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Thousands of people suffer injuries on the job in every profession. In many cases, work-related injuries can be prevented, though sometimes, they are strictly accidents and no one is at fault. The good news for injured workers in the United States is that workers’ compensation laws protect their rights to benefits for medical expenses, lost income, and disabilities. However, workers’ compensation does not apply to civilians working as contractors for the military overseas. Instead, these individuals must seek benefits under the Defense Base Act (DBA).

Most people do not realize how many civilian defense contractors are working in foreign countries for the U.S., and they also might not be aware that the DBA even exists. Even contractors might not understand how the DBA works as it applies to them. The following are some facts about the DBA. 

The Defense Base Act It is Not a New Law

While DBA claims increased sharply during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Congress passed the Defense Base Act decades ago. The law took effect in the summer of 1941 as an extension of the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act.  

Common DBA Benefits

No matter what a person’s position might be, if they are a contractor covered by the DBA, the law provides certain benefits as needed for a job-related injury. Benefits can include:

  1. Coverage of medical treatment
  2. Partial replacement of lost earnings
  3. Benefits for a disability that prevents work
  4. Funeral arrangements and other death benefits after fatal injuries

DBA Insurance Companies

The law allows companies to be self-insured or to purchase coverage from certain insurance carriers. Of the hundreds of insurers allowed to provide benefits, there are three major carriers used, which are CNA, AIG, and ACE-USA. If your employer fails to carry coverage, you might have the right to file an injury lawsuit for damages. 

Physician Selection

When you sustain injuries working overseas, you have the opportunity to choose the physician who provides treatment. This is different than many workers’ compensation claims that require a claimant to see a doctor selected by the employer or insurance company. It is important to see a trusted medical professional who will thoroughly diagnose your injuries and stand by their treatment recommendations.

There are DBA Attorneys

Just as many attorneys help domestic workers with workers’ compensation claims, there are also certain law firms that handle DBA claims for injured defense contractors. The documentation required for a DBA claim can be extensive and complicated, and mistakes can delay your benefits or result in a complete denial of your claim. To best ensure that you receive the benefits you are entitled to under the law, you should seek assistance from a knowledgeable DBA lawyer as soon as you can after your injury. 

Discuss Your Rights with a DBA Attorney

The Mara Law Firm is proud to represent and assist defense contractors working on military bases and other posts overseas. We can help from start to finish of the claim process, so please call (619) 234-2833 or contact us online for assistance from a DBA attorney.

  • 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 found out that for some insurance companies they are more concerned with protecting their money. This means you are thinking about treatment and getting better while they are thinking about money. Get someone that is on your side that will fight for you. They fought for me…and won.

    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. She would keep me updated on the whole process. Don’t cheat yourself by using anyone else; you will be taken care of the right way if you choose Dave

    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 employment, personal injury, and death benefits. Mr. Mara was very compassionate, timely, and responsive to my family’s needs. I can’t thank him enough.

    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 over seas 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 recommend this firm!

    DebSan Francisco

  • Dave Mara  comes with a very high recommendation. He took a workmans 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 victim of a violent crime). Dave has no big lawyer shenanigans and dramatic posing, he is a down to earth, fair , honest hard working lawyer who really does not seem like an an attorney at all. I recommend anyone in the SD area to consult with Dave it was a painless process.

    Linda DSan Francisco

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