Following an injury to a defense contractor, the contractor’s employer or its insurance carrier must pay benefits. Those benefits may include:
- Compensation Benefits
- Medical Benefits
- Reimbursement for Medical Mileage
- Vocational Retraining and Maintenance
- Attorney’s Fees
In the terrible event that the contractor dies as a result of a work-related injury, then his loved ones may be entitled to receive:
- Death Benefits
- Funeral Benefits
What Compensation Benefits are Available?
The Defense Base Act, like the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, provides four classes of compensation benefits. Depending on the medical status of the contractor’s disability, and the contractor’s ability to earn wages, the contractor may be entitled to:
- Temporary total disability – these are the benefits paid when a contractor’s medical condition is still healing, and the contactor cannot work.
- Temporary partial disability – these are the benefits paid when a contractor’s medical condition is still healing, but the contractor can work.
- Permanent total disability – these are the benefits paid when a contractor’s medical condition has reached maximum medical improvement, but the contractor cannot work because of the seriousness of their injuries.
- Permanent partial disability – these are the benefits paid when a contractor’s medical condition has reached maximum medical improvement and the contractor can work.
The classification of benefits is an important aspect of all workers’ compensation claims. If the contractor’s benefits are classified inappropriately, the contractor may lose money to which they are entitled. Contact an attorney to make sure that benefits are classified and paid in accordance with the law.
Can You get Medical Benefits and Medical Mileage?
The Defense Base Act is an extension of the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act. That means that many of the requirements contained in the Longshore Act apply to the Defense Base Act. One of the most important requirements is that the contractor’s employer or insurance carrier pay medical benefits required by the contractor’s work-related injury.
A contractor’s employer or insurance carrier must pay the reasonable and necessary medical expenses associated with a work-related injury.
Medical expenses include more than just prescriptions, office visits, and surgeries. For instance, contractors may also request reimbursement for the mileage driven to each medical appointment.
In addition to reasonable and necessary medical care, a contractor’s employer or carrier must provide the contractor with a free choice of physicians. Contractors are allowed to choose their doctors.
Often, employers or insurance carriers try to limit their liability for medical expenses by hiring a doctor to prepare a second medical opinion report—sometimes called an independent medical examination report. The employer or carrier may do this, and the contractor, in most cases, must comply.
Your medical condition is the most important aspect of your workers’ compensation claim. Hire an attorney to make sure that the appropriate medical benefits are being paid.
Can Family Members Claim Death Benefits?
If a contractor is killed in the line of duty, his loved ones may be entitled to benefits. However, there are different classes of benefits that may affect the amount paid to a family member or dependent and whether they qualify for benefits.
An attorney can help determine whether a particular family member is entitled to benefits.
Will You Have to Pay Attorney Fees?
In Defense Base Act claims, there is no reason not to hire an attorney. Laws are in place to make your employer or its insurance carrier pay your attorney’s fees for you. Why do these laws exist? Because Congress wanted to make sure that contractors had the ability to challenge employers and insurance carriers that disagree about the benefits owed to the contractor. Accordingly, nothing should prohibit a contractor or family member from requesting the help of an attorney like Jon Robinson at Strongpoint Law. He will do everything in his power to shift your attorney fees onto the employer and carrier.
Jon can be reached at (985) 246-3194, or you can fill out the contact form and let Jon contact you for a free case evaluation.