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


As a result of serving our country, you are entitled to a lump sum settlement in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. If you’re filing a DBA claim, our lawyers can give you guidance about what settlement option to choose for your case.


Personal Security Specialists provide indispensable protection to their clients in high-risk environments. When PSS personnel are injured in the line of duty or during training exercises, we are ready to ensure that their claims are guarded from insurance carrier games and denials.


PTSD is a serious condition prevalent among service personnel and overseas contract workers alike. The psychological impact of a stressful environment or traumatic event can have chronic effects on individuals and their family and friends.


America’s global mission to promote democracy and ensure security and prosperity is one performed with the assistance of vital personnel – contract interpreters that aid communication and bridge the gap between American and foreign cultures.

What is a Defense Base Act Lawyer?

A Defense Base Act Lawyer is an attorney that represents injured workers who are covered under the Defense Base Act. The Defense Base Act is a federal law that provides workers’ compensation protection to civilian employees and contractors who get injured or killed while working on a military base overseas while under a contract with the U.S. government for national defense or public works.

Defense Base Act Lawyer Thomas Barnes

National Defense Base Act Lawyer Helping Clients Across the Worldwide

Civilian contractors serve companies with government contracts around the world, furthering the mission of the U.S. government, protecting its interests, and building and securing its embassies.

Are you one of these employees? Have you sustained an on-the-job injury such as a concussion in a serious accident? Has hostile enemy fire caused you to suffer from post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD)? You have rights that must be protected — and can be, under the federal law known as the Defense Base Act.

If you suffered a civilian injury to the head, neck and/or back on a military base where U.S. forces are stationed, contact Thomas Barnes, the skilled Texas lawyer with over 20 years experience and committed to achieving justice for you and all injured persons. Contact our law firm for guidance through your claims.

No attorney fees will be charged to the clients. The fees will be separate and apart from the client’s recovery and paid by the insurance carrier directly.

An Advocate On Your Side

Our Defense Base Act practice is unique and national in scope, tailored to your specific legal needs and dedicated to obtaining the maximum financial compensation you deserve. In every personal injury claim we handle, Barnes Law Firm brings a team effort to your side — thorough investigation, skillful negotiation and, if necessary, aggressive litigation in courts of law. When your case has concluded, you will know that your rights have been protected.

As your claimant attorney, Thomas Barnes safeguards your interests after any serious or catastrophic injury caused by an accident, as well as wrongful death. We work hard to assist Defense Base Act claimants and their families with the filing of claims and prompt receipt of appropriate workers’ compensation benefits called for under the Defense Base Act.

Defense Base Act Injuries

Working contracts overseas for the government or the military can be extremely dangerous. As a civilian contractor conducting business overseas for the United States, you and your family have specific rights under a statute called the Defense Base Act (DBA).

This act is specifically catered to protect those who are injured while assisting our government and/or military throughout the world. If you have been hurt on a government job or have tragically lost a loved one overseas while he or she was completing a military contract, our law office can help. Contact our Houston-based lawyers at Barnes Law Firm, LLP for skilled guidance. We serve clients throughout the United States and abroad.

Experienced Attorney Protects Rights of Civilians Injured Overseas

Contact Barnes Law Firm in Houston immediately if you were seriously injured or lost a loved one in an accident while employed by a company such as Halliburton, Bechtel, DynCorp, Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR) in any country featuring a U.S. military or government presence such as:

  • Iraq
  • Afghanistan
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Russia
  • Great Britain
  • Japan
  • Korea
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Panama
  • Turkey
  • Hungary
  • Spain
  • Guam
  • Bosnia-Herzegovina

For Longshore and Defense Base Act claims, Barnes Law Firm receives attorney fees directly from the insurance carrier and not from the client’s recovery. This means that any injured worker hurt in a situation covered by the Defense Base Act can afford to retain experienced, effective representation as supplied by Barnes Law Firm.

Assistance Through Defense Base Act Injuries and Fatal Accidents

If you have suffered a serious injury while working a government contract anywhere in the world, we can help. Our attorneys have more than 20 years of experience guiding individuals to compensation through the Defense Base Act for all types of injuries, including:

  • Back injuries
  • Shoulder injuries
  • Hip injuries
  • Neck and spinal cord injuries
  • Head & traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
  • Burns
  • Limb loss
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

For Longshore and Defense Base Act claims, Barnes Law Firm receives attorney fees directly from the insurance carrier and not from the client’s recovery. This means that any injured worker hurt in a situation covered by the Defense Base Act can afford to retain experienced, effective representation as supplied by Barnes Law Firm.

Defense Base Act Claims Attorney Fighting for You

Despite this presumption and the noble goal of the DBA, insurers regularly deny claims made by civilian contractors. We have helped numerous clients obtain the benefits they need and secure additional settlements against insurance companies that wrongfully denied claims. Our clients work for a variety of companies such as:

  • DynCorp
  • Halliburton
  • Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR)
  • Bechtel

Compensation All Over the World

We work with people all over the world to get the DBA compensation they deserve! Here are some of the popular areas where people like you are getting compensated under the Defense Base Act.


  • California
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • Texas
  • Washington
  • Washington DC


  • Kosovo
  • Peru
  • United Kingdom
  • Uganda
  • Macedonia

Consult With Our National Law Firm Regarding Your DBA Claims

No matter where in the world your government contract took place, our DBA attorneys can help you. We will explain whether or not your injury falls under the parameters of the Defense Base Act and help you obtain compensation so you can move forward with your life. Your initial consultation is free of charge.

Contact us today to schedule your consultation and evaluation of your DBA accident or injury. You can call us toll free at (888) 661-4002 or locally at (713) 652-4002. Se habla español

Frequently Asked Questions About The Defense Base Act
What is the Defense Base Act?

The Defense Base Act, commonly known as the DBA, is a Federal Workers’ Compensation program designed to cover civilian contractors working overseas for companies in support of the United States military.

What is an injured worker entitled to under the Defense Base Act?

An injured worker is entitled to three benefits from the insurance carrier:

  1. Payment of workers’ compensation benefits while under the care of a doctor
  2. Medical care and treatment covered by the insurance provider
  3. May be entitled to a lump sum settlement in the event that the worker is unable to return to their job overseas and is unable to earn pre-injury wage
Who is covered by the Defense Base Act?
Civilian contractors (employees) who are injured overseas working for companies that have contracts with the State Department or Department of Defense to support the military.
Which companies are regularly involved in Defense Base Act claims?
  • Mission Essentials
  • DynCorp
  • Triple Canopy
  • KBR
  • Halliburton
What types of jobs are covered by the Defense Base Act?
Any job that is involved with the support of the United States military overseas is typically covered by the DBA. These jobs include: interpreters, security personnel, logistics specialists, truck drivers, electricians, etc.
Is an injured worker under the Defense Base Act entitled to a settlement?
Yes, an injured worker may be entitled to a settlement. In order to be entitled to a settlement the injury must prevent you from returning overseas and earning the same rate of pay as you were prior the injury.
What injuries are covered by the Defense Base Act?
There is no limit as to what type of injury a person must have to be covered by the DBA.
What is the difference between a scheduled injury and a non-scheduled injury under the Defense Base Act?
A scheduled injury is an injury to an extremity of the body such as the knee, hand, elbow, foot, eyes, nose or ears. A non-scheduled injury is an injury to the neck, back, hip or shoulder.
Is there any difference in compensation under the Defense Base Act with scheduled injuries versus non-scheduled injuries?
With a scheduled injury you will receive an impairment rating from your doctor, which will be paid according to the impairment rating table (non-negotiable). With a non-scheduled injury, if your injury prevents you from returning to work overseas, you are entitled to a lump sum settlement.
Are Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms covered by the Defense Base Act?
Symptoms and injuries related to PTSD are covered by the DBA.
For a Defense Base Act claim, what do I need to do to show that I suffer from PTSD?
In order to obtain compensation under the DBA for PTSD, you must have a diagnosis from a medical doctor.
How much will I have to pay in attorney’s fees?
The client will not have to pay any attorney’s fees. Our attorney’s fees are paid directly from the carrier separate and apart from the client’s recovery. Attorney’s fees do not take any portion of the client’s recovery.
Does the Defense Base Act cover foreign citizens?
Yes. The Defense Base Act remedies for an injury not exclusive to US citizens. The Defense Base Act applies to US citizens as well as foreign citizens employed to work on United States military bases overseas. At Barnes Law Firm we represent clients from all over the world whose claims fall under the DBA.
What is a Third Party Claim and how is it related to my Defense Base Act claim?

If your injury falls under the Defense Base Act you may still have a claim, in addition to the Defense Base Act, against a negligent third party. A third party is a person employed by someone other than your employer whose negligence caused the injury.

Example of a Third Party Claim:

You work for Halliburton and you are injured while driving due to the negligence of a person employed by DynCorp driving. Under these circumstances, you will have a Defense Base Act claim with your employer’s insurance carrier, but also a Third Party Claim against the negligent driver and their employer for your injuries too.

What does a Third Party Claim mean?
Under a Third Party Claim there is no limit to what you can recover, unlike Federal Workers’ Compensation and the Defense Base Act. In addition, a Third Party Claim will not impair or limit your claims and recovery under the DBA. As a result, any recovery against a negligent third party will only add to your total recovery.
Do I get mileage reimbursement under the Defense Base Act?
Yes, an injured person covered by the DBA is entitled to mileage reimbursement for trips to the doctor.
What do I need to do for the pre-authorization approval process?
Your medical provider should contact the insurance company for approval.
How is average weekly wage calculated under the DBA?
The average weekly wage is calculated in 3 different ways depending on the circumstances: (1) using your contract amount of payment, (2) based on your pay during the previous 52 weeks prior to the injury, and (3) calculated in a blended calculation between what you made overseas and what you made prior to working overseas.
What is the compensation rate for an injured party under the DBA?

The compensation rate for an injured party is 2/3rd’s of the average weekly wage, with a maximum weekly wage that will vary by the date of injury. Visit the Department of Labor to see the average weekly wage schedule.

What is an IME doctor?
IME stands for Independent Medical Examination. An IME doctor is a doctor chosen by the insurance carrier for an independent assessment of the injured parties injuries.
Why are IME’s performed?
To assist the insurance carrier in assessing the injuries.
What is a vocational assessment?
A vocational assessment is an evaluation to determine an injured parties’ earning capacity. The assessment looks at the injured parties’ education, experience, linguistic ability and other attributes that make the injured person employable.
Why is a vocational assessment necessary?
A vocational assessment is necessary for the insurance carrier to evaluate the injured person’s claim for settlement purposes.
What is a labor market survey?
A labor market survey is the report the carrier creates from the information gathered in the vocational assessment. The labor market survey details potential employment options for the injured person.
What is an LS_207 form?
An LS-207 form is the form the insurance files with the Department of Labor disputing portions of the claim or disputing the entire claim.
What do I do if the insurance carrier disputes my Defense Base Act claim?
Do not go at it alone. Call Barnes Law Firm at toll free (888) 661-4002 or locally at (713) 652-4002. Se habla español