To obtain a large settlement under the Defense Base Act, it is easiest to start by receiving medical benefits under the Defense Base Act.
First, 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. From years of dealing with doctors we know they have set ways of dealing with issues and some doctors are more sympathetic to injured people than others.
It is important that you get the best medical care and have a doctor who will work with you when it comes time to assign working restrictions and a permanent impairment.
Larger settlements result where there is an injury to the spine and/or shoulders (and other ‘unscheduled’ body parts, as opposed to ‘scheduled’ body parts, such as an elbow, wrist, hand, leg, knee, ankle, or foot.
So the situation is that if you have a 10% impairment to an extremity say a leg you only receive a scheduled award of money equal to your compensation rate for 28.8 weeks for that permanent impairment to the knee. The 28.8 weeks is simply 10 per sent of the 288 weeks for the entire leg. The schedules are set forth by the Longshore Division. Feel free to email Attorneys Jo Ann Hoffman at email@example.com if you need the schedule for another body part.
However if the knee and low back were injured your compensation can continue past the 28.8 weeks of compensation you receive for the impairment to the knee. Because the exposure continues in the future to pay you compensation, the insurance company will give you a larger settlement where you are earning less than your pre injury wage.