As a Defense Base Act Lawyer, I am often the first person injured contractors talk to about medical care they require. Especially if the injured contractor is having a tough time having medical care authorized. This article discusses medical care and care for PTSD under the Defense Base Act (DBA).
Medical Care for Life
Under the DBA, medical care may stay open forever. Oftentimes, contractors and insurance companies settle DBA claims in full, which includes settlement of future medical care. If not, then medical care stays open indefinitely. This is important and I will use myself, as an example. In the Army Rangers, I sustained a fairly serious knee injury during a parachute mission while serving with the 3rd Ranger Battalion. This resulted in a lengthy surgery. That lasted until just last year in 2019 when I had to have that same knee replaced on account of the line-of-duty injury, while still in my 40s. This was because traumatic arthritis developed in that knee. The VA covered the surgery, of course. I am entitled to care for my knee for life. Same thing applies with the DBA. Contractors regularly undergo surgeries following injuries, such as knee surgeries, rotator cuff repairs, a spine fusions. Over many years, arthritis may develop, a fusion may cause other vertebrae to deteriorate or the procedure fails. The DBA insurance company will continue to be responsible for medical care.
Choice of Physician
Pursuant to the Defense Base Act, the injured contractor is able to choose his or her doctor. This is important. Many state workers’ compensation programs gives the right to choose the doctor to the insurance company. Of course, there tends to be a sh0rt list of doctors that the insurance companies will send injured workers to. These “workers’ comp doctors”
entire practices may result from an insurance company sending them injured workers. From experience, many of these doctors, do not want to anger the insurance companies that basically fund their medical practice. The playing field is leveled when the injured contractor can pick his or her doctor. I regularly advise clients to look for board-certified physicians, fellowship-trained and highly regarded doctors. I have told clients to look for the best physician in their area.
If you need free advice regarding medical care you are entitled to following an injury, the best time to talk to a lawyer is right after the injury and before the insurance company adjusters call. Call 877-DBA-LAW1 for free advice.