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A Personal Injury, Workers' Compensation and Defense Base Act Law Firm Fighting for the Injured.
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To obtain a large settlement under the Defense Base Act, it is easiest to start by receiving medical benefits under the Defense Base Act.

IMG_9968-e1496774833618-225x300First, file a LS-203 which is essentially your claim for compensation benefits from your Employer and their insurance carrier. Then, once the employer turns in the notice to the insurance company, you will be set up with medical care. Give the doctor an accurate but brief description of your injury. Virtually all injuries abroad are compensable as you must be duty fit. So whether you are hurt because you fall in the shower, sprain your back while working out or twist your ankle walking,  you are entitled to medical care. Initially, it will be provided on the base in country, and then at home when you return home.
Next: You Choose Your Doctor
You have the absolute right to choose your treating doctor. NEVER let the insurance carrier pick a doctor for you.  We like to help you choose a doctor who will be favorable for your case. Continue reading →

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How long does an injured longshoreman or civilian contractor have to file a claim under the Longshore or Defense Base Act? The answer, in most instances, is one (1) year from the date of the injury.

What happens if you are paid compensation and your employer terminates the payments? You should likely retain a qualified attorney immediately. But with respect to the statute of limitations, if your employer voluntarily pays compensation benefits  and then terminates those payments, you will then have one (1)  year from the time that your employer terminates compensation benefits for you to file a claim for additional compensation benefits.

If your claim is due to what is referred to in the act as an “occupational disease”, like hearing loss or  exposure to harmful chemicals, you have two (2) years to file your claim. The time does not start until  you first become aware of the relationship between the occupational disease, your disability, and your employment. An occupational disease is  an illness or medical condition which develops as a result of exposure to harmful conditions or substances in the workplace. With occupational injuries, the insurance companies love to litigate against injured workers over when the disease manifested itself, and when the employee became aware of the link between the disease and his or her employment. Often,  the diseases or conditions as a result of exposure does not  manifest itself for years or decades, and not until you have retired or left a particular employer. It is therefore important to retain a qualified attorney to represent you as you navigate the intricacies of the Longshore and Defense Base Act.

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Unfortunately, if your employer has less than four (4) employees you may not be entitled to worker’s compensation benefits under Florida Statue Ch. 440.   Meaning if you get hurt on the job, YOU may be personally responsible for your medical treatment/bills as well as any and all time missed from work.  Now, there are always exceptions to every rule (such as if you are in the construction industry).   Under  Florida Statute 440.055, [a]n employer who employs fewer than four employees, who is permitted by law to elect not to secure payment of compensation, and who elects not to do so shall post clear written notice in a conspicuous location at each work site directed to all employees and other persons performing services at the work site of their lack of entitlement to benefits under chapter 440. Continue reading →

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DeathThere are over 100,000 contractors abroad helping our troops and our national security in countries all over the world. In Afghanistan, our contractors outnumber our troops by 3 to 1 ratio and 70% of our contractors are foreign nationals. Multiple jobs are available in Iraq at www.civiliancontractorjobs.com

We have peacekeeping personnel all over Africa, some supporting the Eastern Accord and as well as other missions.

Given that our workers are stationed in diverse and underdeveloped locales, serious injuries including death can occur with less than optimum treatment.

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hearing-protection-1532036Hearing loss under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, as extended by the Defense Base Act, is compensated under Section 8(c)(13) as a scheduled injury, resulting in a scheduled award. It is a traumatic injury in that the harm occurs immediately upon exposure.

Hearing loss is determined by the use of a professional audiologist who will perform an audiogram. The audiogram will show the percentage loss of hearing in each ear, and that can then be used to determine your overall hearing loss.

There are two types of hearing loss under Section 8(c)(13). The first is monaural hearing loss, which simply means a loss of hearing in one ear. A 100% loss of hearing in one ear results in 52 weeks of compensation at the appropriate compensation rate. For example, if you have a 30% loss of hearing in one ear only, you will be paid for 15.6 weeks of compensation at the appropriate compensation rate(30% of 52 weeks).

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DeathThere are over 100,000 contractors abroad helping our troops and our national security in countries all over the world. In Afghanistan, our contractors outnumber our troops by 3 to 1 ratio and 70% of our contractors are foreign nationals. Multiple jobs are available in Iraq at www.civiliancontractorjobs.com

We have peacekeeping personnel all over Africa, some supporting the Eastern Accord and as well as other missions.

Given that our workers are stationed in diverse and underdeveloped locales, serious injuries including death can occur with less than optimum treatment.

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Far too many times I hear, “it hurts and I need to stop”.  DO NOT … I REPEAT … DO NOT STOP.  Physical therapy is a necessary evil and YES it hurts but as they say, NO PAIN NO GAIN.

Physical therapy, also known as physical rehabilitation, requires a lot of time, a lot of hard work, and of course a knowledgeable physical therapist. Physical therapists are highly educated and are licensed health care professionals, licensed under Florida Statutes, Ch. 486.  Their job is to examine, evaluate, and treat patients whose conditions limit their ability to move and function in daily life.  A therapist’s overall goal is to maintain, restore, and/or improve mobility and help reduce pain.  In some cases, physical therapists are instrumental in helping a patient avoid surgery or the long-term use of prescription medications and associated side effects. IMG_0284 Continue reading →

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If you have a pending worker’s compensation claim, it is advisable to contact your claim’s adjuster prior to seeking treatment at an emergency room. If you do not obtain pre-approval, you run the risk of being personally responsible for the hospital bill.   Even if it is after hours or the weekend, we still urge that you make a good faith effort to obtain authorization.  Send an Email to the adjuster or leave a voice mail – your best bet is to do both.  If you are unable to contact your adjuster and you proceed to the emergency room, it is imperative that you inform the emergency room nurse that you have a pending worker’s compensation claim.   If you have your claim information (i.e., name, address and telephone number of the worker’s compensation carrier and/or claim number), be certain to provide same.   While providing this information is necessary for processing, the emergency room services must be approved and authorized by the claim’s adjuster so that the bill can be paid accordingly.   Please do not provide your personal health insurance card.  Continue reading →

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Obtaining up to 52 weeks of Rehabilitative TPD with the advent of the Westphal case is much easier now. This means the injured worker can receive up to 52 weeks of rehabilitative temporary partial disability (TPD)  where they have a high school education or an GED and cannot return to the same line of work. This also applies when your prior job is not available or the work is not within your restrictions. In that event, the injured worker should apply using the attached form for rehabilitative TPD benefits. The Judge cannot deny the first 26 weeks of benefits and with a high average weekly wage this can result in significant compensation benefits for the injured worker. The goal of course is to help the injured worker find a better job. Many clients can look to obtain a higher settlement in the lump sum settlement because they will release rehabilitative TPD benefits. This firm specializes in obtaining those benefits and settlements. Since 1984 we have been known in the industry for LUMP SUM SETTLEMENTS.IMG_5975

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When we4066106103_19cc01fed4_b are on the road as drivers or walk alongside the road as pedestrians, we are aware of the potential danger posed by the vehicles in our surroundings. When we enter a building, those thought processes cease as we come to expect a feeling of safety from being inside a structure. The thought of a car crashing into your home, your workplace or a commercial storefront you are visiting is just unthinkable, and if you are a homeowner with a family, it’s a nightmare. We wish we could say that Vehicle-Into-Building Accidents are the fiction of Hollywood action movies, but they are – unfortunately – real collisions and are types of cases that we handle frequently at our law office.

The news headlines in South Florida this past week seemed to be reporting car crashes into buildings more frequently than we usually hear about it. On Friday morning, a car crashed into a Post Office in Plantation, and on Tuesday and Sunday cars crashed into residences in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties.

Although the incidents seem the same, there are varying causes of these types of collisions. In some instances, the driver is under the influence or is not being attentive and the crash is due to his or her negligence. In other cases, there are product malfunctions with the car or in the urban planning that places a residence near a high-speed ramp for example. For homes and businesses alongside the road, some vehicle-into-building crashes are the result of an initial vehicle-to-vehicle collision that sends one or more cars spinning off into the nearby building.

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