Our Attorneys Explain Defense Base Act Claims
If you are an injured worker covered by the Defense Base Act, you must notify your immediate supervisor as soon as possible in writing, no later then 30 days after the injury happens. Once you have notified your supervisor in writing, your employer usually offers you medical treatment. However, since you must also file a claim form with the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs and there are strict time limits for you to dispute any actions of your employer, you should contact an attorney immediately for help with your claim. Our attorneys are available 24/7 to help answer any questions you may have. Contact us for a free consultation.
Benefits Under the DBA
Under the DBA, you may be entitled to the following:
- Medical treatment
- Loss of earnings
- Disability compensation
- Death benefits
- Vocational rehabilitation
Your employer is entitled to have you examined by a doctor in order to verify that you need treatment and other benefits. Treatment, prescriptions, rehabilitation and travel to the doctor will be covered by the DBA. These expenses can also cover psychological injuries.
Injuries that disable you for more than 3 days may be compensated with loss of earnings in connection with what is called an “average weekly wage.” Since this is the foundation of both temporary and permanent disability, it is crucial to get the maximum average weekly wage once you are injured, which an attorney can help you determine.
Assuming you worked in the same capacity the year before, the amount due per week can be calculated by taking your actual wages from the year before you were injured and dividing that by 52. Alternate methods may be used if you didn’t work substantially in the prior year. Once the average weekly wage is determined, the statute requires this to be multiplied by 2/3 to get the compensation rate.
You may be entitled to four classes of disability compensation:
- Temporary total
- Temporary partial
- Permanent total
- Permanent partial disability
Permanent total disability means your loss of earnings compensation continues, as adjusted for inflation from year to year. Permanent partial disability is based upon your actual wage loss and the percent of loss of use of a specified body part or disfigurement, as set by a schedule. Once that amount is set, you cannot receive an increase for a cost of living increase or inflation.
When an employee dies on the job, death benefits accrue to the employee’s dependents in varying amounts based on the number of survivors. Up to $3000 of funeral expenses are compensated as well.
We urge you to contact us by calling toll free at 877-448-8585 or contacting us online. All consultations are free and confidential. Our DBA injury lawyers can communicate with you in English, Spanish and Creole.