Have you been injured on the job? If so, you know how difficult it is to trust those inserting themselves into the situation. This is particularly true if you’re a civilian contractor with a Defense Base Act case.
In these cases, the insurance company will send adjusters and nurse case managers, all of whom try to persuade you to say and do certain things, including going along with their own attorney. You best course of action is to dedicate yourself to recovering, stay mum, and educate yourself on the law. That begins with the basics, like the difference between scheduled and unscheduled injuries.
Both scheduled and unscheduled injuries are types of permanent disabilities. They are defined in Section 8 of the Defense Base Act.
Unscheduled injuries are also known as non-scheduled injuries. Unscheduled injuries that occur at work often pertain to pain and conditions which affect mobility and basic function. The most common areas which present unscheduled injuries would be the neck and head, back, or shoulder.
Once you have sustained this type of injury, it isn’t all about how many weeks you should be compensated for. Instead, your remaining abilities are assessed to see what your post-injury earning capacity is.
In any DBA claim, the first step is getting as well as possible. All assessments and determinations have to take place after you’ve recovered to the maximum. This post-injury earning capacity is compared to your pre-injury earnings to see if the injury has caused a deficit.
If your earning capacity has been reduced as a result of the accident, injury, or work-related condition, you might be eligible for Permanent Partial Disability (PPD).
Scheduled injuries are typically disabilities that one would notice by looking at you; they can involve the loss of a digit or limb. However, disabilities that can sometimes be considered “invisible”, like vision or hearing loss, fall under the scheduled injury umbrella as well.
Like unscheduled injuries, the first course of action is to recover to your new best capacity. This is why it’s always important to keep your doctor’s appointments, and follow instructions to the letter, if possible.
But unlike unscheduled injuries, scheduled injuries involve determining how many weeks or months you are eligible for compensation. Once you’ve recuperated, a doctor will figure out what your impairment rating is. This rating is used to figure out your Permanent Partial Disability duration.
Underpayment is rampant among scheduled injuries, so it’s vital that you have the best lawyer to represent your Defense Base Act case. A good attorney will help ensure the insurance company doesn’t underpay you, and can also help you learn more about what else you may be entitled to, such as training that can help you get back to work. They can even team up with you to dispute findings.
These kinds of worker compensation claims can be really tough to navigate, especially when the insurance company has sent so many people your way to throw the case off. With respect to DBA cases, any old worker’s compensation lawyer won’t do – locate a firm that has experience with scheduled and unscheduled injuries.