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Miami Defense Base Act Attorney

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Miami, FL DBA Attorney

The United States government employs thousands of contracting services to complete critical work on military bases all over the country. These civilian contractors are typically compensated quite well, but they face unique logistical concerns and significant risks to their physical safety when they are deployed to certain areas of the world. The Defense Base Act is a critical piece of federal legislation designed to protect and compensate civilian contractors who sustain injuries while working on US military bases overseas.

best defense base act lawyer miami

Experienced Legal Counsel for Defense Base Act Claims in Miami, FL

If you work for a government contractor and sustain an injury on a US military base, the Defense Base Act functions similarly to workers’ compensation when it comes to helping you recover. However, like any government benefits program, it can be very difficult to navigate the claim filing process on your own. A Florida Defense Base Act attorney is an invaluable asset in this situation, and the team at Callejo Law is ready to provide the legal counsel and support you need to succeed with your impending Defense Base Act claim.

From her office in Coral Gables, Attorney Karen Callejo offers client-focused legal counsel to every client of Callejo Law. With years of experience serving clients in the Miami area, Attorney Callejo has the professional resources and skills required to handle the most demanding cases, including Defense Base Act claims. Our firm also readily provides legal representation to both English and Spanish speakers. The sooner you reach out to Callejo Law, the sooner you will have a dedicated legal advocate ready to assist you with every aspect of your claim filing process.

Understanding the Defense Base Act Claim Filing Process

Before anyone can secure compensation through the Defense Base Act, they must ensure they meet the eligibility requirements of this federal statute. Generally, all civilian contractors and their employees working on US military bases overseas are covered by the Defense Base Act. As long as an injury occurred while the claimant was working, they have the right to file a claim for compensation. A successful Defense Base Act claim can yield medical expense coverage, disability benefits, or death benefits for the surviving family of a worker who suffered fatal injuries while performing their job duties on a US military base.

Typically, an injury must arise out of the course of work to qualify for compensation under the Defense Base Act. The only exception to this would be if the victim worked in a “Zone of Special Danger” and suffered an injury outside of the military base. If you are unsure whether an injury qualifies for compensation, it is vital to consult a Miami Defense Base Act attorney as soon as possible to review your claim.

Compensation Available Through the Defense Base Act in Miami, FL

If you sustain an injury while working on a US military base for a government contractor, it is vital to report the injury and seek medical care immediately. Any delay in seeking treatment could significantly jeopardize your claim; you should also retain copies of any medical records, incident reports, and correspondence you obtain related to the injury in question. If your injury qualifies for benefits, it is possible to secure compensation for:

  • Medical expenses. The Defense Base Act will typically pay for all medical care a claimant requires to reach maximum medical improvement from their injury. This includes both immediate emergency care and ongoing rehabilitative care if they suffer a serious injury. A Miami Defense Base Act lawyer can work with their client’s medical team to ensure all necessary treatment receives appropriate coverage.
  • Disability benefits. Similar to workers’ compensation, the Defense Base Act can provide disability benefits to a claimant who has been left unable to work and earn income due to a covered injury. It’s possible for the claimant to receive ongoing benefits payments, or they may be issued a lump sum payment to make up for lost income. An experienced attorney can ensure their client receives appropriate compensation for lost earning power under the terms of the Defense Base Act.
  • Death benefits. Unfortunately, many types of work on US military bases are inherently dangerous, and many civilian contractors work on bases situated in Zones of Special Danger. When a civilian contractor or any civilian employee of the government dies from an injury covered by the Defense Base Act, their family has the right to recover death benefits.
  • Attorneys’ fees. Many claimants are able to recover the cost of hiring legal counsel through the Defense Base Act. If you are hesitant to seek out a Florida Defense Base Act attorney to help you with your claim, keep this in mind, and they may be able to help you secure compensation for your legal expenses.

You may be entitled to claim more than you might initially expect, and the right attorney can help you unlock the full potential of your claim. It’s important to note, however, that the Defense Base Act does not compensate for pain and suffering. Even if you suffered a very painful catastrophic injury resulting in permanent disability, you cannot receive pain and suffering compensation through the Defense Base Act.

What to Expect in Your Defense Base Act Claim Filing Process in Miami, FL

Once you hire a Florida Defense Base Act attorney to help you with your claim, they can assist you with gathering the appropriate documentation and medical records you will need to submit for consideration. You will need to complete various claim forms and submit them to the appropriate insurance carrier. Similar to workers’ compensation claims, Defense Base Act claims are functionally insurance claims, but once a claimant has reached a settlement with the appropriate insurance carrier, the Department of Labor must evaluate and approve the proposed settlement.

During this review process, the Department of Labor must evaluate the following:

  • The main reason for the proposed settlement. This includes a clerical review of all submitted claim forms.
  • All pertinent medical records. The claimant may not only need to produce medical records directly associated with the injury but also prior medical records so that the Department of Labor can evaluate preexisting medical conditions.
  • The claimant’s work history and the scope of their employment with the government. The Department of Labor will need to ensure that the claimant meets the criteria of a covered employee under the Defense Base Act.
  • The incident report for the injury in question.
  • An itemized bill for all medical expenses pertaining to the injury in question. A successful Defense Base Act claim typically yields compensation for all medical expenses arising from the incident in question.
  • Specific settlement amounts listed in the proposed settlement, including medical bills, lost earning potential compensation, and the claimant’s legal fees.
  • The age, education, work history, and degree of disability of the claimant. The Department of Labor must assess whether you can return to work and if so, what level of work you will be able to manage.
  • Future earning capacity compared to previous earning power before the injury.
  • Future medical needs, such as medical devices, subsequent surgeries, in-home medical care, and other ongoing medical expenses.
  • The claimant’s life expectancy, including consideration as to whether the injury has reduced it in any capacity.

This review process is very detailed, time-consuming, and vital to any Defense Base Act claim. The Department of Labor must approve a proposed settlement before the claimant can receive any compensation for their injury. By hiring a Florida Defense Base Act attorney to represent you, you can significantly reduce the time this review process takes to complete and streamline your recovery process significantly.

Unfortunately, some Defense Base Act claims are disputed or denied. This is another reason why hiring experienced legal counsel is so crucial. If an insurance carrier or the Department of Labor disputes any aspect of your claim, they will reach out to request additional information. Your Florida Defense Base Act attorney can be a crucial asset for producing whatever documentation you will need to resolve the dispute, and they will be especially vital if your claim is denied. Some of the most common reasons for Defense Base Act claims to be denied include a lack of appropriate medical records to support the claim, the Department of Labor’s determination that the injury did not occur through the scope of employment, or that there was insufficient Defense Base Act coverage at the time the injury occurred.

What to Expect From Your Florida Defense Base Act Attorney

The right attorney can have a significant positive influence on your Defense Base Act claim, providing comprehensive legal guidance while ensuring you have a responsive legal advocate readily available to address your concerns and answer your questions throughout all stages of your case. When you hire Callejo Law to represent you, our team can immediately get to work helping you meet the procedural requirements of the claim filing process. We can explain what to expect when it comes to dealing with the insurance carrier and the Department of Labor’s review process.

Throughout the years of Callejo Law’s operation in the Miami area, we have successfully assisted many clients with their Defense Base Act claims. We know the various challenges you are likely to face as you seek compensation for the injury you suffered, and we know how to help you overcome these challenges and secure the compensation you rightfully deserve. Contact Callejo Law today and schedule your consultation with a Florida Defense Base Act attorney you can trust.


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