Working overseas in hazardous zones is by its very nature dangerous. There is ample opportunity for contractors to be injured. Here are some tips on how to claim for injury in terms of the Defense Base Act
#1 You Don’t Have To Be Working.
You do not have to be actively engaged in work when you are injured in order to qualify for assistance or a monetary settlement. This is especially true if you are active in a war zone such as Iraq or Afghanistan. The key to your claim is to document the circumstances surrounding your injury. This documentation should include photographs if possible. keep these on hand until you have had a chance to speak to your attorney.
#2 Swift Reporting.
If possible as soon as you have received an injury report this to your immediate supervisor in person. If this is not possible then at least contact the supervisor via email or fax. Be sure to get a confirmation that your communication has been received. Keep a copy of the communication. If it’s email then send a copy to a third party for safekeeping.
#2 Wage Records.
Gather and file all of your wage records (including bonuses)
#3 External Medical Advice.
Immediately seek treatment from a third party, licensed and accredited doctor – don’t rely on the doctor recommended by your insurance company. Don’t let your insurance company strong arm you – you have the choice as to which doctor your use.
You need to write up a list of those who witnessed the injury, along with all the details that you can get. This includes mobile numbers and physical addresses.
#5 A Diary.
Keep track of all the medical treatment you receive while away from home. If possible keep the transcripts of the treatment and the details of who supplied the treatment. Make sure you keep x-rays and MRI reports. In fact, demand everything once the treatment has been rendered. Don’t wait to try and get these once you are back at home.
#6 Tell The Truth.
Be upfront with doctors. the worse thing that you can do is try and embellish. It never works. your claim will be thrown out if you are proven to have lied by the Department of Labor. Remember that just because you have suffered a previous injury that is no grounds for the dismissal of your claim. Make sure that your doctor understands the nature of your work – many don’t understand that you’ve been wearing body armor or carry a firearm.
Beware ‘nurse case manager’s’from insurance companies – they should not be in the room when you are examined by your chosen physician. In this case, insurance companies are not on your side.
#7 The Clock Is Ticking.
Contact a defense base act lawyer or attorney as quickly as possible. If you are not in a position to do that then ask a family member to do so on your behalf. An attorney will be able to represent you in terms of the Defense Base Act no matter where your contractor is in the United States.