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Author: Jon Montagna

Injury Risks That Private Contractors Face Overseas

Getting contracted to do work for the US government can be a great and rewarding opportunity for you and your company that has been contracted out. These jobs usually pay well, they are often fulfilling and it gives you an opportunity to broaden your horizons.

These jobs, however, do include many risks that you may not face while working in the US. All private contractors for the military are required to be covered for worker’s compensation under the Defense Base Act. This is because a work place accident, no matter what country it occurs in, should be covered by your employer. The risks that private contractors take on overseas are numerous and varied depending on the work.

Private Contractors on Military Base

The US Military has bases all over the world, and often hires out help from private contractors to perform various types of maintenance throughout the base. This includes mechanics, electricians, delivery men, translators and other services to help our service men and women. These jobs have their own inherent risks. A mechanic working with heavy machinery is always at risk for something to go wrong and become injured, and an electrician working with wiring and systems they are not as familiar with are at risk for electrocution and burns. In 2004, a contracted out truck driver from Abilene Texas was injured when his supply convoy was ambushed by insurgents. He was left with a shattered leg and was diagnosed with PTSD. The driver has spent years fighting Insurance Provider AIG, to be fully compensated for his injuries.

There is also the added risk of being in unstable regions for many bases. In these regions, fighting could break out at the base at any time and an injury from this to an unsuspecting private contractor is a real threat. No matter how a private contractor becomes injured they could be eligible for workers compensation under the Defense Base Act.

Private Contractors Providing Relief Overseas

When disaster strikes other areas of the world, the US will hire out private contractors to go to these regions to help with the disaster relief efforts. These regions often hire out private security contractors to keep the peace since the police force and military of the area are either heavily diminished or are occupied doing other tasks related to disaster relief. These contractors are tasked with keeping the peace in these regions which can lead to conflict and injury.

The US also contracts out many people to deliver supplies to these regions. This job may not seem inherently dangerous, but when disaster strike a region like the Tsunami in Japan in 2011, the entire area and infrastructure becomes dangerous. Buildings falling apart, pot holes and debris cover the roads you need to drive on to deliver the supplies to the people in need. A number of dangers arise in a crises region like this. If you are injured while providing relief to a disaster area while being contracted by the US government, know that injuries occurred while performing the work can be covered under the Defense Base Act.

Contact a Defense Base Act Attorney

If you have been privately contracted out by the US government and have been injured on the job, contact Montagna Klein Camden today. We will work with your employer and insurance company to make sure you are fully compensated for your injury and the losses associated with it.



How to Apply Correctly for Social Security Disability

Apply for Disability and SSI the right way.

Social Security disability benefits can be a lifesaver. After experiencing the trauma of a serious medical diagnosis or life-altering accident that forces you out of the workplace, regular income can provide peace of mind. However, applying for government benefits can be intimidating. Read on to find out how to apply for Social Security Disability the right way.

When to Apply

Start the Social Security disability benefits application process as quickly as possible. There is a six-month waiting period before you can receive benefits, starting during the first full month after the Social Security Administration determines your disability began. SSI applicants receive benefits in the first full month after your filing date or the date of your eligibility determination. The application processing period is three to five months long.

Apply for Benefits Online

Read and print the Adult Disability Application Checklist; you must be at least 18 years old and not currently receiving benefits under your name to apply. Gather all info needed from the list, then fill out the online application and the Medical Release Form.

Other Ways to Apply for Social Security Disability

You can make an appointment to complete your application by phone or in person by calling 1-800-772-1213. You will need the same information from the Application Checklist above before calling the toll-free number; find your nearest SSA office here.

If you’re deaf or otherwise hearing-impaired, please call the toll-free TTY line at 1-800-325-0778. This number is available from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm, Monday through Friday.

More SSA Disability Resources

The Social Security Administration has created an online Disability Planner to help you throughout the application process. For additional guidance, reference the department’s Disability Benefits Publication. These resources include eligibility guidelines, information about receiving benefits, your next steps after being approved, and other essential guidance.

Whether you’ve been severely injured in an accident or have received a medical diagnosis of a long-term or life-threatening health condition, you’re probably concerned about how you’ll survive without steady income from a job. Social Security Disability and SSI are designed to help you and your family live as comfortably as possible with help from the SSA. Follow our suggestions and use our additional resources to stay informed throughout the application process. Need more help? Contact the law firm of Montagna Klein Camden, LLP. Our helpful, compassionate staff will provide the answers you need to start receiving benefits.


Frye v. Hampton Roads Transit; work injury

Defense Base Act InjuryGreat news for Virginia Workers’ Compensation injured workers! Do you ever wonder if you are partaking in an “expected and accepted activity” that’s within your employment? Do you ever worry about “tripping and falling” at work? If you answer yes to either one of these questions, you should read Frye v. Hampton Roads Transit, JCN: VA000001215372 (June 19, 2017).

In Frye, the Deputy Commissioner denied benefits finding that Claimant’s injury did not arise out of employment. The Claimant appealed arguing that her injury occurred during the course of her employment and that she tripped on a stump which constituted a risk or hazard arising out of that employment. The Full Commission agreed and reversed the Deputy Commissioner’s finding. The Full Commission reasoned that despite Claimant walking around a parking lot, she was partaking in an expected and accepted activity that was within her employment. The Employer’s witness testified that Claimant was allowed to walk in the parking lot and that it was reasonable for her to stretch her legs by walking around. The Commission stated that “while the Claimant may have ventured further afield than Ms. Patrick deemed reasonable, there is no evidence from which we could conclude that the claimant removed herself for her employment.”

The Commission further considered whether tripping on several inches of a pole protruding from the lot where Claimant was walking constituted a risk of her employment. The Commission agreed with the Claimant that she was in a reasonable proximity to her assigned bus within an area she was permitted, and not prohibited, by the Employer, and that the pole represented an actual risk of her employment.

Therefore, she suffered an injury arising out of and in the course of her employment. So workers, if you do venture within a reasonable proximity of your assigned area, be careful where you step!

Love Gone Wrong

We all know that business and pleasure should be kept separate, but we also know they don’t always stay separate. When the two mix and an office romance ensues, trouble is never far behind. Check out our list of workplace romance concerns, and be sure to call Montagna Klein Camden if you ever find yourself in a workplace legal predicament.

Get a Room.

montagna-love-gone-wrongThe co-workers in question may be caught making googly eyes or in the act of romantic physical contact. For other co-workers, this can cause extreme discomfort, anger, and even jealousy. While the majority of employees are working hard, the lovebirds in the corner are giggling and flirting. Gossip, rumors, and decreased productivity are soon to follow.

To avoid complaints to HR (which could mutate into lawsuits in court) any workplace romances should be conducted quietly and respectfully, outside of office hours.

Protect your Rep.

While it is understandable to seek & find companionship in the workplace (common interests, already spend 40 hours a week together) it is also perceived as unprofessional. If word gets out, you and your partner may be seen as less serious, and as a result, could be passed over for promotions or special projects.

If your company has a policy in place to mitigate the risks of an office romance, disclose the relationship to HR and go about business as usual. Make it clear that your personal life is personal, and will not interfere with work.

Break Up, don’t Break Down.

It’s an unfortunate fact of life: not all love lasts forever. If the romance has run its course, fights are an inevitable symptom. When both parties work at the same place, this is a recipe for disaster.

The best thing you can do is try to keep the drama from surfacing. If that’s not possible, consider asking for a transfer, a different cubicle, or even searching for a new job.

Love Bites.

Best case scenario: you find a partner for life. Bad case: you lose your job. Worst case: you fear for your life.

Not all office romances are consensual. Sometimes, an employee may receive unwanted or inappropriate attention, gifts, or advances from a co-worker, or worse, an employer. Hopefully, a simple “no” would be enough to deter any additional attempts. If it isn’t, you need to seek professional backup.

Call the workers’ compensation attorneys at Montagna Klein Camden if your workplace has become a hostile environment, or if you’ve been injured on the job. Schedule your free legal consultation and let us get to work for you. 

Planes, Trains & Automobiles

‘Tis the season for holiday travel and Montagna Klein Camden Law Firm is here to help you get home safe & sound. We know from experience that some roads in Virginia involve paying greater attention to surrounding drivers. Higher traffic volume in addition to major trucking routes make some highways such as I-81 and I-64 through Staunton and Charlottesville especially notorious for auto accidents. Take a look at our tips for safe holiday travel, and remember: should the worst happen and you or a loved one is injured – or worse – you’ll need a legal professional on your side. Trust the experienced and compassionate attorneys at Montagna Law serving all of Virginia.

santa-holiday-travelSafe Travel Tips:

Know the Risks: For Thanksgiving alone, 48.7 million Americans planned to travel. Of those, 89% (3.5 million) planned to drive. With that many people on the road, safety is a definite concern. If you’re one of them, be sure to get plenty of rest before a long road trip, and stop often for breaks. It’s important to be alert and aware of your surroundings, particularly when you’re carrying precious cargo (like your family).

Know Who to Call: AAA expected to rescue over 370,000 motorists on the roads over Thanksgiving. If you’re not a AAA member, check the details of your auto insurance or cell phone plan. Some include roadside assistance (often at a small additional charge). Look into specials or promotions going on in the areas you’ll be passing through; some companies may be offering no-strings-attached assistance due to the holiday rush.

Be Prepared. The most common roadside issues include dead batteries and flat tires. Pick up a set of jumper cables (some don’t even need another car to get you going again) or have your battery tested before departure by your preferred mechanic. Snag a flat tire repair kit and a first aid kit while you’re at it – just in case. Should a minor incident occur, you’re well equipped to deal with it and be on your way with minimal time lost.

Be Smart. The best advice we can offer is to stay sober, buckle up and don’t text while driving. Nominate a tried-and-true copilot to handle any drama inside the vehicle, and keep your eyes firmly on the road ahead, especially on roads with a lot of big rig trucks who may not see be able to see you. Keep your distance behind them, and stay clear of their blind spots. Remember, if you can’t see the truck driver in their mirrors, they can’t see you either!

If the worst should happen and you run into holiday travel trouble, keep calm and call Montagna. Our experienced Virginia attorneys are ready and able to take on your personal injury, vehicular accident case. Whether plane, train, or automobile, Montagna Klein Camden is here to help.

Common Workers Compensation Cases

Workplace injuries are a serious issue, and it can feel like you against the world. Your employer, their insurer and their attorneys may try to compensate you with insufficient funds or refuse to admit responsibility at all, leaving you hurt, out of work and feeling helpless.

Don’t let those in power push you around. You’ve been wronged, and you have every right to seek medical care and financial compensation. Call the aggressive and persistent attorneys at Montagna Klein Camden in Norfolk and Newport News, VA when you need a fighter in your corner.

Although a workplace injury can happen to anyone at anytime, and no two cases are exactly alike, there are a few workers compensation claims that are more frequent than others. Take a look at our list of common workers compensation cases, and call us at 757-622-8100 for a free legal consultation if you’ve been hurt while at work.

I Work Too Hard.Injured on the job

Overexertion is the number one cause of workplace injury. Pulled muscles and strained joints are frequently experienced while on the job at factories and construction sites, as well as other workplaces requiring physical labor.

You were hurt working hard, but now your boss won’t pay for your medical expenses. Don’t let them take advantage of your hard work, then leave you high and dry. Contact Montagna Klein Camden to schedule your free legal consultation today to make them pay.

That Was Close!

Bodily Reaction can be bittersweet. Slipping or tripping while managing not to fall down can still result in an injury, with serious consequences. Twisted ankles, sprained joints and other painful injuries can become a real problem. These are truly unavoidable, and can strike at any time, in any profession.

You thought you’d avoided the worst, but then the aftershock hit. If you’ve experienced bodily reaction while at work, don’t wait another day. Call a Montagna Klein Camden attorney today and we’ll discuss your case and how to get justice.

What Was That?

Being Struck by an object can happen at any occupation, and can vary in severity. Whether you work in an office, restaurant, retail store or on a construction site, you’re nearly always at risk of something falling from a shelf or being dropped from above.

There was no way to see it coming, but now you’re hurt and nobody will help. Contact the workers compensation attorneys at Montagna Law to stand up for what’s right, and get the financial rewards that you deserve.

On The Road Again.

Vehicular Collisions while on the clock are a frequent workers compensation case. Truck drivers, police officers and traveling businessmen & women are at a high risk for car accidents while working.

You went to the ends of the earth, but they won’t go to the bank. Don’t let your employer take you for a ride. Contact the Virginia workers compensation lawyers at Montagna Law Firm to take back the wheel and get what’s yours.

Man & Machine.

Technology has changed a lot of things in our world, including the ways in which workers are injured while on the job. Factories and construction sites often employ the use of complex, heavy duty machinery, which can crush, mutilate or paralyze those working nearby. Such equipment is often neglected when it comes to maintenance, and training for employees is usually minimal. We’ve seen it before. You were doing your job but the equipment wasn’t up to snuff, or nobody took the time to properly coach you through the controls. You put your trust in them, and they broke it. Trust our Norfolk workers compensation lawyers to fight for your case and get you the compensation you deserve.

As the most common workplace injuries, there are of course many more. If you’ve been injured on the job in any way, call the workers compensation attorneys at the Montagna Klein Camden Law Firm in Norfolk or Newport News, Virginia.

We’ll stand for you, with you, and by your side every step of the way.

Summer Street Safety

Road safety is a shared responsibility, especially in Hampton Roads during the summer. Pedestrians, drivers, motorcyclists and bicyclists all share a mutual obligation to keep the roads safe. Whether you’re a driver, pedestrian or cyclist, we’re all in this together.

If you or someone you love is hit by an automobile this summer, call the Personal Injury attorneys at Montagna Klein Camden in Norfolk and Newport News. We can help fight to get you the medical treatment and financial compensation you deserve. Call us for a free legal consultation to learn more about your rights and potential rewards.

Let Montagna Klein Camden help you navigate the mean streets this summer with our tips and tricks for summer safety. Stay cool and stay safe!

Texting While Walking

As a Driver:

  1. PUT DOWN YOUR CELL PHONE. It’s not worth your life, or anyone else’s. It can wait.
  2. BUCKLE UP. Why take a chance?
  3. Get settled before you put the car in drive. Rather than hitting the road only to realize your parking pass is in the backseat, take a moment before you leave to think about where you’re going and what you’ll need. If you know you’re going to stop for fast food, set your wallet on the seat beside you. If you always play music through your phone, plug it in and choose your playlist before you reverse out of anywhere.
  4. If you’re making a long trip, stop regularly to stretch, eat, drink and take care of yourself. If you stay cramped up in that car for too long, you could lose focus or even fall asleep. Even if only for five minutes, pull over and walk around to shake yourself out of the monotony.
  5. Share the road. When a cyclist is near you on the road, give them an extra few seconds with your signal on before changing lanes, merging, etc. Their vehicles are smaller and more vulnerable than yours, and a small bump could result in extensive injuries, or even death. A few moments’ hesitation on your part could save a life.
  6. Summer storms can strike Hampton Roads suddenly. If you’re on the roads when one of these gusty, drizzly storms hits, you may want to flip on your hazard lights and pull over. Other drivers will likely be doing the same, and visibility can decrease drastically without warning. Luckily, such fury seldom rages for long. You’ll be back on your way in no time.

As a Pedestrian:

  1. PUT DOWN YOUR CELL PHONE. Would you cross a tightrope with your eyes shut? Then don’t cross the street while texting.
  2. Exercise caution when it comes to headphones. You can’t be completely aware of your surroundings if you can’t hear what’s happening around you. Turn down the volume, pop out one earbud, or both.
  3. Be visible, be alert. Stay in view of traffic during the day, when traveling on sidewalks or waiting to cross streets. At night, wear light or reflective clothing and stick to more well-lit areas.
  4. Never assume that a car will slow, stop or wait for you. Even if you’re pretty sure they saw you, wait an extra moment. Try to make eye contact with the driver, and be certain that your path is safe before setting foot off that sidewalk.
  5. Be wary of alcohol. Approximately half of all pedestrian crashes involve alcohol in some capacity, and of those, the pedestrian was the one who had been drinking 34% of the time. If you’re drinking and walking, we applaud you for not driving, but remind you that it is still risky. Stay on the sidewalk, and if possible, with friends or family who are not drinking.

As a Parent:

Teenagers are already the most likely drivers to get into an accident, but during the summer months, the roads are positively deadly for teens aged 15 – 19. All kids are out of school, other inexperienced teen drivers are learning the ropes on the same pavement as your child, and they’re all pretty focused on that little screen in their pockets. Start your teen’s driving career off on the right foot; teach them good, safe habits now and avoid the pain, heartache and expense of auto accidents later.

The Virginia Beach Oceanfront is a particularly risky place during summer. Vacationers crowd the streets with their SUVs and motorhomes, while locals swarm the sidewalks and beaches in droves. With all of those people and all of that movement, the boardwalk becomes a hotbed for danger.

Contact Montagna Klein Camden today if you or someone you love has been injured by a careless, reckless or distracted driver. Let us make it right.

Speak Up

Hearing ExamEmployers and employees in the maritime industry face a number of hazards and dangers each day on the job. These risks are precisely the reason for the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, or LHWCA. Under the umbrella of the LHWCA, maritime workers are protected in case of injury, including permanent partial disabilities, such as hearing loss.

Hearing loss is a serious injury, one which will stay with the worker for the rest of his or her life. Fortunately, compensation is payable to those maritime workers suffering hearing loss from the job. If you are a maritime worker whose hearing has been damaged due to your occupation, contact the experienced and aggressive legal team at Montagna Klein Camden in Norfolk, VA.

There are a couple of steps to take if you’ve suffered occupational hearing loss:

  1. Notify your employer IMMEDIATELY after the damage has occurred. Contact Montagna Klein Camden for your free consultation to learn more about your rights. Obtain an LS-1 form from your employer, which authorizes medical treatment from the physician of your choice.
  2. Get medical treatment as soon as possible.
  3. Give written notice within 30 days of your injury, using the LS-201 form. Contact the nearest OWCP office for more information.
  4. File a written claim within one year of A) your injury or B) your last compensation payment; whichever date is later.

Click Here to obtain LS forms.

Click Here for more info about Longshore District Office.

Click Here to schedule your free legal consultation with the skilled attorneys at Montagna Klein Camden Law Firm in Norfolk, Virginia.

Motorcyclists, Beware

As a biker, you probably think your biggest concern is other drivers, but what happens after a collision may have far greater consequences.
Watch For Motorcycle RidersIf you’ve been injured in a motorcycling accident, call the experienced and aggressive attorneys at Montagna Klein Camden. We’ll fight to get the compensation you deserve.

Motorcycle riders are more vulnerable to serious injuries when involved in accidents. With nothing but the wind above you and the road just inches below your feet, almost any motorcycle accident can result in some type of injury. No matter how alert and careful you are, it only takes one distracted automobile driver to knock you off your bike and send you crashing to the pavement.

What happens next is critical. Don’t let another motorist’s lack of awareness or concern for your rights put you or other bikers at greater risk. Call an experienced lawyer who won’t let them get away with their careless and reckless behavior.

The personal injury attorneys at Montagna Klein Camden are vigorous advocates for civilian and military motorcyclists involved in accidents across the Norfolk, Newport News, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Hampton, and Portsmouth areas. We offer more than 100 years of combined legal experience and have achieved millions of dollars in settlements. Call 877-622-8100 today for your free legal consultation.

We specialize in helping military service members and their families who have been involved in motorcycle accidents. Our tenacious Personal Injury lawyers understand the insurance intricacies and special considerations involved with handling of motorcycle accidents involving military personnel.

Although bikers enjoy the same rights on our roadways as car and truck drivers, negative attitudes toward motorcyclists can sometimes lead to predetermined assumptions that the motorcyclists are at fault in an accident. At Montagna Klein Camden, our attorneys will battle to make sure your rights are understood and protected, during settlement negotiations or at trial. Our goal is never to get you a quick settlement. It’s to get you the settlement you truly deserve based on your injuries and the circumstances surrounding your accident.

Don’t try to go it alone; enlist the help of a veteran attorney who understands the procedure, requirements and expectations of the courtroom. Victims who try to represent themselves, or who don’t hire experienced motorcycle accident attorneys, often receive far less compensation than they should. Detailed documentation of the damage to your motorcycle, lost wages as well as physical and mental injuries are all critical to your settlement’s success.

The attorneys at Montagna Klein Camden in Norfolk and Newport News, Virginia will take the time to dig deep and understand the circumstances surrounding your accident, as well as the full impact of your injuries. That kind of attention not only maximizes your settlement terms, it helps you make sound decisions moving forward with your case.

If you are a civilian or a member of the military and you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident, contact the attorneys at Montagna Klein Camden today.

No other law firm will fight harder on your behalf. Don’t settle for less.

St. Patty’s Aftermath

Saint Patrick's Day Drinking

Top of the morning to you – unless it’s the morning after St. Patrick’s Day. Some folks find a pot of gold on St. Patrick’s Day, others find a jail cell, and others find themselves in the hospital. DUIs and subsequent injuries are woes commonly piled atop the inevitable hangover of March the 18th.

You can’t do much about the headache, but this year, save yourself some stress. If you  or a loved one were injured by a drunk or incapacitated driver during this year’s St. Patrick’s Day festivities, call a legal professional with experience. Call the attorneys at the Montagna Klein Camden Law Firm in downtown Norfolk, Virginia.

It’s never a good decision to drive home after a night of drinking green beer, and simply being on the streets during a holiday which is infamous for its alcohol consumption is risky. We know YOU’LL be safe, but there are so many folks who get behind the wheel when they shouldn’t.

If you or a loved one was unfortunately hit by a drunk driver you deserve compensation for any injuries or losses that were a result of the accident. Back and neck injuries or a wrecked car could turn your world upside down, especially if they cause you to miss work. We are tough on drunk drivers and will do everything we can to make sure that you or your loved one is represented and gets the most compensation possible. Don’t let an accident ruin your life. Call our personal injury lawyers today.

If you do drink this year, play it safe. Utilize one of the many available options for transportation. With the entire world a mere tap away from your fingers, it’s never been easier to call up a ride. Uber, Lyft, the Tide or the public buses are always a better choice than getting behind the wheel while intoxicated.

Should the worst occur, and you or a loved one are injured by a drunk driver, contact the attorneys at Montagna Klein Camden in Norfolk for your free legal consultation.


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