“I give you an insider’s view of the DBA. I don’t sugar coat it for you. I give it to you straight. No lawyer talk, no double talk. Just good old fashioned, unsweetened truth.”
- Defense Base Act Lawyer Bill Turley
Wages Under the Defense Base Act
Wages are used under the DBA in order to determine an employee's average weekly wage and compensation rate. Simply stated, the higher a workers average weekly wage under the Defense Base Act the higher their compensation rate will be. With a higher compensation rate, the injured worker will receive more money for their DBA case. Thus, one of the primary goals of an injured worker (i.e., "Claimant") in a DBA case is proving the highest average weekly wage they can. This is done with wage evidence.
What are and what are not "wages" is often the subject of intense dispute in a Defense Base Act case. Including or not including any particular item in an injured workers wages under the DBA may result in ten of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars in benefits. It can be a really big deal to a seriously injured worker and their family.
Under the DBA a "wage" is a money rate received as compensation from an employer, for services rendered by the employee. The money paid to an employee must be traceable to an employer.
Included in wages are gratuities received in the course of employment from others than the employer. In other words, tips or payments from a third party.
The following have been included as wages: overseas additives or overseas allowances, including foreign housing allowance and cost of living adjustment, completion awards, vacation or holiday pay (calculated the year it is received rather than the year it is earned). However, a claimant is not entitled to have both per diem and the value of room and board included in his wage calculation.
DBA law is created by the Benefits Review Board and the various Circuit Court of Appeals. The Ninth Circuit, for example (California, Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Hawaii, and Alaska, Idaho, Guam, and Montana) does not allow per diem payments to be used to calculate earnings, except in limited circumstances.
Also included are: the pay for overtime hours (when the hours are a regular and normal part of claimant's employment), container royalty payments (compensation paid by shipping companies in lieu of work lost by longshoremen due to containerization), guaranteed annual income payments (guaranteed payment of up to a guaranteed number of hours of work each year, i.e., an individual only works 1500 hours because of the bad economy, but is guaranteed 2000 hours and accordingly receives pay for 2000 hours of work), earnings from a second part-time job, and payment in kind (automobile parts), rather than in cash.
When handling your DBA case, nothing matters more than the honest truth. Nothing.
You must be straightforward and honest about your case. I have seen many instances where a client will sugar-coat their injury and the courts throw out the case. Why? All because they were not honest from the get-go.
The DBA insurance company is not on your side. They have traps laying all around for you to fall in. And bet on it, if you do not follow the proper steps with your DBA case, you will fall right in.
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.
You don’t have to believe what I say about it - the book has dozens of 5 Star reviews on Amazon.com. This guide gives you step by step on what to do and how to do it to reach success with your DBA case.
Trust me. My only goal here is to make sure honest hard working folks like you, do not get ripped off by these insurance companies.
Win Your Defense Base Act Case 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.
Also you can check out my podcast at DBAradio.com where i cover important DBA issues.
You Have A Court Battle On Your Hands
In some instances, the only kind of talk the DBA insurance company will understand is the talk inside a federal courtroom. When this happens, you need a lawyer that can not only take on but beat the DBA insurance company and their lawyers.
These lawyers will rip out your heart. They do it every day. We see it.
Too often seriously injured DBA workers simply wait too late to call us. You don’t want that to happen to you and your family. Don’t wait until there is a disaster.
Instead, be proactive and hire a seasoned DBA lawyer. It’s war. Be well-equipped with the proper tools and resources you need to win.
Having the Right DBA Lawyer Will Make All the Difference
You are cautioned to not hire a “local lawyer” just because they are physically close to where you live. You need a lawyer that can destroy the Defense Base Act insurance company lawyers' case.
Know this: Chartis, CNA, ACE and the like hire lawyers that know DBA law inside and out. Depend on it. We sure do.
Having the right DBA lawyer will usually decide whether you win or lose your DBA case. We stand up to the Defense Base Act insurance company that is trying to keep you from getting the needed medical treatment and weekly compensation benefits you and your family deserve.
The Turley Law Firm, PC help you locate the best medical providers for your injuries. They make sure you follow the complex Defense Base Act procedures and make sure you are timely with all case deadlines. They can help get your case resolved and get you the results you need to go on with your life.
Helping You Make The Tough Decisions
The Defense Base Act lawyers at The Turley Law Firm, PC understand how devastating a serious DBA injury can be. You are immediately thrust into a situation you didn’t ask for and certainly didn’t expect. Your life has been disrupted. It can all be pretty stressful. The decisions you make regarding your serious work injury case may affect you for the rest of your life. Where to turn to? What to do?
The DBA Lawyers at The Turley Law Firm, PC have been helping workers just like you since the 1980's. I have been teaching other lawyers how to handle work injury cases since the 1990's. I am regularly published in legal publications and I give lectures about the Defense Base Act.
I have been teaching because I know how to help seriously injured Defense Base Act workers and their families successfully win their cases. And let's be honest I can't represent every seriously injured civilian contractor under the DBA. But I can do what's right, be honest with myself and my clients, and ensure that hard-working folks in Maine or wherever in the world can be as prepared for their days in court as possible.
It's why I offer my book, Win Your Defense Base Act Case on my website for FREE and provide a comprehensive website that offers the meat and potatoes of The DBA for everyone.
We prefer you consider what other people think about us:
Awarded Super Lawyer 2011-2017
Invited to Speak on the Longshore Act / Defense Base Act at 2011 Maritime Personal Injury Seminar
New York Times 2011 Top Attorney
Elected President of the Consumer Attorneys
How can you take a client in Maine when you are not an Maine lawyer?
The Defense Base Act is federal law. The Defense Base Act is a type of federal workers compensation program. Technically, you don’t need a lawyer to handle your DBA case. Your brother in law can represent you. And he will probably do as good of a job as the local Maine lawyer you hire will.
Here is the best advice, other than always telling the truth, you are going to get. You are much better off hiring an experienced, out-of-state DBA attorney than if you hired a local attorney who isn’t experienced with either the Longshore Act or Defense Base Act or either Act.
So if you don’t call us - be sure to call an experienced DBA attorney.
We are located in San Diego, California. San Diego has a big military presence and a lot of Longshore and Harbor Workers. Many of whom we have represented.
Remember, the Defense Base Act is part of the Longshore Act. That’s why maritime lawyers are the most experienced DBA attorneys. The DBA is technically part of maritime law.
You Need To Take Action
Your employer/ carrier is obligated to provide you reasonable medical treatment and temporary total disability benefits under the Defense Base Act. Too often the carrier will arbitrarily refuse to pay or stop paying for medical treatment and will stop your workers' compensation checks. The insurance carrier will controvert your DBA claim.
Doing nothing is not an option. If your Defense Base Act medical benefits or workers compensation - TTD checks - are denied or the insurance carrier refuses to pay for your medical treatment or TTD you need to take action NOW.
Need help right now?
Call us at 619-304-1000 - If you call after regular business hours, when you leave a message, be sure to repeat your name and telephone number twice, so we get it correctly. And be sure to indicate whether it's okay if we respond by text.
Text us at 858-281-8008 - Be sure and put "new DBA case" in your text.
Or you can leave us a message on this web page.
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 folks might have hoped for.
Just because we have gotten great results in so many other Defense Base Act cases, doesn't guarantee a particular result in other cases. Including, your DBA case. Every case is different.