For instance, the rules require that you give your employer notice of any injury within 30 days of the event. The law also requires you file your claim for compensation within one year of any accident. The time limit is extended for certain occupational diseases to two years after the injury or exposure. However, especially with occupational diseases, such as those from exposure to asbestos or environmental toxins, the problems don’t necessarily manifest until much later than two years. Now what? An experienced Defense Base Act attorney will know how to proceed in these situations.
Also, you will be dealing with your employer’s DBA insurance carrier, and this can sometimes be difficult. The carrier may take issue with the extent of the injury or the duration of the injury, and not want to pay the full amounts to which you are entitled. Disputes often arise between the parties, which must be settled by a Federal Administrative Law judge. Your Defense Base Act attorney will make sure the insurance company is doing all that it is supposed to do under the Act and represent you in any hearings that are held to resolve the disputes.
A final thought: in most cases, if a dispute has arisen between the claimant and insurance company which requires retaining an attorney, the insurance company must pay the attorney fees if the attorney is successful in obtaining benefits for the claimant. If no benefits are obtained, generally speaking, the attorney does not earn a fee. This is not the case for every claim or even every dispute, but the fee-shifting mechanism is in place for this to happen.
If you are caught in the maze of pursuing a claim under the Defense Base Act, and you think you may need professional legal help, the attorneys at Barnett, Lerner, Karsen, & Frankel, P.A. are experienced, dedicated Defense Base Act lawyers.