10 Mistakes to Avoid When Filing Your Defense Base Act (DBA) Claim
You may be eligible to file a Defense Base Act (DBA) claim if you’ve been injured while working overseas for a U.S. military contractor. However, several mistakes can trip up your claim and reduce your chances of receiving the benefits you deserve.
1. Not Seeking Medical Treatment Right Away
If you’ve been injured, it’s important to seek medical treatment right away. Not only will this ensure that you get the care you need, but it will also create a record of your injuries. This can be crucial evidence if you need to file a DBA claim later on.
2. Failing to Report Your Injury to Your Employer
Failure to report your injury to your employer within 30 days could result in a denial of your DBA claim. Be sure to notify your supervisor or human resources department as soon as possible after sustaining an injury on the job.
3. Not Getting a Second Opinion
You may be tempted to just go with the first doctor you see after sustaining an injury. However, getting a second opinion from an independent doctor is important. This will ensure you get an accurate diagnosis and the best possible treatment.
4. Not Keeping Detailed Records
It’s important to keep detailed records of everything related to your injury, including medical bills, correspondence with your employer, and lost wages. This will help to build a strong case if you need to file a DBA claim.
5. Not Hiring an Attorney
Many people assume that they can’t afford to hire an attorney when filing a DBA claim. However, most attorneys work on a contingency basis, which means you won’t have to pay anything unless you win your case. An experienced attorney can help you navigate the complex DBA claims process and give you the best chance of receiving the benefits you deserve.
6. Filing Your Claim Too Late
There is a two-year statute of limitations for filing a DBA claim. This means that you only have two years from the date of your injury to file a claim. If you wait too long, you could be barred from receiving any benefits.
7. Not Cooperating With Your Employer’s Insurance Carrier
It’s important to cooperate with your employer’s insurance carrier throughout the DBA claims process. This includes providing any information or documentation that they request on time. Failure to do so could jeopardize your claim.
8. Not Following Your Doctor’s Orders
If you’re injured, it’s important to follow your doctor’s orders. This includes any recommended treatment, medication, or therapy. Failing to do so could give the insurance company an excuse to deny your claim.
9. Returning to Work Too Soon
If you return to work too soon after sustaining an injury, it could jeopardize your DBA claim. Be sure to consult your doctor before returning to work to ensure that you’re fully recovered and won’t risk further injury.
10. Accepting the First Settlement Offer
It’s important to remember that the first settlement offer from the insurance company is almost always going to be too low. Be sure to have an experienced attorney review any settlement offer before accepting it.
Javier Ruiz, Esq. has represented injured contractors from KBR, FLUOR , DynCorp, Vectrus and Labor Support Services who worked in Iraq and Afghanistan. Javier Ruiz, Esq. has represented contractors from India, Kosovo, Macedonia, the USA, Bosnia, and the Philippines.
Contact us today for a free consultation.