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Tips On How To Choose The Right DBA Attorney For Your Case

One of the main challenges injured workers face when they are covered by the Defense Base Act (DBA) is finding the right lawyer. And that’s because experienced lawyers for DBA claims are few and are often very busy with case files. After all, this field of law is still very niche.

But why is finding the right DBA attorney crucial? 

It’s important because your attorney will provide you with the best chance for justice while giving you enough time to recover from your psychological and physical injuries. 

So if you don’t know what to do to find the right DBA attorney who fits your needs, keep reading this article. Below are tips to help you identify the attorney who will help you defend your case. 

Your DBA Attorney Must Be Experienced

Lawyers can focus on specific legal areas and gain experience in these fields through interest, working on cases in the same area and additional certification and courses. Therefore, many experts will advise you to find an experienced lawyer who focuses on the specific area of law you need. But this is especially true when dealing with DBA claims. 

This is because the Defense Base Act is complex. Therefore, an inexperienced lawyer will find it difficult to handle your case and may not know the best course of action. In most DBA claim cases, your employer or the insurance company will hire an experienced DBA lawyer to represent them, which can be intimidating. Having someone experienced to rival their defense team can go a long way to giving you peace of mind and a fair opportunity to get justice.  

Hiring an experienced attorney is especially critical when you’ve sustained severe or disabling injuries. Claims involving these types of injuries can demand large compensation amounts with many legal requirements. Therefore, don’t be surprised if your insurance provider makes a challenge to the claim to derail the proceedings. If this happens, your DBA attorney’s experience plays a key role in navigating these legal waters.

You might find people advising you to avoid working with DBA lawyers who’ve primarily represented insurance providers. And that’s because some of these attorneys might not fight hard for your needs. After all, they’re accustomed to representing insurance providers. However, don’t be too critical of this point. After all, having an attorney who knows how insurance companies think and operate might be a real asset to you. 

But all the same, it is up to you to do your due diligence to find the right representative. Below are questions you should ask potential DBA attorneys to gauge their experience level.

  • How long have you been practicing DBA law?
  • Are your clients primarily claimants or defendants?
  • Do you have experience dealing with the insurance company in this case?
  • What percentage of your DBA claims clients have received compensation?

Your Objective And Goal

During your first consultation with a potential DBA claims attorney, discuss the facts of your case. Ensure you mention the contents of any conversation you may have had with your insurance provider and employer regarding your case. You should get the lawyer’s opinion on what you should expect from your claim. This opinion matters, especially when assessing how difficult it will be to get your insurance provider to compensate you. 

To better understand their legal prowess, discuss with the DBA lawyer the different approaches you can use to claim compensation. These approaches include:

  • Waiting for as long as possible to get as much compensation as possible.
  • Take any compensation amount north of the offer your insurance provider has already suggested.
  • Obtaining a compensation amount within a specified time frame.

During this discussion, find out whether the lawyer is willing to approach your claim in the way you have envisioned. Listen to their advice and see if it aligns with your priorities. A candid discussion before any paperwork is signed will help set priorities, goals, and objectives. 

But it is important to note that the approach your attorney starts with initially may evolve. As your case progresses, you may change tack to suit the situation better. For example, the stress of the case may become overbearing. In such a situation, you could instruct your legal representative to wrap things as soon as possible. In another scenario, your odds of obtaining a higher compensation may increase and with it renewed energy to continue pushing no matter how long it takes. All these are variables you should discuss and have measures in place.

Your DBA Lawyer’s Reputation

Reputation is earned, not bought. And for a lawyer, their reputation is everything. It’s proof that they have a sound and proven track record in the legal field they practice.

Research online is a quick and easy way to determine whether your DBA lawyer has a good reputation. Most lawyers have websites. So, an excellent place to start is to look at their Google Reviews. Alternatively, you can make use of other third party non-biased review websites such as:

  • Avvo 
  • Yelp
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • NOLO
  • Better Business Bureau

Another way to learn more about the reputation of a DBA claims attorney is to ask trusted colleagues or friends who have filed DBA claims in the past. This approach is one of the best because you’ll get first-hand information. Since such conversations are not held in a professional setting, you can ask them many diverse questions regarding their experience. In turn, they will be more willing to answer the tough questions. 

NB: If you consult a colleague, ensure you trust them. The last thing you want is to discuss your case’s particulars with a colleague who’d share your information with an unwanted third party.

Your DBA Lawyer’s Ability To Maintain An Open Line Of Communication

If you’re the person filing for a DBA claim, you’re probably dealing with a lot at the moment. You’re probably worried about your job, health, and family. Therefore, your DBA claim shouldn’t be another source of stress for you. The best way to ensure your claim is stress-free is to ensure you and your lawyer maintain an open line of communication.

Therefore, when choosing the right DBA lawyer for your case, consider how well the two of you relate and communicate with each other. Do you feel comfortable while in your lawyer’s presence? Is your lawyer communicating in an easy-to-understand language? Is the lawyer listening to your requests? 

Your comfort levels, your lawyer’s ability to communicate and not just confuse you with legal jargon, and their willingness to listen to you will influence your ability to make the right decisions and how much control you have over your case. 

If, for whatever reason, you lose your ability to openly communicate with your lawyer at any time, your DBA claim may become a very stressful experience for you and your family, impacting your mental and physical health. 

The best way to figure out whether your lawyer will maintain an open line of communication with you is by asking questions like:

  • How often do you provide your clients with case updates?
  • Do your clients speak with you or with another person in your office?
  • Do you use phone calls, emails, video calls, or texting to communicate?
  • How long do you take to respond to requests to speak with you?
  • How involved do you need me to be in the case? 

Consult A DBA Attorney Now

If you want to find the right DBA lawyer, don’t hesitate to ask questions and discuss your expectations. Only then will you confidently select a lawyer who’s the right fit for you. 

Don’t forget that DBA claims are a legal field that’s still new and challenging for many attorneys. Therefore, you need an attorney who understands how the Defense Base Act is applied and works. Most importantly, you need to work with a lawyer who knows how to assist and advise you on issues related to your compensation claim.

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