At the Mara Law Firm, we are proud to fight for the rights of workers who are injured in Iraq, Afghanistan, or anywhere overseas while covered by the Defense Base Act (DBA).

Experienced Defense Base Act Lawyer

We handle DBA cases all over the world from our base of operations in California. California is home to significant military bases and significant contractors doing business on all seven continents. We can secure translators should you need them for any consultation. You do not need to be a United States citizen to qualify under the Defense Base Act (DBA).

Currently, thousands of workers are injured on reconstruction projects in war-torn Iraq, Afghanistan, and other areas of the Middle East. Due to the region’s hostile and dangerous conditions, civilian workers are too often placed in harm’s way with high risks of job injuries or even death. Any company working under contract with the U.S. must provide their employees with benefit coverage under the Defense Base Act for injuries on the job.

We can help you figure out your rights. It is vitally important that you give your employer written notice of your injury and vitally important that you secure legal counsel and representation promptly from a Defense Base Act lawyer near you. Unfortunately, many employers do not fully advise you of your rights and may leave you “in the dark” as to your right to medical care, lost wages, and a potential settlement. Our job is to help make sure that you get everything to which you are entitled!

Need Help? Let Us Fight For You


619-784-8775 / 855-964-1023

Confidential & Free Consultation


California Employment Lawyers Testimonials

What People Are Saying About Us

  • I remember screaming at a dear friend of mine saying, “WHY WON’T THE INSURANCE COVER MY TREATMENT!” He said, “…because they know if they do it will increase your settlement.” I said, “WHAT SETTLEMENT! I JUST WANT TO GET TREATMENT! I DIDN’T ASK FOR A SETTLEMENT!” Somewhere I f...

    Mara Law Firm ClientSan Francisco

  • He represented myself and many old CO-workers. They were very professional & I’d recommend them to anyone. Great Lawyers for the forgotten working man.

    ScottSan Francisco

  • I would definitely recommend David and really appreciated all the hard work he contributed. David really went the extra mile to help his customers. We were very happy and satisfied with his services. Thank you David!

    Mara Law Firm ClientSan Francisco

  • Mr. Mara was a pleasure to work with. He kept me in the loop. Can’t say enough how good it feels to have someone fighting for you, giving you a voice.

    AlbertSan Francisco

  • I was blown away by the results my case got. It far exceeded my expectations. Not only do you get someone who is a great professional; but he will fight for what you deserve. I was uncertain in the beginning; now I’m a believer. Mr. Mara is also personable. Lisa his paralegal was tremendous throughout the whole process. Sh...

    Jerome HarrisSan Francisco

  • Mr. Mara and his firm helped me file a claim for death benefits on behalf of my late husband. I was very pleased with his knowledge, research, and representation regarding my DBA claim for death benefits. I would absolutely recommend him and its associates to my friends, family, and others needing an attorney who specializes in ...

    Sally A ChandSan Francisco

  • Dave Mara did an outstanding job on my DBA case. Dave, I personally want to thank you for guiding me in the right direction and having a successful case outcome. God bless you for all the effort you put into my DBA case. Words can’t describe how thankful I am. Thank you for helping injured overseas contractors.

    Jim Joned San Francisco

  • Mr. Mara and his staff were very professional and I would highly recommend Mr. Mara. Mr. Mara had my best interests in settling my case and I am very appreciative of all he and his staff did for me. If I ever needed help or had simple questions, Mr. Mara and his staff were always available to take my calls and help me. Highly re...

    DebSan Francisco

  • Dave Mara comes with a very high recommendation. He took a workman’s compensation case for me and really handled it well. It was an unclear case and a new issue that the WC most likely had never seen. He kept me up to date with the long confusing process and was very understanding and sympathetic to my plight( I was the vi...

    Linda DSan Francisco

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The Defence Base Act

The Defense Base Act is a Federal law that dates back to World War II. It currently provides significant and valuable protection to defense contractors and their employees who are providing services to the United States Military (Army, Navy, Marines, or Air Force) overseas and in occupied territories. This is a form of worker’s compensation, so there does not have to be a liability component to the case. In other words, you don’t have to prove that somebody else was at fault for the accident. If we can prove that, that makes your case better, but all that we have to establish is that you were injured while on assignment overseas, at defense bases throughout the world, or in occupied territories.

Compensation Benefits on DBA Claims

Our DBA attorneys will make sure that our clients who qualify for this coverage will receive any necessary medical care and treatment, lost wages, and incidental expenses, and may qualify for a settlement after the case. The injury can be of any type: a motor vehicle accident while transporting troops, a motor vehicle accident while simply delivering supplies, falling down a flight of steps on the way to render translation services, or, unfortunately, being injured in military action. There are also death benefits should your loved one be killed while working for the United States military or other governmental agencies.

What is a “DBA” Settlement?

A DBA settlement is available to a contractor who has been injured on the job, and their MMI has been reached. MMI stands for Maximum Medical Improvement and is the point where the injured person will no longer continue to heal – and the point at which the worker’s medical condition has stabilized as well as it is going to. This does not mean that your injury has gone away and you are not entitled to any further compensation – it simply means that your process of healing has reached its endpoint, and it is time to calculate and claim your long-term costs.

Who is Eligible for Benefits Under the Defense Base Act?

The Defense Base Act is a workers’ compensation-type program that provides benefits to injured employers who are working on United States bases overseas.

Four types of employees may be eligible for financial compensation for workplace injuries:

  • Federal government employees who are working overseas on a United States military bases
  • Government contractors who are working on these bases
  • Employees working on contracts approved and funded by the U.S. under the Foreign Assistance Act (there is no requirement that the injury must happen on a base)
  • Those who are working for American employers providing welfare or similar services outside the United States for the benefit of the Armed Forces

Without some sort of special program to protect these workers, they may otherwise fall victim to a system where there is no jurisdiction or controlling law that would provide financial compensation for injuries. The DBA system exists for your protection when you otherwise may be unprotected.

The nationality of the injured employee does not matter. One does not need to be an American citizen to qualify for DBA benefits. They just need to be working on behalf of the government overseas under the circumstances listed above. While the government agency may apply to the Secretary for a DBA waiver, the employees must still be covered by an equivalent workers’ compensation program. A government contractor must have DBA insurance when doing business with the U.S. Government or on its behalf overseas.

What Sort of Injuries and Claims Are Eligible Under the DBA?

This type of program works much the same way as any type of workers’ compensation program. The employee would be eligible for benefits, so long as they suffered an injury in the course of employment. It does not matter whether this injury occurred during normal work hours.

You can receive compensation for your injury when you establish a link between your injury and employment. DBA claims could cover some of the following injuries:

  1. Repetitive strain injuries
  2. Exposure to hazardous substances
  3. Slipping and falling on the job
  4. Being struck by dangerous objects
  5. Hearing damage from being exposed to high noise levels

It is important to note that even injuries outside of what would be considered your work duties. For example, if you are injured on your way to the DFAC, or you fall in the shower, those would both be considered compensable injuries. Under the normal workers’ compensation system, you would not be paid for those. You could even receive benefits if you were injured working out in the gym.

The Defense Base Act will pay benefits to those injured, or their families when they are killed on the job. It will cover medical expenses and a portion of your income, up to a limit of $1,030.78 per week. There is also a death benefit that permanently pays a portion of the income to the spouse or children. Before you can qualify for benefits, there is a complex legal process that you must follow.

How Does the Best DBA Lawyer Help With My Case?

A DBA case is rooted in the Defense Base Act, and generally, these cases will conclude with an insurance agreement before the necessity of court action. That said, the DBA claim process can be complex and extensive – even for experienced attorneys. With the best DBA attorney handling your case, you can rest assured that the best possible settlement on your behalf will be reached, and you’ll be kept informed of progress every step of the way. He will ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive what you deserve.

We know you are looking for the best DBA lawyer to handle your situation and our Defense Base Act Lawyers take all of these cases on a contingency fee. That means that we NEVER charge you any fees or costs unless we recover monies from the defendants or their insurance companies. Consultations are always free. DON’T DELAY YOUR CASE! We look forward to helping you. Call us at 833-266-9381

Need Help? Let Us Fight For You


619-784-8775 / 855-964-1023

Confidential & Free Consultation

Why we are the best firm to represent you?

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    Nationwide Accomplishments

    Our Defense Base Act Lawyers draw on their experience to pursue creative and effective strategies that are focused on maximizing your recovery.

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    Our Record is our Reputation

    You will remain involved and informed as your case moves forward. You deserve personal attention, and we will provide it.

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    A History of Success

    We will devote our full resources and attention to seeking results for you. Our firm will do everything we can to win your case.

Frequently Asked Questions

At the Mara Law Firm, we understand how difficult it can be for employees to fight back against their employers who violate employment laws. Here are some frequently asked questions.

What Is The Defense Base Act?

The Defense Base Act provides workers’ compensation protection to civilian employees working outside the United States on U.S. military bases or under a contract with the U.S. government for public works or national defense.

What do you need to know about defense base act coverage?

You need to know that the Defense Base Act covers more injuries, disabilities, diseases, and sicknesses than you think. Even if you don’t think you are covered, chances are, if you were injured or became sick and/or disabled while overseas, you are covered under the Defense Base Act. This is likely so even if you were injured, disabled, or became sick when you were not performing work. You need to know that the Defense Base Act liberally favors compensating injured workers over denying coverage. The insurance company will make you feel the opposite and will tell you that you are entitled to no compensation or medical benefits for your injury. Talk to a trusted nationwide Defense Base Act lawyer to learn about whether your injury is covered and get on the road to compensation and wellness today.

What types of benefits are available under the defense base act?

This Act provides disability, medical, and death benefits to covered employees injured or killed in the course of employment, whether or not the injury or death occurred during work hours. Compensation for total disability is two-thirds of the employee’s average weekly earnings, up to a current maximum of $1,030.78 per week. Compensation also is payable for partial loss of earnings. Death benefits are half of the employee’s average weekly earnings to the surviving spouse or one child, and two-thirds of earnings for two or more such survivors, up to the current maximum weekly rate.

Permanent total disability and death benefits may be payable for life and are subject to annual cost of living adjustments. There is no minimum compensation rate. Permanent disability and death benefits payable to aliens and non-U.S. residents may be commuted by payment of half of the present value of future compensation, as determined by the OWCP district director. The injured employee is entitled to medical treatment by a physician of his/her choice, as the injury may require. Medical benefits may not be commuted.

Who is covered under the DBA?

The Defense Base Act covers the following employment activities: Working for private employers on U.S. military bases or any lands used by the U.S. for military purposes outside of the United States, including those in U.S. Territories and possessions; working on public work contracts with any U.S. government agency, including construction and service contracts in connection with national defense or with war activities outside the United States; working on contracts approved and funded by the U.S. under the Foreign Assistance Act, generally providing for cash sale of military equipment, materials, and services to its allies, if the contract is performed outside of the United States; Working for American employers providing welfare or similar services outside of the United States for the benefit of the Armed Forces, e.g. the USO. If any of the above criteria is met, all employees engaged in such employment, regardless of nationality, are covered under the Act.

When to consult a defense base act attorney?

It is never too early to consult a defense base act attorney. You should reach out to experienced, trustworthy Defense Base Act Lawyers as soon as you become aware of a work-related injury or condition that is impacting your ability to work. The early phases are critical and mistakes that happen right after suffering an injury can be extremely difficult to overcome for the duration of your case. The right attorney will guide you down the right path so you can avoid those mistakes, which, without that guidance, you will not know the pitfalls to avoid.

Request your confidential & free case consultation

If you are in need of employment litigation attorney in California or have been injured overseas while under a military contract and are in need of a defense base act attorney. Please fill out the form below and contact us immediately for a FREE consultation.

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