Civilian contractors who have been injured while working on U.S. military bases have the right to file a Defense Base Act claim. A DBA claim allows injured contractors to recover compensation and medical benefits for their injuries sustained. Regardless of whether your injuries were sustained overseas or here in the U.S., filing a DBA claim can be a daunting task.
Not knowing how DBA laws work can leave you vulnerable to making mistakes and losing your case. Here's what you need to know so you can increase your chances of winning your Defense Base Act claim.
Know the Most Common Mistakes in Defense Base Act Claims
Mistakes can quickly happen if you aren't familiar with how the process works. Here are the most common errors that occur in Defense Base Act claims that could cause you to lose your case:
Inadequate Documentation of the Injury
One of the most critical components of a Defense Base Act claim is the work injury report. Although your employer is responsible for notifying the insurance company of your injury, you must follow up to ensure that it was correctly filed. Also, check to ensure it is in compliance with filing deadlines as well as has all the required information documented.
Ensure your work injury report includes the following:
- The date the injury occurred
- How the injury occurred
- Part(s) of the body that were injured
- Contact information of a witnesses
If you were injured overseas, getting information from witnesses after returning to the U.S. can prove to be particularly challenging. However, remaining proactive in your case is paramount. Get as much information as possible before returning to the U.S. You'll want information such as phone numbers and email addresses of all possible witnesses. If you fail to get this information once you return home, it may be tough to contact witnesses who remain overseas.
Speaking to the Insurance Company
The insurance company representative who is taking information from you about your case will no doubt be friendly and kind to you. However, it's important to remember that they are not your friend. They will attempt to get any information from you that can help them deny your claim.
Any information you provide, whether documented verbally or written, can be used against you. Before speaking to the insurance company and answering any questions, consult your Defense Base Act lawyer first.
Failing to Hire A Defense Base Act Lawyer
The bottom line is that Defense Base Act claims are incredibly complicated. Injured contract government employees who try to handle a DBA claim on their own, are doing themselves a disservice. Having legal representation can increase your chances of winning your DBA case. A Defense Base Act attorney knows all the tactics that insurance companies use to deny claims. Your attorney will be your advocate and won't tolerate the practices that insurance companies use to deny DBA claims.
Winning a 3M Defective Earplug Case
Manufacturing company 3M has been blamed for producing defective earplugs which are used by military personnel and military contractors alike. A product that was supposed to protect soldiers and contractors actually did harm and did not provide adequate protection.
Hundreds of lawsuits are expected to be filed, and the kicker is — they knew they were selling a defective product for more than ten years. Some problems associated with the defective 3M earplugs include hearing loss and ringing in the ears (tinnitus). Contact an experienced DBA attorney to learn how you can receive compensation for your injuries caused by defective 3M earplugs.
Why It's Critical To Hire a Defense Base Act Lawyer
When it comes to processing a Defense Base Act claim, having an experienced attorney on your side can make all the difference in the outcome. DBA cases are extremely complicated and not understanding how the law works can be detrimental to your case. While DBA claims may work similar to workers' compensation, many intricacies may need special attention to detail — and not every worker's compensation attorney will be able to handle your DBA claim effectively. Contact an experienced Defense Base Act attorney today.If you've been injured while performing a job under a U.S. government contract or have suffered hearing loss or impairment due to defective 3M earplugs, contact The Law Offices of George P. Escobedo & Associates, PLLC today at (210) 807-3178. We are a workers' compensation law firm with extensive DBA experience and proudly represent eligible contract employees to receive the DBA benefits they deserve throughout the United States.