If you want to get what you are entitled to under the DBA - you have to be ready 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. You don't do that without hard work. Nothing comes easy.
- Bill Turley - Defense Base Act Lawyer
Telephonic Emergency Informal Conference
When benefits are not provided you will need to make a request for a Telephonic Emergency Informal Conference (TEIC). Your request must be in writing, with - as always - a proof of service. You can expect your request for an Informal Conference to be denied if you do not provide details, documentation and medical proof.
It’s A Step In The Process
In most instances, the Informal Conference is not going to solve your problems. Rarely does the DBA insurance carrier provide benefits based upon what happens at the Informal Conference. Not to suggest it doesn’t happen - but don’t get your hopes too high here. Usually the best you can hope for are Recommendations being issued in your favor.
The U.S. Department of Labor - Longshore offices are spread across the country. Even then, your claim may be handled by the New York office, for instance. If your claim is being handled in a city near where you live - then you should probably attend the Informal Conference in person. However, you can just as easily appear (read: attend) the Informal Conference by telephone. Our office “wins” or “prevails’ in over 90% of the Informal Conference we are involved with. Appearing by telephone helps get your case referred to the Office of Administrative Law Judges as soon as possible.
Details and Documentation
The more detail, documentation and proof you can provide the more likely it is to actually have the informal conference scheduled. Be sure to list every issue in your request.
Your request for informal conference needs to be persuasive, without trying to “sell.” Simple state the issues and the evidence you have in order to prevail on each issue.
We suggest you don’t editorialize or poke at the adjuster or DBA insurance company, etc. First, it is rarely ever persuasive to insult people. Second, diatribe or attacks are not going to advance your case. Instead, you come across as bitter and vindictive. None of which is going to advance your case or help you win.
The Informal Conference
If you request the Informal Conference, you will usually be asked to begin first and state the issues. We again urge you to have a seasoned DBA lawyer represent you. However, if you are representing yourself, be calm and try to be dispassionate.
Again, stick to the facts and evidence. If the defense attorney or adjuster tries to interrupt you during your presentation, politely request that they wait until you are finished. If they continue to interrupt, politely ask the Department of Labor Claims Examiner to allow you to finish your presentation.
You Need Recommendations
Your goal is to get Recommendations issued by the Department of Labor Claims Examiner. Of course, if the Recommendations are in your favor, all the better. But - most importantly is for Recommendations being issued which address all the issues in your case. Most importantly, Nature and Extent of Disability and medical treatment.
In short, you can’t get a trial unless you jump through this hoop. An Informal Conference is a necessary step to getting a Judge to Order the DBA insurance company to provide you benefits.
It's all about preparation
Like most things in life, the better prepared you, the better you'll do. I suggest you try and get your evidence together, as much as possible, for your TEIC. You will need medical evidence. I realize it won't always be perfect at this stage of the case. You are going to need medical evidence. A well written, well reasoned medical report can do wonders. Your report needs to explain how you injured were caused or contributed to due to you being overseas. It needs to explain why you are disabled. Meaning, why you are unable to perform your usual and customary work overseas.
The First Thing
The first thing you must do is always tell the truth. No matter what it is you are worried about, you must always be honest and never sugarcoat anything to the judge or you attorney. If you do, then you will lose your case. Trust me, I have seen it time and time again. Do not be that person.
The Next Step
Before you even think about signing any forms from the DBA insurance company, you need to do your research. Order my free book, Win Your Defense Base Act Case: The Ultimate Straight Talk Roadmap To The Medical Treatment and Money You and Your Family Deserve.
My book Win Your Defense Base Act Case is full of information that will benefit you with your road to recovery and peace of mind after becoming an injured DBA contractor. More importantly, it will help you avoid the common tricks and traps laid by the DBA insurance company.
The 5 Star reviews speak for themselves
Read the Amazon Reviews yourself, trust me, you will thank me later. But you don't really need to trust me. Just read all the 5 Star reviews on amazon.com. Or go to amazon.com and put "Defense Base Act" in the amazon search box. Then click on the reviews. You will see dozens of 5 Star reviews from people just like you.
For the time being - I suggest that you read this article: The 5 biggest mistakes people make that tank their DBA case
Need help right now?
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Text us at 858-281-8008 - Be sure and put "new DBA case" in your text.
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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 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.