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.
An injured worker is entitled to three benefits from the insurance carrier:
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.
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.
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.
There is no limit as to what type of injury a person must have to be covered by the DBA.
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.
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.
Symptoms and injuries related to PTSD are covered by the DBA.
In order to obtain compensation under the DBA for PTSD, you must have a diagnosis from a medical doctor.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Yes, an injured person covered by the DBA is entitled to mileage reimbursement for trips to the doctor.
Your medical provider should contact the insurance company for approval.
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.
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.
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.
To assist the insurance carrier in assessing the injuries.
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.
A vocational assessment is necessary for the insurance carrier to evaluate the injured person’s claim for settlement purposes.
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.
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.
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