A workers’ compensation claim through the Defense Base Act can be a bit confusing. That becomes particularly true if your Defense Base Act claim is initially denied, or if you need to settle a claim. In both instances, you would be well served to have an experienced Jacksonville workers’ compensation attorney in your corner.

In this article, we will take a little time to discuss some important considerations in either scenario. At RITE law, we have a group of Defense Base Act claim attorneys in Jacksonville who have your best interests at heart, and that have the training and resources to make sure that you receive the compensation you deserve.  

If, after reading this article, you have more questions about your personal situation, the Defense Base Act claim attorneys in Jacksonville, Florida can help. Our number is (904) 500-RITE or you can fill out our contact form online. We provide a free case evaluation, so call today.

1. What Can You Do if Your DBA Claim is Denied?

As you likely know, the Defense Base Act (DBA) covers contractors working overseas. If you are working on a military base, or in a security position, or assisting with a public works contract, the likelihood of injury in your line of work is likely higher than average. If an injury does occur, you need to have the peace of mind to know that you will be covered for your medical, and other, expenses.

That is why a denial of a DBA claim can be very stressful and frustrating. You might think that your case is clear, and that you are entitled to DBA workers’ compensation benefits. So, let’s look at some reasons that our clients have received wrongful DBA denials in the past.

A. Workplace Injury?  Oftentimes, insurance companies will attempt to deny a claim based on the fact that the injury did not occur while at work. Yet, the Defense Base Act has a particular aspect – called the “Zone of Special Danger” – which means that even if you were injured while off duty, you can still receive payment on a claim if you work in a “Zone of Special Danger.” An experienced Jacksonville workers’ compensation attorney can give you more information about whether you work in a “Zone of Special Danger.”

B. Did You Go to a Doctor? Another common reason for a denial is because the insurance company concluded that you did not seek, nor require, medical attention immediately after the injury. The response to that is to keep excellent records. If you did not go to the doctor right away but did seek medication or some other treatment that may give context as to why you waited before visiting a doctor.

C. Still Able to Work? Insurance companies will also balk on giving payment if they believe that you are still able to work. Here is where you such ensure that your doctor gives you sufficient documentation to prove that you are, in fact, not able to perform your job because of your injury.  

2. How Can I Settle a DBA Claim?

If you get to a point in which the insurance company wishes to settle your claim and you arrive at a settlement number, you and the insurance carrier need to present the settlement to the Department of Labor to ensure that the settlement is fair. That all must occur before you receive any compensation.  

So, you may be asking: when I negotiate with the insurance carrier, how much should I ask for? How much is an appropriate settlement figure, and how much is an inappropriate one? What would be fair?  

Fairness, as you would expect, depends upon the circumstances of your case. Yet, as we discussed above, you do not want to undercut your compensation, or agree to a too-low settlement offer solely because you were overwhelmed by all the unknowns in the process. Here is a way in which to know how to calculate what a fair settlement might look like.

The key to calculating a fair settlement in your case is to make sure that you remember all of the costs that result from your work injury. Note that the insurance carrier will surely work to keep the benefits number low, so you should be sure not to forget a certain type of compensation that is owed to you. Here are the components you need to get dollar figures for, so you do not undercut yourself in settlement negotiations:

1. All doctor and medical expenses,
2. Medical expenses you will have in the future,
3. Both past and future lost wages,
4. Compensation for long-term or total disability, and your ability to work in the future.

In sum, make sure you know what you, and your injury, are worth. That is so that an insurance carrier will not be able to grind you down in settlement negotiations. 

Let RITE Law Help You Make the Strongest Defense Base Act Claim Possible

The Jacksonville workers’ compensation attorneys at RITE Law started their firm for one reason – to help those in Florida and elsewhere have the resources of a firm that was big enough to fight but small enough to care. At Rudolph, Israel, Tucker & Ellis (RITE law), we have the resources and experience to go to trial when it is necessary, and we have the wisdom to advise you appropriately.  

Expect lots of attention, passionate representation and a healthy disdain for big insurance companies. We believe that leads to the best result possible. Unlike larger firms, your case isn’t handed to a paralegal or assistant to do the heavy lifting. The attorney you meet initially is the one who will be by your side every step of the way. 

We also take pride in creating an atmosphere where every client is treated like family. Family members stick up for one another no matter what. You should expect nothing less from the Jacksonville workers’ compensation attorneys in the RITE family.

Without help from the RITE team, making Defense Base Act claims can be very difficult. When you turn to our firm, we spring into action, making sure that every detail of your claim is addressed. Call us for help.  Our number is (904) 500-RITE or you can fill out our contact form online. We provide a free case evaluation, so feel free to call us today.