Lifetime Medical Care Under The Defense Base/Longshore Act
Medical can stay open indefinitely on a scheduled injury. What this means is a person who has an injury to an extremity other than a shoulder can keep the medical open even if a significant period of time goes by without that person seeing a doctor. This applies to hearing loss, as a claim for hearing loss is never barred. This is true even if the person has hearing loss thirty years later. You may ask yourself: don't people normally lose their hearing with age? Yes, while that is true, it is also true that if the employee can show an aggravation to his or her hearing loss caused by his job, then he or she can get an award for hearing loss and also have the expense of hearing aids paid, which are quite expensive. This is the attorney's job to file for and receive payment of the hearing aids.
With respect to the Defense Base and Longshore Act, Section 8 requires lifetime medical care for the injured person with no statute of limitations. This includes the right to chiropractic treatment as well as dental care. The doctor shall file his report with the insurance company within ten days of care so that he is not barred from payment. The injured worker has a choice of doctor and the carrier must respond within one week with approval of that doctor. The claimant is entitled to reimbursement of mileage for attending doctor's appointments which (as of the date of this writing) is 51 cents per mile. This will go down as the price of gasoline has decreased recently. Therefore, even though the injured person wants to claim medical but it is ten years after the accident, he is not barred from doing this under the Defense Base and Longshore Act.