The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) is a federal statute that provides medical and indemnity benefits to injured workers whose injuries occurred on navigable waters within the United States and its territories. The Defense Base Act expands upon the LHWCA by providing coverage to civilian employees working on U.S.-controlled military bases in foreign countries. It also covers those employed by defense contractors outside the United States, ensuring that affected individuals and their families receive fair compensation regardless of nationality or employment status.

When disputes arise regarding claims under this act, they are often settled through DBA trials. With 30 years of experience, Grossman Attorneys at Law can guide and support injured workers in navigating these complex legal proceedings.

What Determines If My DBA Case Is Transferred to the Office of Administrative Law Judges?

If an injured worker has a denied claim, then the claimant may request referral to the OALJ by submitting a form called the LS-18, Pre-hearing Statement. A DBA case may only be transferred to the OALJ if certain criteria are met. Factors considered include sufficient evidence to support the claim, whether other parties have been named as defendants, the statute of limitations, and the need for medical treatment record review. At Grossman Attorneys at Law, we ensure that all necessary documents are filed correctly and timely, giving your case the best chance for success before an administrative law judge.

What Happens After OALJ Receives My Case?

After the Office of Administrative Law Judges (OALJ) receives your DBA case, the following process usually occurs:

  1. Request for additional information: If needed, the OALJ may request additional information from either party, such as medical records, witness statements, or other supporting documents that could help in their assessment of the case.
  2. Scheduling a hearing: If the OALJ determines that your case warrants further consideration, they will issue an order referring the matter to an administrative law judge for a formal hearing in court. A hearing date will be scheduled for both parties to present their arguments and witness testimonies.
  3. The formal hearing: During the hearing, both parties will have the opportunity to present their case.
  4. Decisions rendered: After hearing both sides, the judge will render a decision, which may include an award of compensation, a denial, or other appropriate remedies. This decision will typically be issued in writing and mailed to both parties.
  5. Appeals: If either party disagrees with the decision, they have the option to appeal the decision to the Benefits Review Board and, if necessary, to higher courts.

Due to the complexity of this process, it is beneficial to have an experienced attorney to guide you and ensure that your rights and interests are protected.

Is It Guaranteed I Will Get a Defense Base Act Trial?

Being granted a trial and obtaining compensation under the DBA is not guaranteed. In order to receive a DBA-awarded benefit, the proper paperwork must be filed, and claimants must prove that their injury was caused by their employment and occurred within the scope of their work. The case may proceed to a formal hearing before a judge if there is disagreement about whether the worker’s injury is covered under the DBA.

Mr. Grossman and his attorneys are not afraid to go to trial. Because there is no guarantee that you will get a DBA trial awarded, our DBA lawyers work diligently to ensure that all the needed documentation and records are submitted correctly and before deadlines. This increases your chances of a trial opportunity and being awarded the compensation you deserve.

How Does the DBA Trial Work?

It’s essential for a claimant trying to receive compensation to understand how DBA trials work.

A typical DBA trial involves opening statements, presentation of evidence, cross-examination, and testimony from expert witnesses. The jury will then consider all of the information presented and decide if any compensation should be awarded to the employee.

Having an experienced attorney represent you during these complicated court proceedings can significantly impact your case’s success. 

What Is the Estimated Time Frame for Receiving a Decision and Payment?

The time frame for receiving a decision and payment can vary significantly due to the complexities of each claim. On average, claimants can expect a decision within 60-90 days of filing their claim. Still, factors such as the extent of injuries, complexity of the evidence, and other considerations may cause delays in the process.

Secure Your Future: Contact Our Expert Defense Base Act Attorneys for a Free Consultation Today!

At Grossman Attorneys at Law, we have extensive knowledge of Longshore and DBA trials, ensuring your interests are fully protected throughout each step of the proceedings. Contact us today if you have any questions about Longshore or DBA trials. Don’t let the statute of limitations run out!

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