Posted by defensebaseactcomp on February 15, 2011
Alert: We have received a report that a DBA Attorney is taking part of a claimants compensation checks. This is very low tactic and we hope this attorney is soon exposed.
When a Defense Base Act Attorney or Law Firm advertises “no money upfront, or no fees upfront”, or that all fees must be approved, or that their fee is contingent, it means that they plan to have you pay their fees out whatever lost wages or medical you may be awarded. Never ever hire one of these lawyers who would take money from you when the insurance company is supposed to pay. Ask them how this benefits them because it sure as hell does not benefit you !!
“The way the Defense Base Act is set up in terms of attorneys fees (no up front attorney fee is required, all lawyer fees must be approved and an attorney fee is contingent and will only be owed if we are able to collect funds for you” Clever, how would you know they mean that YOU will be owing these fees
The Defense Base Act provides for your attorney fees to be paid for by the Insurance Company when you must hire one to secure the proper benefits.
You would probably not be at this blog nor would you need an attorney if your claim were not disputed.
Your DBA Attorney is required to keep track of their hours and expenses (receipts) for the duration of the legal process and turn them in to the ALJ or DD for approval and subsequent payment by the DBA Insurance Company when they have in fact succeeded in securing an award in your favor.
It is not illegal for a Defense Base Act Attorney to charge Injured Contractors and Widows these fees.
The fees do have to be approved by an ALJ or DD and we do not know why an ALJ or DD would allow this.
But it might just be illegal for a Defense Base Act Attorney to have Injured Contractors and Widows sign on to pay as much 40% without ever disclosing to them that they are not required to do so under the Act.
We’d love to hear what excuses these attorneys are using to bleed more money out of the Injured Contractors and Widows, many of them foreign and more susceptible to this treatment.
Please let us know in the comment section below if you have been asked to pay your attorneys legal fees.
Fee When Carrier Declines to Pay Compensation. Under section 28(a), if an EC does not pay any compensation within thirty days after receiving written notification of a claim being filed, and the case is later settled at the informal level in favor of the claimant, the DD/CE must assess the fee for an attorney against the EC
Fee Where Voluntary Payment Made, But Controversy Arises Over Amount of Additional Compensation.
- If the EC voluntarily pays compensation without an award and a controversy develops over the amount of additional compensation (if any) to which the claimant may be entitled, the DD/CE shall, within ten days of knowledge of the controversy, set the case for an informal conference. Either at the conference or afterwards, the DD/CE is to recommend in writing the disposition of the matter. If the claimant has utilized the services of an attorney during this period to obtain additional compensation, any additional legal fee (based on efforts to obtain additional compensation) is to be assessed against the EC.
Continue reading here to learn why your informal conference is so important to you which we will soon post on.