Everyday conduct and activities injure individuals working as civilian contractors overseas for the United States government. These circumstances can result in serious injuries or even death. In 1940, the United States Department of Labor implemented the Defense Base Action (DBA) to help these injured workers.
At Grossman Attorneys at Law, we specialize in DBA claims, and we are here to explain to you how to file a DBA claim and get the compensation you deserve.
DBA claims require attention to every detail if they are to be successful. You also need to precisely understand what a DBA claim is, when to file a DBA claim, and where to claim DBA benefits. Grossman Attorneys at Law is a Defense Base Act law firm that can help you get the answers to all these questions.
Am I Eligible to File a DBA Claim?
Firstly, you should understand what a DBA claim is, which requires understanding the law and workers’ protection. The DBA law offers protection to those who sustain injuries or illnesses by providing benefits such as medical care, wage loss replacement, and help in returning to work.
However, it has a narrow focus of individuals beyond just those with an injury.
DBA law states that you must be a civilian contractor working:
- In Iraq, Afghanistan, Africa, United Arab Emirates, South Korea, Kuwait, or anywhere else in the world under a U.S. government contract;
- On a U.S. military, air, or naval base acquired by the United States; or
- Upon land occupied or used by the government for military or naval purposes in any territory or possession outside the continental United States.
You may also be eligible if you were performing any public work in any territory or possession outside the continental United States. In this case, you must be an employee engaged under the contract of a contractor with the United States.
How to File a DBA Claim
Once you establish that you are likely eligible, you may be wondering, Now what?
Here’s what you need to do.
See a Doctor Right Away
This may seem unnecessary to state, but you should seek medical attention even if you do not believe it is a medical emergency. This is to get you any help you may need and establish a paper trail of the injury time frame and treatment. Keep a detailed record of everything you can regarding dates of injury and resulting medical treatment.
Hire a DBA Lawyer
It is best if you complete this step as soon as possible after your injury. The attorney is aware of all legal deadlines and complaint related actions, which are numerous and complicated and can make or break your case. You will need representation to file for, fight for, and perhaps appeal a denial of a DBA claim.
Report Your Injury
Contact your work supervisor as soon as you can do so and report your injury. Like most workers’ compensation insurance situations, the law requires that the employee notify the workplace.
You must give notice in a DBA case by filing the LS-201 form (Notice of Employee’s Injury or Death). A conversation orally or by email or text is not enough. You must file this form. Your DBA attorney can assist you.
Complete All Additional Forms
During the DBA claims process, you will be required to provide other information (i.e., medical information, forms from the workplace, etc.). After meeting with a DBA lawyer and as the lawyer advises, submit every single one on time.
Filing a claim can be very complicated. That is where an experienced Defense Base Act lawyer comes in. Our attorneys have handled thousands of DBA cases. We know every twist and turn of the DBA filing process, the hurdles that can come, and how to fight the case in court if the insurance denies your claim.
Finding a Lawyer
DBA cases are a category of employment law. So begin by looking for lawyers who list their expertise areas as employment, labor, or workers’ rights law. Then ask if the attorneys handle DBA cases. If the attorney is not familiar with the term, stop there. Well-versed lawyers in this field refer to Defense Base Actions as DBA claims. Move on to lawyers who know this acronym.
Time is of the essence with these cases, so your best option is to utilize a firm such as Grossman Attorneys at Law that is already well-established as a DBA firm and has a track record of accomplishments. When a DBA firm has more than one attorney, as does Grossman Attorneys at Law, you are in even better hands as you have a team available and able to assist you at all times.
In the case of a claim denial, you have a right to appeal the decision. Your DBA lawyer from Grossman Attorneys at Law can handle the appeal. We will know how to read a denial, understand its causes, and fight the denial immediately. You will pay no attorney fees or costs unless we recover benefits for you.
What Triggers a DBA Claim Denial?
If you do not file a notice of injury, you shoot yourself in the foot, and the government insurance will deny your claim. If you have no medical documentation to support your injury, you also run a significant risk of the government insurance denying your Defense Base Act claim.
Other triggers to a denial include incomplete forms, failure to comply with requirements for additional forms or documentation, or claims for which there is conflicting medical information regarding the injury.
DBA attorneys who represent workers regularly are aware of potential pitfalls to claims. As a result, they know how to file complaints that are complete, exceptionally thorough, and not likely to be disputed. Individuals representing themselves, however, face a greater likelihood of claim denial.
What Benefits Might I Receive?
When your claim is successful, the benefits you receive can be vast.
The Defense Base Act provides several possible forms of assistance, including:
- Medical treatment and services,
- Compensation for loss of earnings,
- Compensation for partial disability,
- Compensation for permanent total disability, and
- Death benefits to a surviving spouse or child.
There is no minimum compensation rate, but there may be some maximum rates based on the employee’s pay scale. Benefits under the DBA are payable regardless of nationality.
Upon notification of a successful claim, you will be informed when, how, or where to claim DBA benefits to which you are entitled to.
DBA Benefits Are Your Right
Federal law requires all U.S. government contractors and subcontractors to secure workers’ compensation insurance for their employees working overseas. This is part of the basis for the Defense Base Act. You have a right to compensation if you fall under the class of individuals the DBA seeks to protect. Don’t wait. If you still have questions regarding how to file a DBA claim or whether you should file a claim, seek legal advice today.
Contact Us for Help Filing Your DBA Claim
Grossman Attorneys at Law is a well regarded DBA law firm. This is a specialized niche of law that we have mastered. We have arranged DBA claim settlements in the hundreds of thousands to over $1 million for our clients. Our lead attorney, Howard S. Grossman, is a Martindale-Hubbell AV-Rated Attorney with 25 years of experience litigating personal injury and workers’ compensation claims on behalf of injured claimants throughout the United States.
He heads a team of exceptional and dedicated attorneys who will treat you with care and fight for all you deserve.
Remember: No attorney fees or costs to you unless we recover benefits for you.