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Defense Base Act Insurance Company Report Card

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ― Maya Angelou How Did Your Employer and your Employer’s Insurance Company Do? In 2010, the US Department of Labor, in an effort to expedite the reporting of injuries and deaths and payment of Defense Base Act benefits to military contractors and their families, began publishing a “Report Card” for the major Defense Base Act insurance companies.  Employers and their insurers are responsible for reporting work related injuries and deaths and for payment of DBA benefits. According to the “Report Card” for the first quarter of 2016, ACE, AIG, AWAC, CNA, STAR INDEMNITY and ZURICH reported injuries and deaths to the Department of Labor District Offices within 30 days, 86% (Zurich) to 100% (ACE) of the time.  These figures are calculated on reporting within 30 days of the date of the injury or death, or the date of the employer’s knowledge of the injury and the onset of disability, whichever is later. According to the DOL, first payments were issued within 30 days of disabling injury or death between 58% (AIG) and 93% (STAR INDEMNITY) of the time in the same reporting period. The full report from 2009 through 2016 is found below and can also be found on the Department of Labor’s website. How many days did it take your employer and its Defense Base Act insurer to report the claim to the United States Department of Labor?  How did they make you feel?  I […]

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Injured Workers May Want to Consider Avoiding Epidural Steroid Injections For Back and Neck Pain

Many of my Louisiana Workers Compensation, Longshore & Harborworker and Defense Base Act clients injure their back or neck on the job. Often they have back or neck pain that their treating physician wants to treat with epidural steroid injections. According to a recent April 23, 2014 warning put out by the Food and Drug Administration, these injections inserted into the spine may cause serious negative consequences, including loss of vision stroke, paralysis and even death. A number of the adverse effects have occurred within 48 hours of the injection. The FDA has not approved injections for back and neck pain. Speak with your healthcare provider if you want to switch to an alternative form of treatment.

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Study Links Daylight Savings Time to Workplace Injuries

Daylight Savings Time, the practice of temporarily advancing clocks during the summertime so that evenings have more daylight and mornings have less, has been observed since 1895. The practice is the source of much annual anticipation for individuals eager to benefit from longer days and more day lit hours. A study from the American Psychological Association, however, suggests “springing forward” from Standard Time to Daylight Savings Time may have some unintended consequences such as disrupted sleep patterns and an increased risk for workplace injury. According to the study’s authors, the hour of sleep lost when Americans set their clocks an hour ahead each spring results in higher rates of workplace accidents caused by sleep loss. The study analyzed accident and time use data from the Mine Safety and Health Administration and Bureau of Labor Statistics, concluding that the average person sleeps about 40 minutes less the Sunday night of the time switch resulting in approximately 3.6 more work injuries the following Monday in hazardous occupations such as mining and construction.

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GPS Stalking Of Injured Workers

If you were hurt on the job and are collecting wage loss benefits, company detectives may be stalking you to try to prove you are malingering. For about $300, Private Investigators (PIs) may mount a Global Position System (GPS) to the underside of your car and follow you throughout the day from their laptop computer. Some GPS devices are powered by the car’s battery and typically placed under the dashboard while other devices are equipped with their own batteries to enable inconspicuous placement on the vehicle’s body. PIs use the GPS device to see if you are working and not reporting your wages or if you are participating in physical activities beyond your work restrictions. Using a GPS in this fashion may have potential criminal stalking and civil privacy implications. For example, California and Texas ban the use of GPS trackers without consent with exceptions for law enforcement and car owners. If you find one of these devices on your vehicle, immediately contact your local police department.

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