Documentation For Filing A Lawsuit
When government and military contractors are injured overseas, it may seem like an uphill battle for them to get the compensation and benefits they need to take care of their medical bills and provide for their families. As hospital bills and lost wages pile up, an already stressful situation may be exacerbated by financial strains.
Fortunately, The Defense Base Act gives workers injured while overseas the legal remedy to file claims for their injuries and medical treatment. While workers hurt on government projects overseas are entitled to compensation through The Defense Base Act, employers and their powerful insurance companies may deny otherwise legitimate claims due to a lack of documentation about the injury.
Why Is Documentation So Important?
When employees are hurt on the job, employers and their insurance companies may have to pay money to reimburse the worker for his or her medical treatment and provide them with a portion of their lost wages while recovering. Providing pertinent documentation helps make Defense Base Act compensation claims stronger, helping to compel stingy insurance companies into paying benefits that workers and their families need to survive. Getting the right documentation and submitting claims at the right time helps ensure Defense Base Act injury claims are taken seriously and given their fair shake.
Examples Of The Correct Documentation
Examples of important documentation injured workers will need to have a strong claim usually center around medical treatment. With medical documents, injured workers and their attorneys can help convey to insurance claims adjusters the seriousness of an injury.
Types of important documents in a Defense Base Act claim:
● Medical Evidence of Treatment – Workers who suffer injuries on the job that prevent them from performing their duties will seek medical treatment. Documents arising out of this initial treatment can act as evidence that the employee suffered some sort of injury
● Proof of Medical Advice for Continued Treatment – Repeated visits to a physician along with his or her advice on continued treatment is another crucial piece of documentation to acquire. The victim’s need for treatment can help substantiate disability claims
● Medical Documentation of Work Limitations – Doctors often place limits on what work duties patients may perform following an injury. Physician’s notes on work limitations can go a long way to evidencing a claim
● Medical Evidence Includes a Documented Professional Opinion – While patients undergo treatment or rehabilitation, doctors often include their professional medical opinion why work needs to be restricted or limited
What if I cannot get the proper documentation?
Without the right documentation, proving injuries and recovering compensation and benefits for claims can be extremely difficult. Employers and insurance companies may cite the lack of documentation about an injury as proof the claim is unfounded.
It is important to keep in mind:
● After a workplace injury, employees are strongly advised to seek immediate medical treatment and be concise about the injury and how it happened. Seeing a doctor right away usually, but not always, creates some kind of record an injury took place.
● A report of the injury must be made to the employer as soon as practical. Many times, an injured worker cannot secure treatment without authorization from the employer.
● Overseas clinics may not be very sophisticated in terms of record keeping, so patients are encouraged to ask for copies of their records before they leave the facility.
Furthermore, injured workers should make every attempt to collect their medical records while in country as it may be more difficult to coordinate with hospitals overseas.
What Is Claim Preservation
Once a claim has been verified and documentation obtained to establish an injury occurred and the victim will miss work during medical treatment, a claim can be preserved so that workers may act on it. To preserve claims, attorneys will:
● File a Claim with the Department of Labor – Attorneys will fill out and send Form LS-203 to the U.S. Department of Labor officially informing the government about the injury claim
● Preserve Your Entitlement to Benefits – Injury claims with the Department of Labor do have strict time deadlines and employers and their insurance companies may have also filed their own paperwork to dismiss the claim. Preserving claims helps ensure injured workers have their rights preserved
● Claims may be preserved even over a long passage of time – If an injury required months of treatment, claims may still be preserved with verification and proper documentation
Defense Base Act Attorneys
If you or a loved one were hurt while working on a government installation, military base, or other federal project overseas, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical treatment and lost wages under the Base Defense Act. While these claims may be complex, the attorneys of Barnett, Lerner, Karsen, Frankel & Castro, P.A. have the experience and resources necessary to aid injured workers in their time of need.
Do not let insurance companies short change you for your claim. Contact us for a free case review and find out what your claim may be worth.
What Happens After My Claim Is Preserved?
Once a Defense Base Act claim is filed with the Department of Labor and preserved, the claim will begin working its way through the process. The employer and its insurance company will be notified of the claim, after which there may be a number of outcomes.
● Negotiations begin – Employers may reach out to the employee’s attorney and begin the first steps to hopefully resolving a claim before a hearing is necessary. Both sides may put forth what they see as reasonable offers in an attempt to strike a deal
● Settlement is offered – After reviewing an official claim, the employer and its insurance company may feel the need to offer a settlement to the employee and close the case.
Sometimes, employers and insurance companies may not take a hard look at claims until injured workers file claims with the Department of Labor
● Sometimes, as part of a negotiation, the insurance company may decide that the claim is compensable and begin authorizing medical treatment and paying lost wages.
● A judge hears the case – If negotiations stall and no settlement can be reached, an Administrative Law Judge may convene a hearing concerning the claim.
The judge will hear both sides of the case, examine evidence, and eventually hand down a binding ruling