Our firm represents many foreign workers injured in War Zones. They were working for American contractors who flew them from their homes in different countries including Peru, Colombia, and Honduras to serve as security guards in the war zones to help our Military. These security guards serve alongside our US Military soldiers and sustain injuries in these war zones including psychological injuries. PTSD stands for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. It is a diagnosis for psychological injuries that the some of the guards suffered. If a guard believes he has suffered psychological injuries, he must take certain actions.
Before a guard can file an injury, he must seek medical care on his own in his own country with a medical doctor. He has one year from the time of that medical report which links his psychological condition to his employment in the war zone to file a worker’s compensation claim in the federal courts in the United States of America.
The medical report will have to be translated to English so that the people who read it can understand it. The employer’s attorney may schedule a defense medical examination with a doctor of their choice. If that report is favorable for the injured worker, then he has a better chance of winning his claim for his psychological injury being related to his employment.
But what will happen if he does win his case? He will receive past money, but it still does not require the employer nor its carrier to pay out a lump sum settlement. A lump sum settlement can only be entered in if the two parties come to an agreement on a number to settle the claim. If that occurs the injured worker gives up his right to receive both medical care and lost wages related to that injury in the future.
This firm always has the insurance company pay its attorneys fees and costs separately from the money awarded to the injured person.
It is very important to us that an injured person understand how a case proceeds and what action they can take to make the case better.
First, they need to determine if they have any of the symptoms that usually go along with Post-traumatic stress disorder. Next, they need to see the doctor on several occasions and undergo proper treatment to document the severity of their injuries. Simply stated, a person who sees the doctor several times for treatment would expected to be more injured than someone who sees a doctor one time.
With respect to knowing how much they should settle the case for the foreign worker needs to understand he will not be allowed to enter the United States to appear in front of the judge. Our immigration laws to not allow this. Therefore, the judge will have to make a decision based on the record evidence before him which usually includes depositions. From the time a claim is filed until a Judge rules takes about 18 months.
Not all cases are won. The judge can find the claimant is not credible and there could be an unfavorable opinion rendered by the Judge and based on the defense attorneys’ doctor that the judge accepts. Even if the case is won, the defense attorney can appeal the decision causing an additional on year approval.
This firm thinks it is very important for the injured worker to consider whether they should accept a lump sum of money earlier rather than later. They may use that lump sum to get transportation to start their own taxi business or put their son through college or obtain training for a new type of employment in the city where they live.
Litigation is uncertain and lengthy. A review of the ALJ Decisions shows that NOT all cases are won. A lump sum settlement is a definite result and will be paid to the injured worker once approved by the judge. A lump sum settlement will not give an injured worker back his life or cause him to forget the horrible atrocities of war that he has witnessed. The settlement will perhaps be confirmation that he experienced horrible events which have affected him but with the money he can get treatment and attempt to move beyond these psychological scars. Money is good, but health is everything and our goal is to restore the injured worker to gainful employment. This firm is ready to serve those who served the United States. Our passion is helping the injured.