our best advice. You be 100% honest about every single thing. Don’t think the Judge will rule against you if they find out about bad stuff about you. It is our experience that if you are honest, the Judge will rule in your favor.
Nobody likes someone that lies to them. Do you?
The DBA Judge will be willing to forgive just about everything - as long as you are rock solid honest about everything.
If you have said something that is inconsistent in the past, you need to own it. Or at least, explain it or put it into context. Denial based upon lies is never, ever the answer.
Can I bring a PTSD case if I haven't been overseas in years?
The DBA has particular rules for the PTSD and the statute of limitations. That is, how much time you have to bring a PTSD case under the DBA. Short answer, you may be able to bring a DBA claim years after you worked as an overseas civilian contractor.
I cover all of this in much more depth in my book - Win Your Defense Base Act Case
I go into great depth about PTSD and the Defense Base Act in my acclaimed book. You can order a free copy here. Or, you can buy the book from amazon.com if you l like. Either way, there is nothing even close to the resources in my book.
I suggest that you read my book BEFORE you sign any forms, give a statement, talk to the DBA insurance adjuster or even hire a lawyer. I guarantee that my book will be your best resource for helping you take on and beat the DBA insurance company.
Call us 619-304-1000
Or fill out the contact form on this webpage
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