Have you or a family member been injured or killed while working overseas as a civilian government contractor? Our nationwide Defense Base Act (DBA) attorneys at Grossman Attorneys at Law can help. Our team of experienced lawyers and paralegals will help you navigate the complexities of the Defense Base Act to pursue the maximum possible compensation. 

Our law firm’s area of expertise is injury law related to the Defense Base Act, and we provide proactive representation and support to every client. Let us show you our dedication by scheduling your free case review today.

What Is the Defense Base Act?

Before the enactment of the 1941 Defense Base Act, civilian government contractors injured overseas struggled to get workers’ compensation. This represented a significant problem as civilians contributing to the pre-World War II war effort weren’t getting the compensation they deserved for their injuries. Congress enacted the Defense Base Act (DBA) to close this insurance coverage gap by requiring American employers to provide overseas workers with DBA worker’s compensation insurance. 

The Defense Base Act is an extension of the 1927 Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act. It covers civilian employees who suffer injuries or deaths while working outside the U.S. under U.S. service contracts for military purposes, national defense, or public works. DBA benefits include medical, disability, and death benefits.

Defense Base Act Eligibility

Overseas employees must meet at least one of several eligibility requirements to qualify for DBA insurance coverage. These eligibility criteria include the following:

  • The employee works overseas for a U.S. government agency on a war- or national defense-related public works contract
  • The employee works outside of the U.S. for a private employer on a U.S. military base or other land used for military purposes by the U.S.
  • The employee works overseas for an organization providing moral and welfare services to active military members, such as the United Services Organizations or the American Red Cross
  • The employee works outside of the U.S. under a contract funded and approved by the U.S. government

If one of these applies to you, you’re entitled to compensation in the event of a work-related injury or illness. Examples of workers who may fall under the Defense Base Act include but are not limited to:

  • Construction workers
  • Cooks
  • Clerical workers
  • Electricians
  • Explosive experts
  • Janitors
  • Linguists
  • Mechanics
  • Program managers
  • Security personnel
  • Translators
  • Truck drivers

An employee does not need to be a U.S. citizen to qualify for compensation protection under the Defense Base Act. All employees working overseas under U.S. government contracts may be eligible for DBA insurance coverage, including foreign nationals. 

Defense Base Act Benefits

The Defense Base Act provides a range of benefits to cover overseas employees in a variety of situations due to an injury, illness, or death. These benefits include:

  • Medical benefits that cover medical care by an employee-chosen physician, hospital costs, treatment-related travel costs, diagnostic expenses, and more
  • Rehabilitation services that help the injured worker recover from or cope with the employment-related injury
  • Vocational rehabilitation services for permanently disabled workers living in the U.S.
  • Disability compensation for temporary (partial or total) and permanent (partial or total) disability
  • Death benefits for surviving spouses and dependents, including burial coverage and compensation for lost income

To learn more about DBA benefits and how they’re calculated, review this PowerPoint presentation by the Department of Labor.

What Injuries Does the Defense Base Act Cover?

The Defense Base Act covers many types of injuries related to the worker’s employment. A worker injured outside the workplace can still pursue compensation through the DBA if the injury is work-related.

Examples of injuries covered by the DBA include:

  • Neck or shoulder injuries
  • Back or spinal injuries
  • Head or brain injuries
  • Loss of limb injuries
  • Loss of hearing 
  • Burn injuries
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

This by no means represents a complete list of injuries coverable by the Defense Base Act. To find out if your injury qualifies for compensation under the DBA, get in touch with a DBA attorney at Grossman Attorneys at Law. 

What Is a DBA Attorney?

A DBA attorney provides representation to injured workers under the Defense Base Act to help them file lawsuits and settle claims. DBA lawyers often focus their practices on injury law, as do our nationwide DBA attorneys at Grossman Attorneys at Law.  

A Grossman DBA lawyer can help you understand your rights as a government employee working outside of the U.S. and provide you with the resources and representation you need to settle a claim or bring a suit against a non-compliant employer. 

How Can a DBA Lawyer Help Your Defense Base Act Claim?

If you’re injured while working overseas for a government contractor, you must report the injury and file a claim within specific deadlines to ensure payment of compensation. A DBA attorney can help you by tracking deadlines, helping you file the correct forms, and offering experience-based advice on how to move forward with your claim. 

Besides their knowledge of the Defense Base Act laws, professional attorneys can provide much-needed support to injured workers and their families. Managing all of the required documents and deadlines is challenging for many injured workers and their families. By hiring a DBA lawyer, you can focus on injury treatment and other family concerns while your legal team handles the claim. 

If you’re unsure about hiring a DBA lawyer following an injury, illness, or death, contact Grossman Attorneys at Law for a free case review. 

How Are DBA Attorneys Paid?

Like other injury law attorneys, DBA law firms set their own payment requirements. Some lawyers may charge upfront fees to retain their services, but we, like some others, offer more affordable options. For example, at Grossman Attorneys at Law, clients will incur no costs to hire our firm.

In some cases, the insurance company covers these costs in the event an injured employee files a claim but doesn’t get paid due to a dispute and must hire an attorney to pursue compensation.  

We Can Help You Settle Your DBA Claim

Known as the premier DBA lawyers because of our professionalism, integrity, and proactive litigation style, our team at Florida-based Grossman Attorneys at Law is led by founding attorney Howard Grossman, who brings over 35 years of injury litigation experience. Our firm has settled hundreds of DBA claims.

If you trust our team at Grossman Attorneys at Law with your Defense Base Act claim, we’ll help you report the injury, collect evidence, meet form filing deadlines, and do whatever else we can to help you pursue fair workers’ compensation. Our experienced and knowledgeable nationwide DBA attorneys provide personalized services to each client to ensure the support they need throughout the process. 

Contact us today at Grossman Attorneys at Law to schedule a free case evaluation and learn what we can do to help you move forward after an overseas work-related injury. 

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