Barnes Law Firm, LTD. LLP - Where the Old West Meets the New Frontier
Call for FREE consultation
Phone 713-652-4002
Available 24/7 Se Habla EspaƱol
Serving clients in Texas and nationwide
Practice Areas

Are you sick from breathing toxic air overseas?

When civilians sign up to work in the war torn Middle East, they generally understand they will be in harm's way from enemy combatants. Many times the sluggish economy stateside prompts them to balance that risk against the better wages they'll earn as a military contractor. That extra money can support a family at home or help them get a leg up.

Unfortunately, what many contractors don't count on is an environment that is so toxic that the very air they breathe can destroy their health. As joint forces push forward to defeat ISIS, radicals have set oil fields and sulfur stockpiles ablaze, turning the sky black with toxic chemicals. The air is so thick that people choke, vomit and are forced to wear gas masks to survive.

The federal government has already put a Burn Pit Registry in place in an effort to fast-track the health needs of American military personnel. This will help soldiers affected by the pits as well as the thick toxic air created by the enemy.

As a civilian working side by side with our soldiers, you may have a much tougher time getting fully compensation if you suffer long-term or permanent health damage.

How can I get medical treatment for my illness?

Although the U.S. government is fully aware of the health dangers contractors face, you are not eligible for Veterans' Administration benefits. As a civilian contractor, you must look to regulations under the Defense Base Act (DBA).

Your employer is required to carry standardized insurance under the DBA. This compensation includes:

  • Two-thirds of your wages if you are unable to work due to a work-related illness or injury
  • Access to a health care provider of your own choosing
  • Payment for medical treatments

However, even this compensation won't last forever.

What are my long-term solutions?

You are at a serious risk of long-term and permanent health damage when subjected to the enemy's poisonous strategy. This can put you in a difficult position. Two-thirds of your salary today may help you get by, but what about in 10 years? Another issue a chronic health condition triggers is that your health care costs may not be covered for life. If you are 25 years old and suffer a life-altering event, you could be left to fend for yourself once basic funds run out.

Fortunately, the DBA allows you to negotiate a settlement with insurance companies and that could be your saving grace. The other good news is that legal fees are paid for by the insurance company. So, you won't have to worry about them coming out of your own pocket.

If you are a contractor whose health has been compromised, seek the advice of an experienced attorney. For answers to questions about the Defense Base Act, contact the Barnes Law Firm, Ltd. LLP, for a confidential consultation. #DefenseBaseActLawyer

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information